Dr. Tom Miller explains how diverticulitis is diagnosed and treated, and what you can do to avoid the disease.">

Aug 24, 2017 — Diverticulitis is a digestive disease that develops when pouches in the wall of the large intestine become inflamed. It can be painful on the lower left side of the abdomen. On today's Health Minute, Dr. Tom Miller explains how diverticulitis is diagnosed and treated, and what you can do to avoid the disease.

Interview

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Today on Define the Disease, Dr. Tom Miller, what is diverticulitis?

Dr. Miller: Diverticulitis is an infection of the large bowel based on these little out-pouchings called diverticula. They can become plugged and infected. When they do, you need to have that diagnosed and treated.

Interviewer: And where are those, where is that pain happening?

Dr. Miller: That pain is typically on the left lower side of your abdomen and can get worse over time and if you press on that area, it tends to hurt even worse.

Interviewer: All right, and what's the treatment?

Dr. Miller: The treatment, well, first you need to make a diagnosis. To make a diagnosis, you need to go to an emergency room and have them do a CT scan. That basically will give you the diagnosis. Once that occurs, then you need antibiotics for 7 to 10 days.

Interviewer: And is there anything I could do to prevent it in the first place?

Dr. Miller: You know, there's an old tale that if you eat lots of nuts or corn that you could cause diverticulitis, there's really no basis for that. And so we just tell people to assume a high fiber diet in the hopes that that'll prevent recurrent episodes.

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