Signs and Symptoms
1. Abdominal cramping that is usually most severe on the lower-left side.
4. Diarrhea, constipation, or unusually thin stools.
5. Pain that increases when the sore spot on the abdomen is touched.
6. Intestinal gas.
What to do now
1. If you have symptoms of diverticulitis, see a doctor.
2. Never use an enema for this condition.
When to call a doctor
1. If you have severe abdominal pain and swelling, fever, chills, and nausea or vomiting-even if you think your symptoms are getting better. You could have peritonitis, a life-threatening infection of the membrane that lies the abdominal cavity.
2. Call for an immediate appointment:
1. If blood appears in your stools; this may mean that you have internal bleeding.
2. If severe pain continues despite treatment; you may have another abdominal disorder.
How to prevent it
1. Eat whole-grain breads, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Add fiber gradually, though. A sudden switch to a high-fiber diet can create an uncomfortable amount of intestinal gas.
2. Drink plenty of fluids (at least eight glasses of water a day), especially if you increase your fiber intake.
3. Avoid foods that are difficult to digest such as nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn.
4. Don’t delay or ignore the urge to move your bowels.
5. Exercise regularly to help the muscles in your intestines retain their tone. This encourages regular bowel movements.
6. Don’t use laxatives unless your doctor recommends them. Prunes, prune juice, and psyllium seed (available in drugstores, as powder of capsules) are good natural alternatives.
7. If you smoke qui; smoking may aggravate the problem.
8. Avoid caffeine, and if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.