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Digestive Disorders

Eating after a diverticulitis flare

07/07/2008

Question:

Is there a recommended way to transition from antibiotic and liquids/low residue to normal food? Each time I stop the antibiotics, my diverticulitis pain (and constipation/diarrhea) resumes within days or a few weeks. I use metamucil daily. Is there a formula or recommendation as to getting back to normal eating? I know that fiber is good, and I have been told to eat whatever I can tolerate. (After repeated episodes I have tried to avoid nuts & seeds and berries.) What is the best way to determine what is setting off this pain?

Answer:

Fiber is the best thing for patients with diverticulitis. It keeps stools bulky so that "little pieces" cannot get stuck in the pockets of your colon (the diverticula). With what sounds like repeated bouts, you should avoid all nuts and seeds. As far as what foods to introduce, start with liquids then increase to low residue and bland foods. If problems still occur, consider a surgical opinion as you may have to have part of your colon removed.

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Response by:

Annette  Kyprianou, MD Annette Kyprianou, MD
Senior Clinical Instructor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University