A common cause of irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis: chronic distal colon distention from sedentary behavior and excessive dietary fiber

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Jul;7(5):413-9. doi: 10.1586/17474124.2013.811043.


A multidisciplinary analysis restricted to validated reports was applied to the cause and management of irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular formation and subsequent diverticulitis. There is evidence that they are linked - both caused by attenuation of gravitational aid to distal intestinal motility, resulting in damaging chronic intestinal distention. Both irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular formation and subsequent diverticulitis have worsened in recent years owing to excessive dietary fiber intake. Potential solutions include augmenting weight-bearing time, moderating dietary fiber consumption, stimulating distal colon evacuation through chemical means and developing pharmaceuticals to block the reflexive distal colon distention associated with fiber consumption. Amplified intestinal distention commenced when all classes of Renaissance Europeans became the first group in human history to wear shoes, which led to a sedentary lifestyle that moderates gravitational aid to colon motility and evacuation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Defecation
  • Dietary Fiber / adverse effects*
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / etiology*
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / physiopathology
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Motility
  • Gravitation
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / etiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*