Diverticular problems

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I have had nausea and anxiety for some time and gallbladder out. but now have pain in left colon area which dr sent me to a and e with. They will do,tests but i am freaking out.  How does diverticular disease start and is it related to the nausea, or something different. I cant eat mornings but can in evening very careful diet.

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    I suggest you join the group for Diverticular Disease as there is lots of very helpful information.  Doctors originally thought poor diet was the cause of DD but now the thinking is that the reasons are more widespread.  Diet is certainly a factor, but the illness can also develop in people with good diets, and was around many years ago before the development of the highly processed high fat Western diet.  It seems genetics and stress also play a part.  My aunt died in 1953, but had DD and several other older family members also developed it.

    Basically the internal pressure in the colon pushes little pockets out in the colon wall.  The usual tests for diagnosis are a Sigmoidscopy or Colonoscopy and/or a CT scan.  Again there are forums which will give you plenty of information.  Don't be scared by the stories - most people find the procedure OK but a bit uncomfortable.  Some people though do find the procedure painful, including me.  But there was a medical reason for my discomfort, due to the way I am made inside, and I had a CT scan instead.  The prep was the most unpleasant part - the procedure itself takes 10 - 25 minutes.

    When you are having an attack of diverticulitis, the symptoms are pain, fever, altered bowel movements, nausea, generally feeling unwell, lethargy depression, or any combination.  Diverticular inflammation without infection is usually just pain and does not necessarily need medication, just pain killers and heat.  Antibiotics are prescribed when there are multiple symptoms and clear signs of infection.  They are very strong and can actually make you feel worse than the illness.  It can take 4 - 6 weeks to start to feel better, but everyone varies.

    At the beginning of an attack, you should stick to fluids only for at least 48 hours, to see if things settle, and then follow a low residue (no fibre) diet until the symptoms subside.  Then you should slowly reintroduce soluble fibre, building up to a healthy low fat soluble fibre diet.  You should also consider a daily stool softener - my GP prescribes one for me - as you should NOT strain when going to the toilet - its not good for DD.  If you are given medication for diverticulitis you should also consider a good probiotic to replace the good bacteria in your gut, but I don't know if that would clash with your instructions for your diet for your removed gall bladder.  Your GP would advise.

    You might find that having no gall bladder does cause additional complications and limits your diet a bit.  I find I have no appetite first thing these days, and normally need a bowel movement before I want food.  It might be part of the cause of your nausea - I just don't know.  DD is a disease for life and must be managed.  I have been managing for 18 years now and live a normal active life.  Best wishes

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      Thank you for your comprehensive note.  It is very enlightening, much better than i got from dr.  I have only one or two questions, is the stool softener the orange granule drink as i feel too nauseous to get it down but i can take lactulose, is that ok? Also as i am on warfarin i am not sure if i can use a probiotic as i am dairy free, is there a dairy free one do you think?  The test is my main worry, sending me a bit crazy just now but i suppose it has to happen.   I do hope its not too painful.
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      There are different sorts of stool softener, not just the orange granular drink.  All normally have to be taken with plenty of water, as they act by making the bowel absorb more water to soften the stool.  I think softeners are kinder and gentler on the gut than laxatives.  Although I take a liquid probiotic I think you can get them in capsule form.  As you have other medical conditions, I think you should consult your GP about what is best to take.  Nobody looks forward to the test - it is just one of those things to get over and done with, to confirm a diagnosis and give you peace of mind.  In the USA people have to have them regularly every few years - poor them.  I look forward to the day when you just swallow a camera capsule and retrieve it at the other end!!

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