Diverticulosis is the presence of many small
balloon-like sacs (diverticula) in the wall of
the large intestine (colon). In the United
States this disease rarely occurs before the
age of 30. It may affect up to 50% of people
over 60 years of age. Studies show that a
high fiber diet protects against this disease.
People who lack fiber in their diet are more
prone to getting diverticula in the colon as
they grow older.
Symptoms & Problems
Most people with this disease have no
symptoms. You may notice a change in
bowel function. This may be constipation,
cramping, abdominal pain or diarrhea.
Diverticula may become infected or
inflamed. People often have pain in their left
lower abdomen and fever. If this happens
contact your doctor. You may also see
rectal bleeding. This may be severe, but
usually does not hurt. People who pass
large amounts of bloody diarrhea need
medical attention right away.
A High Fiber Diet
Once diverticula occur there is no known
medical cure. By increasing the fiber in
your diet you may reduce the symptoms.
This may also prevent more diverticula from
Some foods that are high in fiber:
ξ fresh or stewed fruits
ξ vegetables like broccoli, celery,carrots,
ξ bran cereal
ξ beans (kidney, pinto, lima, navy)
Breakfast cereals, like All-Bran , Fiber
One , and Bran Buds , are high in fiber.
You may try mixing them with other cereals.
Try to get about 30 grams of fiber a day.
Eating unprocessed bran (about 3
tablespoons) is an easy way to get enough
fiber. Bran should be taken with plenty of
fluids. It may be mixed with breakfast
cereals, yogurt, or applesauce.
Follow your Health Care Provider's
A good rule to live by is to listen to your
healthcare provider. Refer your questions
about illness, medicines, or diet to the health
care provider who knows you best. Working
as a team helps to assure success in
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©7/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4408.