A 51-year-old man presents for a routine annual physical examination. The patient only reports constipation, but says it has been present for several years. He has an insignificant past medical history and reports smoking 2 packs of cigarettes per day for the last 15 years. He also drinks 2 to 3 beers per day. Physical examination is within normal limits. A colonoscopy is performed as part of the routine screening measures and demonstrates several diverticular outpouchings in the sigmoid colon. The patient is educated on diverticulosis.
Which of the following is the best recommendation to give to this patient for his newly diagnosed disease?A. Increase iron intake
Increase fiber intake. This patient has asymptomatic diverticulosis. A diverticulum is a pouch (or sac) that protrudes from the colonic wall at a point of weakness. Diverticulosis is often asymptomatic, but can present with constipation, abdominal pain, and painless rectal bleeding. The treatment for asymptomatic diverticulosis is lifestyle modification in the form of increased fiber intake. Fiber allows for the creation of large, bulky stools that increase the width of the colon and minimize the likelihood of diverticular development. (A) Increased iron intake is not part of the treatment of diverticulosis. (C, D) Smoking cessation and decreasing alcohol consumption should always be encouraged as part of any comprehensive lifestyle modification plan, but do not have any proven effect on diverticulosis.