Is there a relationship between stress and diverticulitis and diverticulosis?
Diverticulitis is a medical condition that arises from diverticula-pouch-like bulges that become inflamed. They can be seen in the large intestine. Diverticula will not harm you and can be found in healthy adults who are age 40 and up. However, problems can occur if these pouches get infected.
It is thought that diverticula occur when the pressure of the intestines increases and the intestinal mucosa develops weak spots. This results in tiny bulges being formed. Diverticula are typically asymptomatic and are detected during prophylactic colonoscopies. If diverticula are infected, then there is a chance that they will burst. If they were to burst, the contents inside would be released to the large intestine’s exterior, which can cause numerous and serious complications.
Common symptoms include:
- Severe left sided abdominal pain
- Feeling queasy and throwing up
- A high temperature
- Pain in the abdomen
- Hard stools
- Loose stools (rare)
So one might ask, how is diverticulitis linked to stress?
Stress causes various illnesses because it puts a severe toll on the body. Thus, stress can aid in developing diverticulitis. Environmental causes have been the determining factor in 60% of these medical cases. The digestive system can experience stress if one eats a low fiber diet. High fat diets have also been known to cause this illness. This inflammatory illness is more commonly seen among the elderly, as compared to younger age groups.
While the exact link between stress and this medical condition is not well understood, it is known that stress causes inflammation. Inflammation is a factor that can potentially lead to the development of this illness. If a person is experiencing high volumes of daily stress, this can disrupt bodily functions as well as the digestive process. When the body is under high levels of stress, it responds in the same way as if being attacked by a bear. It turns on it’s fight or flight response mechanism and in turn directs more oxygen and blood to be sent to the brain and muscles. This change of resources pulls vital resources away from where they need to be to keep the body functionally optimally, which can lead to the development of problems in the body.
So, what occurs in stress-induced diverticulitis?
As we all know, it is just not possible to evade all of life’s stressors and accomplish the tasks we need at the same time. What we can do, however, is learn how to control and manage stress levels before they get out of control. A great deal of the stress we feel daily is inflicted on ourselves. This means it could be changed should we properly determine from where it is coming:
- Is your profession inflicting stress upon you?
- Do you work in an environment that is filled with stressful deadlines?
If so, you should think about your life and ponder:
- Do I need this specific job?
- Are there changes that can be made to reduce stress levels?
- Is it worth possibly getting sick over?
It is important to note that not all stress comes from work. Other sources of stress can be from personal relationships, mental or physical illnesses, or even from being unable to secure a good job. When stress levels get out of control, it is recommended that you seek professional help.
How can you treat this stress-induced medical condition? Here are a few ways:
RELAX. Taking time every day to relax. Develop a mantra like “Peace. Love. Hope” to help you meditate throughout the day. This can help ease anxiety, and even re-wire your brain to make you less prone to feeling stressed.
PRACTICE BREATHING. Take slow and deep breaths in and out to help you decrease stress. This can help reduce your heart rate and decrease hypertension.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Many times while we are accomplishing a task we are thinking about the next task at hand. Stop for a moment when things are busy and absorb the current moment. What is the weather like? How do you feel? Focusing on the moment can help decrease your stress by making you grateful and appreciative for what is going on around you now.
TALK TO FRIENDS. Set up a time to meet with your friends to help you decrease your stress levels. Having a sense of community and being social can help decrease anxiety. If you can’t meet up, opt to talk to a friend on the phone to work out your problems. Having a few good friends is vital to support a lifestyle that is healthy.
DECOMPRESS. Place a heating pad on your back and shoulders for 10 minutes to decrease pain in these high tension areas of your body. Try to relax every part of your body during this process. Burning some candles for aromatherapy can help ease anxiety too.
LAUGH. Laughing a little can make everything better by decreasing your stress and helping to lower cortisol levels in your body. It can also increase good endorphins in your body which can boost your mood if you’re feeling blue.
LISTEN TO MUSIC. Listening to music has been shown to decrease stress. It can decrease hypertension and feelings of nervousness. Listening to relaxing sounds, such as ocean waves or rainfall can help you to feel less stressed.
MOVE. Exercise for 30 minutes a day. Try something new like yoga or even running with your dog to help decrease anxiety and the blues.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Keep a journal of all of your blessings. When you’re feeling down or stressed, take a moment to review these blessings and you will feel much better.
EAT WELL. Following a diverticulitis diet that is good for you can help you stay healthy and decrease stress. Typically, we reach for junk foods to comfort ourselves during times of stress, which only make us feel worse. Incorporating broths, fruit juices, and ice pops when first diagnosed will help you heal faster. Then, slowly incorporating a regular diet of low-fiber foods is best prior to re-introducing high-fiber foods once again. A good source of low fiber foods include bread, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.
DIVERTICULITIS TEA. Teas such as the Calming Blends Diverticulitis Tea can help reduce inflammation and thus can aid in bettering or help prevent this illness.
SLEEP WELL. Not getting enough sleep can cause increased stress levels during the day. Get ready for a good night’s sleep by lighting candles and avoid electronics one hour before bedtime. Aim to get between 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you cannot, try to nap during the day to make up for hours of lost sleep.
I was just diagnosed with this two days ago and they put me on antibiotic can I still drink the tea. Thank you
Thank you for your interest in Calming Blends tea. Sorry to hear you are going through this. Yes, you can drink the tea up to three times a day. You may want to start with just 1-2 cups daily and see how that helps.
Hello, this my second flare up this year. The first one happened when my husband came home after open heart surgery and I had to take care of him. And right now it’s pretty obvious why I feel stressed in our “new normal” environment. Your advice is appreciated, however, it may need some updating under our new lifestyle. We are all stressed out!
Dear Mary. Sorry to hear about your second flare up. These are indeed trying times for many people all across the world. Please try to do what you can to avoid excessive stress. Enjoy some daily light exercise – either at home or safely outside. Try to avoid processed foods and of course, keep drinking the Calming Blends tea. Many of our customers have a cup before bedtime and it really helps them relax and sleep better. We hope you are staying safe and let’s try to get over this together!
Janice @ Calming Blends
I lost my mother to covid-19 and going through a divorce in a very stressful relationship I just had a colonoscopy and was told that I am developing it. I just want to know what could be the best Steps to healing?
Hi Gwendolyn. Really sorry about your mom and your stressful situation at this point in life. Just know that things will get better. I’m sure you have already read the tips on relieving stress on this page: https://calmingblends.com/diverticulitis-stress/. We hear from many customers on the link between diverticulitis and stress, so do your best to follow a healthier nutrition regimen, get some daily activity and most of all, don’t let the stress consume you or your thoughts. Find ways to distract yourself with an activity or hobby. Talk to friends or your support team. We wish you peace and calm as you get through this difficult time in your life. God Bless.
-Calming Blends Support
Great article! I have work related stress and diverticulitis so this is very helpful! Thank you!
Hi Anita, we are so happy to hear you found the information helpful.
2020 been a rough year and every Time I get stressful i have flare ups which often keep me out of work and later I had to quit my job due to stress and fear of covid19 because I lost family members and friends I need help
So sorry to hear your story. We hope that 2021 will be a much better year for you. We have created a special coupon code for you which offers 20% Off the diverticulitis tea. Use code cbb2021 at check-out. This coupon expires at the end of this month. Best of luck and health and healing.
Calming Blends Support Team
Since I have diverticulitis how soon should I get a colonoscopy I am 42 years old?
Hello Markietta. If you have diverticulitis, you should definitely consult with your doctor and see if they recommend getting your colonoscopy.
In good health.
Hello , I just ordered your tea, this is like my first real bad flare up…Only relief has been 800 ibuprofen. I didn’t know stress caused these flare up, but makes sense. I have been having martial issue, for the last year and I’m sure it’s a big contributor. I pray the tea helps anymore flare ups..
First step: STOP taking NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Aleve, aspirin, etc.) they are clearly identified as a huge culprit for Diverticulitis…..acetaminophen (Tylenol, Paracetamol, etc)
As a sufferer of DD for 12 years, NSAIDs, poor/high fat diets, excessive alcohol consumption and stress (probably relates to the previous two) bring on my flare ups. Take care of stress, you’ll see huge benefits;)
Also, IF antibiotics are needed (recent research indicates they may not be appropriate for mild cases), ask your Dr about Augmentin. Cipro/Flagyl are harsh, nasty meds.
I was just told yesterday I have diverticulitis. I take care of my mom who has alzimers . 24/7 . I am in so much pain but it’s on my right side. My doc just acts like it’s no big deal. He told me to eat a high fiber diet. With this pain I don’t know how long I can take care of my mom. The pain is terrible .any advice . On what I can do to ease this .
Hi Sandra, Sorry to hear that you have diverticulitis. You should try our tea and see if it helps with your pain. We have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
I have a similar situation. Single pouch observed under colonoscopy and a bad abdominal pain and the doctor doesn’t treat it it’s something that should be cared of. Can you please share if something worked for you ? It might help me with my decisions as i’m really confused.
I am a manager for a large condominium building. The stress of keeping residents and staff safe in this pandemic was overwhelming. I suffered a perforated colon from diverticulitis in July and was hospitalized for 9 days. Fortunately with bed rest, antibiotics and pain meds I didn’t need surgery. I am 100% convinced that this was stress related. Do what you can to keep your body calm.
Hi Sherri I had a similar situation are you ok now?
Thank you for this information. I always suspected a connection between diverticulitis and stress.
My first bout was at age 48 almost 14 years ago. I went about 10 years without a flare. Then…it all happened…many losses including my Dad and only childhood friend, daughters wedding of which she and her new husband did not invite us with no explanation. We have not see her or her sister in several years. I also just retired. In this time I have had 4 uncomplicated left side flares ups including one now. I’m struggling with antibiotics as I am sensitive to many meds.
Thank you so much for presenting this information.
You’re very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to write your story. Wishing you comfort and better health.
Hi, I strongly think I have a condition called gastric diverticulum! My symptoms really match this and include the following when having a flare up.. ..
feeling of fullness and pain in upper stomach, heartburn, belching, extreme tiredness and fatigue, halitosis, weight loss .. (all prob due to it becoming infected)
Flare ups tend to happen if I go away on holiday or do something out of comfort zone. Anxiety been problem for long time.
A course of antibiotics really helped a couple of months back snd I felt like a new woman! Sadly, it’s back again already!
I had camera down throat around 5 years ago and consultant said hernia found. Antacids don’t do anything for me as I’m allergic to lots of medications causing mainly heartburn! 😔 is only way out of this nightmare surgery? This impacts my social snd work life massively and makes me feel really sad. Your guidance would be appreciated xxx
Hello Claire. Could very well be, however, we strongly advise you visit with your gastroenterologist to see what treatment options they recommend. Best of luck and please keep us posted.
[…] third consideration is stress. Diverticulitis becomes a problem when stress is added to the equation. This is due to bodily impulses that respond to stressful events by redirecting […]
I had the sigmoid colon operation
4 1/2 years ago and no problems since then until now! I truly believe long term stress has contributed to this reoccurrence. Like everyone who has been through the past almost 2 years of the pandemic and has been stressed with that alone…then add the stress of unemployment, closing a business, retiring three years too early, not having pension be the correct amount and challenging this for a year and a half with previous employer with no response, and total salary being cut by 50%, Caring for my 95-year-old dad and managing All help and expenses, I feel that the stress of this for long term has brought on my diverticulitis again?!
[…] In a high-stress situation […]
Please would you tell me what kind of pain precedes an Attack? I had very little pain the first time , but lots of blood an went to the hospital an admitted an given 2 units of Platlets.
This time about half the bleeding.
The only. I noticed was low back pain are there any more I can watch for?? Thank you. Susan
Foods high in fibre definitely helps and foods to keep from being constipated. Fibre gummies and or Metamucil as directed. A stool softener as needed. For pain Use a magic pad from the drugstore heated in the microwave for twenty minutes on your abdomen. This greatly helped me. You have to constantly monitor what you eat and it is extremely important to drink at least eight glasses of water daily.Foods that have helped me are bran for breakfast, broccoli, sweet potato avocado apples, raspberries and prunes. Good luck.