What Are The Triggers Of Diverticulitis? 10 Common Causes


Smoking is generally harmful to the human body, especially the respiratory system. But its negative impacts are not only limited to the lungs and airways. Smoking can also cause damage to the digestive tract. The nicotine found in cigarettes can reduce the tone and activity of the smooth muscles of the large intestine. A study among long-term smokers showed that almost 95% of the participants had reduced colonic contraction.

The damage caused by nicotine to the colon leads to the development of diverticulitis. Even though diverticulitis is more common among the elderly, recent data show smokers can develop diverticulitis at an earlier age. For example, 85% of young patients with diverticulitis have been smoking for more than five years. Unfortunately, even e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals. 

Patients exposed to nicotine for quite some time may feel bloated all the time. They may also experience chronic pain while trying to defecate. This is due to reduced colon spasms or contractions. Typically, the muscles in the colon contract or move to slowly condense stool and move it to the end of the anus. The damage caused by nicotine to the digestive tract hinders this process.