What OTC Treatments Are the Best for Diverticulitis?

Uncomplicated diverticulitis causing mild symptoms can be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller such as acetaminophen, according the Mayo Clinic. Tylenol is a common brand of acetaminophen.

A doctor is also likely to recommend antibiotics to treat infection and a liquid diet until the bowel heals. This treatment successfully resolves uncomplicated diverticulitis in 70 to 100 percent of people, notes the Mayo Clinic. Complicated diverticulitis usually requires hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics. In severe cases, surgery may be needed. A colonoscopy is usually recommended after the patient recovers from diverticulitis to rule out colon cancer as a cause of symptoms.

In addition to addressing pain levels with acetaminophen, Dr. Andrew Weil offers a number of self-care suggestions for treating diverticulitis. Peppermint oil, aloe vera gel and slippery elm powder can help soothe and heal irritated tissues in the digestive tract. Weil also recommends drinking plenty of water, eating more high-fiber foods (25 to 30 grams of fiber a day), getting at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week, and avoiding tobacco and caffeine. It’s important to respond to bowel urges, since constipation can increase intestinal pressure. Practicing stress management techniques supports the normal functioning of the digestive system.