published Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Ask a doctor

Q: I went to see my doctor for abdominal pain. He said I may have diverticulitis. What does that mean?

Diverticulitis usually causes abdominal pain commonly low and on the left side of the abdomen. Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation may accompany the pain. Diverticulitis occurs when one of these pouches becomes inflamed and infection arises. This infection will usually respond to antibiotics. Complicated diverticulitis occurs when an abscess, perforation or obstruction develops. These conditions usually require hospitalization.

The current recommendation for patients with diverticular disease is to increase their fiber intake. Vigorous physical activity and a healthy weight seem to be associated with a much lower incidence of diverticular disease.

— Dr. J. Scott Manton, Digestive

Health Associates; member, Chattanooga-

Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit an obesity-related question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at See this space each week for answers, or go online to

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