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Does Alcohol Worsen Diverticulitis?

Diverticula are small bulging pouches formed in the lining of the lower part of the large intestine known as colon. The formation of these pouches is quite common in individuals above the age of 40 and is no cause for concerns. However, sometimes these pouches or diverticula tend to get irritated, inflamed, or infected. This results in what is termed as diverticulitis. It is an extremely painful condition which causes severe pain in the lower abdominal region along with significant changes in bowel patterns coupled with persistent bouts of nausea and vomiting. Mild cases of diverticulitis can be treated with lifestyle and dietary modifications but surgery is required for treatment of severe form of diverticulitis.

Does Alcohol Worsen Diverticulitis?

Can Alcohol Worsen Diverticulitis?

Coming to the question of the relation between alcohol and diverticulitis, the answer is while alcohol consumed in moderation coupled with a balanced diet should not pose any problems to the individual, alcohol abuse and poor dietary intake can definitely make the condition of diverticulitis worse.

Diverticulitis is a condition which definitely affects the tolerance level of an individual towards alcohol. Abuse of alcohol can also lead to complications of diverticulitis. Alcohol abuse normally has a negative impact on the overall health of every individual. In cases of diverticulitis, this impact is exponentially increased to the extent that it may make the condition far worse than it actually may be.

Alcohol abuse can trigger a diverticulitis attack and can even increase the frequency of flare ups. If the alcohol intake is decreased then the flare-ups of the attacks will also automatically decrease. Additionally, the medications that are given for diverticulitis may interact adversely with alcohol which may lead to further complications.

Thus, it is advised to abstain from alcohol while an individual is being treated for diverticulitis. Also, an individual abusing on alcohol has a very poor diet, this leads to lack of nutrition being provided to the body and furthermore lack of fiber which is essential for diverticulitis which in turn worsens the symptoms of diverticulitis.

Research has proven that individuals who abuse alcohol are at greater risk for complications of diverticulitis than individuals who consume alcohol in moderation and eat a well balanced healthy diet. Thus, it is quite tricky as to estimate how much alcohol an individual can drink for him or her to be at risk for complications from diverticulitis and hence it is recommended to completely abstain from any alcoholic beverage until the time the individual is completely healed from diverticulitis. A consultation with a physician can always help an individual when in doubt about whether alcohol can worsen diverticulitis.


  1. Mayo Clinic. “Diverticulitis.” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diverticulitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371758
  2. Medical News Today. “Can You Drink Alcohol If You Have Diverticulitis?” Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322853
  3. Medscape. “Diverticulitis.” Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/173388-overview

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 11, 2023

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