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Helen asked...

Diverticulosis

I have just been diagnosed as having diverticulosis. I understand that this is a very common condition so I am not unduly worried. However my GP was less than helpful when I asked what lifestyle changes I need to make, simply referring me to a website. The website didn't help with it's fibre recommendations. It seems I should eat a high fibre diet (which I have done for years) but follow a bland diet if there is a 'flare up'. Is a 'flare up' actually diverticulitis, or can diverticulosis also cause pain?

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The answer

Diverticulosis is very common and most people have few or no symptoms. A high fibre diet is recommended as this can improve the symptoms (constipation) as well as ensuring  you drink enough fluids each day, ideally 1 1/2  to 2  litres per day. Occasionally you may need to add a bulk forming laxative. 

A flare up is known as diverticulitis, this is when the diverticuli become inflamed or infected, most of these incidents can be treated at home with oral antibiotics and pain medication, this would be when a bland, low fibre diet would be recommended to reduce the amount of activity the bowel needs to do, in effect resting the gut allowing it to recover, before resuming your normal high fibre diet. 

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

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