William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Diverticulosis and diverticulitis facts
- What is diverticulosis?
- What is diverticulitis?
- What causes diverticula and how do diverticula form?
- What are diverticulitis symptoms?
- Is there a special diet or digestive supplement that can treat or prevent diverticulitis symptoms?
- What are the more serious complications of diverticulitis?
- How are the diagnosis of diverticulitis and diverticulosis made?
- What is the treatment for diverticulitis and diverticulosis?
- Medical treatment of diverticulitis and diverticulosis
- Surgical treatment for diverticulitis
- Pictures of Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Slideshow
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What is the treatment for diverticulitis and diverticulosis?
Treatment for diverticulitis and diverticulosis include medications to treat abdominal pain due to muscle spasms, oral antibiotics for infection, and liquid or low fiber foods when there is an acute attack of diverticulitis.
Medical treatment of diverticulitis and diverticulosis
Most patients with diverticulosis have minimal or no symptoms, and do not require any specific treatment. A normal fiber diet is advisable to prevent constipation and perhaps prevent the formation of more diverticula.
Patients with mild symptoms of abdominal pain due to muscular spasm in the area of the diverticula may benefit from anti-spasmodic drugs such as:
- chlordiazepoxide (Librax),
- dicyclomine (Bentyl),
- atropine, scopolamine, phenobarbital (Donnatal), and
- hyoscyamine (Levsin).
When diverticulitis occurs, antibiotics usually are needed. Oral antibiotics are sufficient when symptoms are mild. Some examples of commonly prescribed antibiotics include:
- ciprofloxacin (Cipro),
- metronidazole (Flagyl),
- cephalexin (Keflex), and
- doxycycline (Vibramycin).
Liquid or low fiber foods are advised during acute attacks of diverticulitis. This is done to reduce the amount of material that passes through the colon, which at least theoretically, may aggravate the diverticulitis. In severe diverticulitis with high fever and pain, patients are hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics. Surgery is needed for patients with persistent bowel obstruction or abscess not responding to antibiotics.
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