Laxatives and diverticulitis

Do not use laxatives or enemas unless your health professional prescribes them. If you use them too often, you can become dependent on them for bowel movements. If you are having a sudden (acute) attack of diverticulitis, laxatives or enemas can make the pain worse.

Your health professional may recommend using nonprescription stool softeners while you wait for changes in your diet to resolve your constipation.

Fiber supplements such as psyllium seed products (for example, Metamucil) often help with constipation. However, you may need to try several types to find one that works for you, because different types of fiber may vary in their effects on your large intestine. These products cost more than increasing fiber naturally through your diet.

Last Updated: July 30, 2008

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