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Discharge Instructions for Diverticulitis

You have been diagnosed with diverticulitis. This is a condition in which small pouches form in your colon (large intestine) and become inflamed or infected. Follow the guidelines below for home care.

As You Recover

  • Eat a low-fiber diet. Your doctor may recommend a liquid diet. This gives your bowel a chance to rest so that it can recover.

  • Take your medications, such as antibiotics, as directed.

  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day, unless directed otherwise.

  • Use a heating pad or hot water bottle to reduce abdominal cramping or pain.

Preventing Diverticulitis in the Future

  • Eat a high-fiber diet. Fiber adds bulk to the stool so that it passes through the large intestine more easily.

  • Keep drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water every day, unless directed otherwise.

  • Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities such as walking or gardening.

  • Treat diarrhea with a bland diet. Start with liquids only; then slowly add fiber over time.

  • Watch for changes in your bowel movements (constipation to diarrhea).

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Fever above 100°F (37.7°C)

  • Chills

  • Severe cramps in the lower left side of the abdomen

  • Tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Bleeding from your rectum

 

 

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