Evinature Blog


Get your tailored plan today!

Diverticulitis & Alcohol: Risks and Management

Diverticulitis refers to a condition in which pockets inside the colon become infected or inflamed. The pockets themselves are called diverticula and tend to develop after the age of fifty due to changes in the strength of the muscle tissue and/or from straining due to constipation. The condition of having these mostly painless pockets is called diverticulosis and is not considered a disease. However, if the pockets become infected or inflamed, this is called diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis is commonly experienced as a sharp pain in the lower left abdominal quadrant, nausea, and changes to the stool. An acute episode is often accompanied by a fever, and must be treated by a medical professional. Diverticulitis is usually treated with rest, lifestyle and dietary changes, and antibiotics. This article explores the effects of alcohol consumption on diverticulitis. 

Who is at risk of developing diverticulitis? 

As with many diseases, nutritional intake, gut health, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors influence our risk of developing diverticulitis. 

These risk factors include smoking and medications such as ibuprofen, Advil or Motrin (NSAIDs), steroids, and opioids. A lack of dietary fiber and low vitamin D levels have also been associated with diverticulitis. A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and excessive use of alcohol may also increase one’s risk of developing diverticulitis according to the Mayo Clinic. 

How Does Alcohol Affect Gut Health?

Alcohol inflames the intestines and damages the organs. According to a 2015 study, when alcohol is consumed regularly and in large amounts, it ‘induces a process initiated in the gut that promotes inflammation throughout the body.” 

In a review looking at the mechanisms by which inflammation is created in the gut by alcohol consumption, researchers found that “alcohol-induced intestinal inflammation may be at the root of multiple organ dysfunctions and chronic disorders associated with alcohol consumption, including chronic liver disease, neurological disease, GI cancers, and inflammatory bowel syndrome.” 

Surprisingly, even though alcohol is diffused through the upper digestive tract and then directed to the liver, within one hour of drinking two to two and a half drinks, the concentration of alcohol at the end of the GI tract, in close proximity to the colon, was found to be 200mg per 100ml. 

Alcohol has also been found to negatively impact the entire microbiota, causing inflammation in the gut, increasing the permeability of the intestinal mucosa, and disrupting the intestinal mucosal immune system. Most significantly, alcohol encourages bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. The otherwise harmless pockets of diverticula in the bowel are a breeding ground for bacterial overgrowth and the common treatment of antibiotics may offer diminishing returns.  

Is Alcohol Permitted to Drink with Diverticulitis?

While alcohol is best avoided altogether, it may be tolerated infrequently and in moderation. You can help mitigate the harsh effects of alcohol on the digestive tract by doing the following.

  1.     Prepare the gut before you drink by consuming prebiotic foods and probiotics. 
  2.     Eat a good meal before you drink.
  3.     Drink a glass of water between each drink.
  4.     Take vitamin C before and after you drink alcohol.

In terms of inflammation, it’s best to avoid drinks with high levels of sulfites or sugar, as these both directly induce inflammatory responses in the gut. 

What Helps Prevent Diverticulitis?

Healthy lifestyle choices encourage muscle and tissue strength and support a strong immune response: 

  • A healthy microbiome ensures the balance of bacteria in the gut and bowel protecting us from infection. Eat a diet high in pre and probiotics.
  • A nutrient-rich diet provides vitamins and minerals necessary to keep nasty bacteria from taking hold.
  • Regular exercise increases blood flow and oxygen circulation and strengthens and tones muscle and tissues encouraging the walls of the bowel to retain elasticity and preventing pockets from developing in the lining. 
  • Meditation and stress management practices flood the gut with the feel-good hormones of serotonin and dopamine, supporting gut health. 
  • A high fiber dietary intake reduces the risk of constipation.
  • Fluids that support gut health such as herbal teas, broth, miso soup, clean or purified water encourage the healthy flow and function of the digestive system and movement through the colon. 





This blog is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice. The content provided is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options. The claims made regarding specific products in this blog are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.


Get your tailored plan today!

For the best results it’s important to get the right dosage and combination for your specific needs

Take Assessment

Sign Up 

Stay informed with the latest trials, treatments & fresh arrivals: