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Could your IBS actually be Diverticulitis?

By Danielle Elliott
from Tummy Rescue

This month inside my Tummy Rescue Hub membership, the masterclass and cheat sheet I shared with my members was all about Diverticulitis. So I thought I should share some of the information with you as IBS shares so many symptoms with Diverticulitis. If you have just been told you have IBS by your practitioner and no other conditions have been ruled out, then you need to consider this. While they share many symptoms, they are distinct disorders with different underlying causes and therefore different treatments. It’s crucial for individuals experiencing digestive issues to understand the differences and seek investigation to get answers so that your treatment can be chosen accordingly.

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. The diagnosis of IBS is typically based on a thorough medical history, symptom assessment, and the exclusion of other gastrointestinal disorders through various tests. It is considered a chronic condition, and you likely will be told by your GP that you need to put up with it. If you have had no testing done and been told you have IBS, I would suggest seeking further help. Also, know that you do not have to put up with IBS, there are many underlying causes I investigate with my patients, to help them resolve their symptoms.

Diverticulitis: A Potential Culprit for IBS symptoms:

Diverticulitis is a condition characterized by inflammation or infection of small pouches (diverticula) that can form in the walls of the colon. These pouches, known as diverticula, are more common in older adults,(although I am seeing it in younger patients in recent years). When they become inflamed or infected, it can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain (usually on the left side), fever, nausea, and changes in bowel habits.

While diverticulitis has its own set of symptoms, it’s worth noting that some people may experience mild or even no symptoms at all. This can make it challenging to distinguish diverticulitis from other gastrointestinal issues, by symptoms alone.

The Overlapping Symptoms:

One reason for the confusion between IBS and diverticulitis is the overlapping nature of their symptoms. Both conditions can cause abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, gas, bloating, and discomfort.

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the accurate diagnosis through proper evaluation, including imaging tests, blood tests, and, if necessary, a colonoscopy or other procedures. Misdiagnosing diverticulitis as IBS or vice versa can lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment, potentially worsening the condition.

Treatment Approaches:

As a Naturopath I can help patients with IBS and diverticulitis, but it is still important to know if we are dealing with Diverticulitis, as some very specific dietary, herbal, and monitoring approaches need to be taken.

While IBS and diverticulitis share some common symptoms, it is crucial to recognize the distinctions between these two gastrointestinal disorders. If you have been diagnosed with IBS but continue to experience persistent or worsening symptoms, it’s important to revisit your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation. A proper diagnosis is key to developing an effective treatment plan and managing your digestive health. I help patients navigate the medical system and support them in advocating for thorough investigations.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Tummy Rescue Hub membership, or If you would like to Download my free E-book “5 ways to reduce your bloating pain & gas” please reach me at

More about the author

Danielle Elliott_3
Danielle Elliott
– Tummy Rescue

Danielle has been working with patients for over 18 years and now gets to focus on patients who have digestive complaints in her clinic Tummy Rescue. After her husband was diagnosed with his second digestive autoimmune condition 13 years ago, she dived into the world of Gut Health and her true passion developed. Since then Danielle has self published her book “Gluten Free and Happy”, which helps people with Coeliac Disease and Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity navigate every aspect of this complicated world and to learn to protect their health but also live without fear.

In 2015, Danielle discovered the world of SIBO, thanks to Dr.Nirala Jacobi and she knew that was where she had to focus to help those IBS patients who didn’t respond. Since then she has concentrated her study and clinical focus on all things SIBO related, including completing many SIBO courses like the SIBO Mastery Program, Jason Hawlerak’s Microbiome Restoration & Functional Nutritional Lab Digestive Intensive. She now also works alongside Dr. Nirala Jacobi and her team at the Biome Clinic, consulting with patients world-wide.

Danielle, loves educating the general public through her IG & FB pages & by being a guest on podcasts for BioPractica. She also regularly writes for BioPractica and Brauer Professional, to educate practitioners on the use of their ranges.