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Can Stress Cause Diverticulitis?

Diverticula are extremely small pouches filled with fluid that normally develop in the lower portion of the intestine called the colon. The formation of diverticula is quite a common occurrence in individuals above the age of 40 and is normally asymptomatic. The problems though arise when for some reason or the other the diverticula gets infected, inflamed, or irritated. This is when it starts to cause symptoms of acute pain in the abdominal region along with persistent bouts of nausea and vomiting with associated changes in bowel patterns. This condition is what is termed as diverticulitis.

In cases where diverticulitis is mild then the treatment only involves lifestyle and dietary modifications, but in serious cases surgery may be required to treat diverticulitis. There are many people who go to their care provider asking whether stress may be a causative factor in development of diverticulitis or not. This article gives an overview of whether stress can cause diverticulitis or not.

Can Stress Cause Diverticulitis?

Can Stress Cause Diverticulitis?

As of now, there are no studies to prove that stress or as a matter of fact anxiety or depression is a direct causative factor for development of diverticulitis. The body of an individual works the best when all parts of the body function normally and at their best. If an individual is depressed, anxious or stressed out then it means that some of the functions of the body are not carried out effectively. This has a negative influence on the overall function of the body and this includes the development of the symptoms of diverticulitis.

Thus it is suggested that, to avoid conditions like diverticulitis, an individual needs to have a stress-free life. This can be achieved by coping with the stress of everyday life by means of yoga and exercise. An individual needs to drink at least 60 ounces of water on a daily basis not only to keep him or her hydrated, but also to keep the body free of any toxins that might be present.

In case if an individual is battling depression then a consultation with a psychologist is recommended who can better delineate the extent of depression and formulate a treatment plan best suited for the individual. It has been proved that if an individual is feeling well psychologically, then he or she will be free of any symptoms that may plague them including the symptoms of diverticulitis.

In conclusion, while there is no evidence to suggest a direct causative effect of stress on the symptoms of diverticulitis, a psychologically ill individual will have more chances of having symptoms of a physical illness including that of diverticulitis. Thus, a stress directly may not play a role in development of diverticulitis but it definitely plays a part in case if an individual already has diverticulitis and is under a lot of stress, causing a flare-up of diverticulitis.


  1. Mayo Clinic: Diverticulitis

  2. Harvard Health Publishing: Diverticulosis and diverticulitis

  3. Cleveland Clinic: Diverticulitis

  4. WebMD: Diverticulitis

  5. Healthline: Diverticulitis

  6. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

  7. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons: Diverticular Disease

  8. Verywell Health: How Stress Affects Your Digestive System

  9. Harvard Health Blog: Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2023

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