Diverticulitis and Stress – See the Connection

Stress is known to be a causal factor of a number of medical conditions, from obesity to heart attack. Living in today’s busy, fast-paced world means having to cope with more serious circumstances, including a more demanding workplace, family life, and financial situation. And with the United States of America’s bailout plan crashing into pieces, it’s not a surprise that more and more people are suffering from panic attacks and depression. Stress is an enemy, but this is something most people conveniently forget – and they get the full blow of the harsh consequences.

One of the many medical conditions that are related to stress is diverticulitis, a digestive disease characterized by the inflammation or infection of the diverticula. The word “diverticula” is the medical term for small pouches that develop in the wall of the colon or large intestine. This diverticular development is referred to as diverticulosis, which leads to diverticulitis when the small pouches become inflamed or get infected. Age is considered a factor in the existence of diverticulitis – older people tend to get hit by the condition more often than the younger ones. People who are overweight or obese are also more prone to getting the disease than those who are not. And, according to a recent study, people who live stressful lives are bound to develop the condition than those who know how to handle, manage, and fight stress.

Only 20% of diverticulosis patients suffer from the disease’s progression or further development into diverticulitis. The study mentioned earlier found out that the missing link in this equation is stress. Stress is the primary factor that causes diverticulosis, a generally benign condition, to turn into diverticulitis, a serious one that can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Want to know more? Read on and find out how diverticulitis and stress are related.

It’s no secret that stress disrupts proper digestion and causes the digestive system, among other systems in the body, to deteriorate. This is because when the body is under stress, there is difficulty in delivering oxygen to and circulating blood in the digestive tract. When diverticula form in the intestinal wall, your digestive system fights them off with all its might, which collapses when oxygen and blood are suddenly withdrawn. This is when inflammation and infection are likely to take place, right at the moment when the body’s defenses become weak. It is thus vital to the prevention of diverticulitis that stress be eliminated from your body.

There are a number of ways to get rid of stress. If stress is ever-present in your life, it is best to consult a psychiatrist or therapist so you can have the treatment you need. However, if you know that the stress you’re feeling is manageable, there are plenty of exercises and activities for stress relief that you can do throughout the day. For one, devote at least five minutes after every task you’ve completed to breathe in and breathe out. Breathing is all you need to shake of detrimental feelings of anxiety, as well as make you calm and focused once more.