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What are the Treatments for Diverticulitis With Constipation and Spasms?

by
author image Louise Lyon
Louise Lyon has been a writer since 1989. Her work has appeared in "Family Doctor," "AARP Bulletin," "Focus on Healthy Aging" and other national publications covering health and science. She holds a Master of Science degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.
What are the Treatments for Diverticulitis With Constipation and Spasms?
A woman in a hospital bed is hooked up to an IV. Photo Credit bugphai/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection of small pouches that pop out of the lining of the large intestine, often because of a weakness in the lining, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. This can cause severe and sudden abdominal pain or tenderness; bloating; bleeding from the rectum; cramping; nausea; vomiting; fever; chills or a change in bowel habits. It can also cause dangerous complications like bleeding, infections, tears in the colon or blockages.

Basic Treatment

Treatment focuses on eliminating the inflammation and preventing serious complications, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. For simple cases, a patient may be given antibiotics to clear up or prevent infection, a pain reliever and bed rest. He will be given a liquid diet at first to rest the colon, and if symptoms clear up, the amount of regular food will be gradually increased.

Severe Cases

In more serious cases, a hospital stay may be required, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. The patient will be given stronger IV antibiotics and deprived of food and drink for several days to give the colon a break.

Constipation and Spasms

In cases where constipation and cramps are severe, doctors may prescribe pain medication, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. However, this is difficult because some pain medications cause constipation. A doctor may also suggest preventive steps to help avoid the problem in the future, including a high-fiber diet or a fiber supplement to prevent constipation; drinking plenty of fluids to help ease the constipation and regular exercise. Responding quickly to the urge to move your bowels can also help because delaying bowel movements can cause stool to harden, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Surgery

If the patient doesn't respond to antibiotics and resting the colon or if outbreaks keep occurring, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the affected part of the colon, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. This surgery can prevent complications or future episodes of diverticulitis. Surgery can also be required to repair complications like bleeding, tearing or blockages.

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