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
Tips for recovery include:
- Eat a low-fiber diet. Your healthcare provider may advise a liquid diet. This gives your bowel a chance to rest so that it can recover.
- Foods to include: flake cereal, mashed potatoes, pancakes, waffles, pasta, white bread, rice, applesauce, bananas, eggs, fish, poultry, tofu, and well-cooked vegetables
- Take your medicines as directed. Do not stop taking the medicines, even if you feel better.
- Monitor your temperature and report any rising temperature to your healthcare provider.
- Take antibiotics exactly as directed. Do not miss any and keep taking them even if you feel better.
- 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
Tips for prevention include:
- 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 healthcare provider 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).
- Avoid constipation with fiber and add a stool softener if needed.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the following:
- Fever of 100.4?F (38.0?C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
- Severe cramps in the belly, most commonly the lower left side
- Tenderness in the belly, most commonly the lower left side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding from your rectum