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GI problems related to anxiety??

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Old 09-16-2006, 03:15 AM   #1
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GI problems related to anxiety??

In July 2005 I had UPPP surgery for sleep apnea (where they remove the uvula and trim the upper palate), followed shortly by inhalation pneumonia and my first full blown panic attack (tachycardia). I have had anxiety and OCD for many years while taking care of my family and working full time. My husband is on disability so I am the primary breadwinner. Then I developed acid reflux and was diagnosed with a mild hiatal hernia and gastritis. Despite being on a full load of meds (ratinidine and prevacid), I have experienced many GI symptoms including chronic nausea, coated tongue and lack of appetite. Gallbladder, upper GI and other tests came back clean. I am now scheduled for abdominal and sinus cat scans since I also have a lot of nasal congestion. My doctors have suggested that these symptoms can be caused by anxiety, which I have denied up to now. But now I am beginning to think they may be right--I have been obsessed with my health and now these GI problems since the nightmare of my surgery (which I'm sorry I had).
Has anyone had similar GI problems, and can you suggest ways I can get my appetite back? A guess a visit to my psychiatrist (rather than the GI doc) might be the way to go.

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Old 09-16-2006, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: GI problems related to anxiety??

Over 14yrs. I have lost my appetite after each occurence of my anxiety disorder. I stay on meds for about 3yrs. and go off for about 3 or 4 yrs. until I relapse again. My anxiety attacks come back after something triggers them and I then lose my appetite every time. I have just started to eat more regular and have the feeling of hunger after 10 weeks of being on Buspar. It always takes about that long each time. I don't know any tricks to get back your appetite except for taking an anxiety medication. Your doctor would probably suggest which one might work for you.

I cannot afford to lose any weight and so I must eat during this period of adjustment whether I want to or not. It is awful to try and eat when you are not hungry. I cannot stand the smell of certain meats or spices. I can smell a chinese restaurant a mile away when my anxiety is extreme.

I try to eat small amounts of food throughout the day, such as bananas, small cookies, half of sandwiches. I rely heavily on drinking my calories. I drink a powdered protein drink from GNC that is loaded with vitamins and calories that you mix with milk or water and tastes really good. It comes in a few flavors. I also drink breakfast drinks, fruit juice, regular 7-up, chocolate milk and vegetable juice. It is much easier to drink things when you have no appetite.

I know what you are going through and I wish you well soon. I really love to eat and it really is a bummer when everyone around you is chowing down and you just feel does so not sound good. It is a symtom that is not as common, for most who suffer usually eat more or have an increased appetite.

Old 09-16-2006, 07:22 PM   #3
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Re: GI problems related to anxiety??

Thanks for your reply. I am going to try really hard to stop focusing so much on my health and try to enjoy myself more, and hopefully eating will be part of that. I think being on soft foods after my surgery (and having inhalation pneumonia where I "inhaled' food into my lungs), plus the restricted acid reflux diet has actually made me afraid to eat certain foods. I also think my stomach shrunk because I get full a lot quicker. I miss some of my favorite foods such as oranges and pizza but still can't bring myself to eat them.
This is all very weir

Old 09-16-2006, 11:23 PM   #4
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Question Re: GI problems related to anxiety??

cecropia, What is this drink mix that you get from GNC? I would like to give it a shot since I'm in a similar situation and many times loose my appetite for days at a time.
- Vasel

Old 09-17-2006, 05:23 AM   #5
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Re: GI problems related to anxiety??

The GNC drink is called (Weight Gainer 1850). It comes in a 4lb. jug and comes in German Chocalate, Vanilla and I think Strawberry. One cup of powder to one cup of whole milk gives you about 646 calories or if that is too strong for you, you can adjust it to half a cup powder to one cup of whole milk for about 398 calories. If you try it make sure you pour your milk into a blender first and then the powder after and blend for a minute or so. It is very hard to mix without a blender.

I need to take in about 1700 calories a day to maintain my weight for my heighth and activity level. When added to my juices and some solids throughout the day I can keep this goal until my natural appetite comes back and then I don't need it anymore.

Body builders use this a lot to help them get the calories to build their muscles. I hope you like it.

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