Left untreated, the pouch can break and release stool into the belly. This is a medical emergency. It will require surgery.
The goals of treatment are to:
Resolve the infection and inflammation
Rest the bowel
Antibiotics are given to fight any infection. Pain medicine can help to manage the abdominal pain.
You may also be given medicine to help control vomiting.
Diet and Fluids
The bowel will need some time to rest. A clear liquid diet will be needed for the first 2-3 days. This should help decrease symptoms.
A hospital stay may be needed if you have severe symptoms. An IV will deliver fluid and nutrition into your bloodstream. This will allow your bowel to have full rest.
Having one attack increases your chance of another. Changes in your diet can help prevent future attacks.
Increase the amount of fiber you eat. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Supplement your diet with a fiber product. Talk to your doctor about recommendations.
Avoid laxatives and enemas
Avoid opioid medications. They can slow down bowel movement and can cause constipation.
to remove the section of the bowel with pouches may be advised if:
You have had many attacks during a 2 year period.
A pouch breaks and the contents spread into the belly. The contents will need to be cleaned out of the belly.
Surgery is also used to treat complications of diverticulitis such as:
Abscess—the pouch fills with pus
Blocked bowel—scar tissue blocks movement of stool
Fistula—colon tissue attaches to another organ, such as the bladder, the uterus, or the vagina
The diseased part of the bowel will be removed. The normal parts of the bowel will then be connected back together.
An emergency surgery will need additional steps. The diseased part will be removed. The healthy ends cannot be reconnected right away. Your bowel will need time to rest and heal. The upper part of the bowel will be attached to the abdominal wall. A
will allow waste to pass from the intestine to a bag outside of your body. If possible, the healthy bowel will be reconnected after 6-12 weeks.
A healthy bowel may help prevent diverticulitis. To keep stool moving through the colon and decrease the risk of constipation:
Eat a balanced, high-fiber diet. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Diverticular disease. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/diverticular-disease. Updated October 2012. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Diverticular disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/diverticulosis-diverticulitis. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 7/17/2018
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