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Probiotics for Diverticulitis

Q. My husband was diagnosed with diverticulitis. He was treated with antibiotics, but the doctor said he could have another attack at any time.

My husband now avoids seeds and nuts, but a different doctor says food has very little impact. I now give my husband lots of fruit, yogurt and acidophilus milk and he is taking FiberCon daily. Is there anything else that might help?

A. Your husband may want to try probiotics (good bacteria). Such products can be purchased under refrigeration in health food stores. One reader reported: “After ten years of being diagnosed repeatedly with diverticulitis and treated with antibiotics, my digestive system went crazy and I lost bowel control.

“More antibiotics and prednisone were prescribed. One doctor wanted to do surgery, perhaps a colostomy, on my bowel.

“I sought a second opinion and the doctor prescribed probiotics (VSL#3). A week later I was fine. After four years I have no more diverticulitis and my system works fine. No diarrhea.”

A recent study found that a combination of anti-inflammatory medicine and probiotic VSL#3 worked better in recovery from diverticulitis than either treatment alone (International Journal of Colorectal Disease, online March 28, 2007).

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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