This is my first post ever on a message board like this, because before January 9th of this year I considered myself a very healthy human being. The last two months of my life have been a health nightmare and I'm hoping someone can give me some insight into what could be causing these issues and / or tell me I'm just crazy. I'll lay everything out in a timeline, so you all can get an idea for how this all went down. I should note that I am a 28 year old male smoker who exercises frequently. I know they seem like an odd combination, but I can't seem to kick the habit. I had surgery last January('08) for a sports hernia and had epiditymitis about 6 months after the surgery, which I believe may have been a side effect of the surgery.
January 8th - Went to work as normal and came home after work. My wife was still working, so I decided to go out for a run. I ran 3 miles, came back took a shower and waited for my wife to get home. We sat up and had 3-4 glasses of wine each(I know this might be a little excessive) and went to bed.
January 9th - I wake up with a moderate headache, which I assume is from the wine. I am a moderate drinker now(maybe 2-3 nights a week) and used to be a heavy drinker in college. In any case, I get to work and my headache starts to turn into a lightheaded feeling. As I'm leaving lunch witha couple of colleagues, I have what I can only assume to be the first panic attack I've ever had. I end up at the ER, they do EKG, CT Scan and Chest X-Rays and everything looks fine. They chalk it up to Bronchitis and send me on my way with antibiotic 1 and prednisone.
January 10th - February 9th The constant lightheadedness / shakiness starts and lasts for the next 4 weeks. This accomponied by 3 more panic attacks, one of which lands me again in the ER. This time they do a full blood work up, check my thyroid and a thoracic and Brain MRI on the 9th.
February 10th - I go to my GP and he tells me that my Brain MRI is clear and it isn't anything to do with my lungs, heart or head. He does say I have a sinus infection and puts me on antibiotic #2. He sends me on my way and for about 2 days I start to feel better for the first time in a month.
February 13th - Present I wake up and feel extreme nausea. I shake it off, go to work and by lunch time the nausea is worse. I feel like I have to have a BM, but I don't or if I do it's very little. I feel like I have to throw up, but actually never do. The nausea continues on and off to this day a month later. My BM has changed colors and consistency almost everyday. I don't see any blood or anything, but honestly wouldn't know what to look for. I started taking a body detox formula about 4 days ago hoping this would fix my ailment, but it only seems to have made it worse. I'm also taking a probiotic. I really don't have any stomach pain, but the nausea and lightheadedness makes me feel like I could pass out, but again I don't. My doctor put me on Xanax(1MG) and is convinced it's Anxiety.
The Xanax helps some, but the nausea is still there. I do notice that when I start to get a panic attack, I get an intense burning sensation in my stomach and esophogus. I feel like crap all day and it consumes me almost 24/7. The only time I feel better is when I sleep. The triggers for the feeling like crap seem to be almost everything. I've convinced myself I have Cancer or some other horrific stomach disease. Has anyone else ever experienced this sort of thing and am I crazy or could this actually be something wrong?
Thanks for any help. Below is the complete symptoms list.
Stomach discomfort- Casuses Panic
Nausea Constantly - Causes Panic
Odd Head palpitation sensations
Can't stand the cold at all. Fingers and feet go numb
Light Headed - Has been less lately but comes and goes and sometimes feels like I am going to pass out.
Anxiety - Brought on by just about anything short of sitting on my couch at home and even then it occurs sometimes.
I'm sure I forgot some.....
Just from reading this it's obvious. The alcohol (hangover) the next day is making you worry about everything. people forget that no matter if you feel like you have a hangover or not, your body always has a hangover and works on getting rid of the alcohol the night and day after drinking. Thing is, people like us who have anxiety notice it MUCH more than a normal person would who goes out for drinks. reason is we are so in "tone" with our heartrate, any weird tingling senastion sin our head, that we just think it's something bad happening. Even if you try and think it's nothing, it will hit you like a shock and you will be like "what was that" and that just starts the cycle of worry.
I'm not going to tell you not to drink, cause i myself still do but you have to realzie the effect that drinking is going to have on your mental well-being. Day after i drink, my stress/anxiety/blood pressure is higher. usually takes a day to get fully out of my system when everything feels fine. Then everything levels off and i'm fine. You should know! how good do you feel the day after when you don't drink?
Thanks for the quick reply. I feel better the days after I don't drink, but the anxiety is still there along with the stomach issues. No doubt that the alcohol intensifies these, I'm just concerned that symptoms remain well after I have had a few drinks. I've basically eliminated alcohol completely from diet. Occasionally over the past two months I've had a drink or two.
I think that you should see a gastro doctor. A lot of the symptoms you have maybe due to gastritis, Gerd or Acid Reflux and have nothing to do with cancer. You might even have an ulcer and need medication to heal it.
About 5 years ago I had the same symtoms as you do (except lightheadness) plus pains in my stomach. Was convinced that it is cancer, was afraid to go to the doctor, but my husband made me to go. I had endoscopy (absolutely harmless procedure) and was dx'd with peptic ulcer.
Was given drugs to heal it, no coffee, no alcohol, some diet changes and it was gone. Many times gastritis or ucler are due to bacteria and antibiotics are absolutely NEEDED to heal it.
So, please go see gastro. You will have a peace of mind.
God, I am so sorry for you, really. I had the same thing with nausea/stomach stuff & anxiety. Tests and tests and more tests, and the ONLY thing I can do is just try to calm down and hardly eat anything (I actually really like eating very little, I feel better). You're fretting about it and it is making your stomach worse -- your gastro system is very sensitive to anxiety. I am nearly always shaky and anxious and have had the most outrageous stomach issues that correlate with my stress. So while you may want to go to a doc for a peace of mind, you should really just do what you can to try to calm down and realize how closely linked your stomach is to your mind.
Once burned by milk you will blow on cold water. - Russian Proverb
Thanks, I'm actually going to the doctor again on Tuesday. I'm really starting to think it's all Anxiety. It seems to come and go throughout the day. I feel it the worst first thing in the morning and again around 5 at night. The feelings are very strong when I'm in a meeting(which unfortunatley is 50% of my day). The problem is that I am constantly thinking about it and it consumes me. I read these threads constantly, over analyze everything and even as I write this right now, I'm starting to get lightheaded. If it wasn't for the lightheaded feeling, I would pass it off as stress, but I can't get past the head feelings. I always feel like I will pass out, but I don't.
The Xanax helps, but maybe the dose needs to be higher, which is why it comes back around 5 PM at night. Anyone else out there taking Xanax go through the same thing? The smoking makes it worse, but I've given up drinking caffeine and alcohol for now. Despite cutting those out, it's still there.
Regarding the possibility of GERD and a stomach ulcer, I've long suspected an ulcer from my excessive caffeine intake prior to this. I've taken antibiotics and it hasn't ever seemed to clear it up. I guess we will see in the next few weeks. I'm supposed to be going to Mexico in 1 week, which scares the hell out of me. What if something happens while I'm there?
I feel you on the ulcer front -- I feel I am long overdue for an ulcer, simply because of nerves and use of a lot of ibprofen/naproxen.
I know that I tend to get really anxious at night (I start fretting about money). Then my stomach starts to hurt, and I start thinking about what could be wrong, what's going on, why is this happening. It's an endless cycle.
Once burned by milk you will blow on cold water. - Russian Proverb
Had the same symptoms you had and actually it caused me to lose my appetite and lose about 10 pounds. I was always feeling nauseous and things like that. My doc asked me if the Xanax made things go away and it did. He said if the Xanax makes you feel better, that is a tall tell sign that this is all being brought on by anxiety/panic attacks. I also went to a GI and had a endoscopy done and found out that I had a hital hernia and a H.Pylori infection. Stay on the Xanax and take it 3 times a day and see if it helps. Also visit a GI doc.
Nerves can't cause ulcers. it's only AFTER you have one that more damage can be done, but being nervous can not cause an ulcer to happen.
Now everyone stop reading this topic before your new health anxiety becomes ulcers and acid reflux I already been there and done that. Thought i had bleeding ulcers and what not, i actually don't know if do or not, i always get acid reflux though after drinking beer or eating something spicy.
Thank you everyone for the advice. I just started taking 1 MG Xanax. I take it once in the morning and it seems to help. I still feel anxious here and there throughout the day,but it has gotten better. I really do think it's Anxiety and I don't want to become a hypochondriac, so for now that's what I'm chalking it up to. I'm going to request the GI tests for piece of mind, but don't expect much. The lightheadedness is what is really bothering me. I work out avidly and I can't seem to workout as much anymore. I get really lightheaded and I don'tr know if it's the anxiety or maybe something else. I need someone to tell me that this lightheadedness is common with Anxiety or explain why it is I get this. Thanks again to those for who have responded.
The intensinal issues seem to be getting better, but I still have the lightheaded / detached feeling. It seems to be brought on by just about anything. Last night I went to the Gym and after about 45 minutes of working out, I had to leave. I got really dizzy, lightheaded and had trouble focusing my vision. This of course brings on the Anxiety. I guess my question is whether it's the chicken or the egg? Do I feel this way because of a physical issu, which causes the anxiety or is it the anxiety in the first place. The lightheaded feeling is definitely more apparent when standing then sitting. I know this sounds wierd, but these episodes seem to occur in the same places. Grocery Store, Gym, Walk to work from parking garage etc. I just need to try and wrap my head around this thing,because it's making me crazy. Thanks again.
Anxiety most definitely causes lightheadedness, so can anti anxiety meds. I know because I suffer from it when I'm anxious. There are days I feel so light headed and dizzy that I can't drive. I also have intestinal issues with it. Feeling nervous will make you feel like you need to have a BM. My advice would be to give the meds a bit longer to do the job and you may need a higher dose or a different one. I would also have the gastro symptoms checked out for your own peace of mind. By the way the lightheadedness does go away when the anxiety does.
I'm having a CT done of my stomach tomorrow and have also ordered blood work based on the suggestions of others including B12 levels, Lyme disease, thyroid, adrenal etc. It's really hard to believe that stomach issues can be caused by anxiety. Some days are better than others.....this morning wasn't a good morning. My 8 month old son was up most of the night sick, so I got about 4 hours of sleep. Does the lack of sleep intensify the anxiety / stomach issues in other people. Thanks for your post vh90453.
reading your first post again to refresh, you just had a EKG, CT Scan and Chest X-Rays and everything looked fine. So you had these symptoms then and everything was fine two months ago. So why are you getting the CT scan done again? At this point wouldn't it be best to see a doctor who specializes in this field? I'm sure they do more thorough tests when it comes to intestinal problems.
Also, when i was having my stomach episodes i was a mess. I would get these excruciating pains in the pit of my stomach, not like a regular stomach ache, but a burning pain that made me want to crawl up in a ball. it ONLY happens after drinking beer, if i drink a soda afterwards! thats the only time, beers, then later on soda. Got tests done and nothing came back, although i guess it can still be an ulcer, but i'm sure one of my tests would have picked it up.
Sop then i got into my head what if it's pancreatic cancer, the i read up how it can be missed and difficult to even find, so that made me feel ten times worse. Finally ended up getting a sonogram of the chest and everything was fine, except they found a polyp in my gallbladder ( that wasn't what was causing the pain though, they found it by chance) Had to go back after a few months and they found out it's not growing so i have nothing to worry about.
I had the pain for years now and it comes and goes. I would have been dead by now though if it was something bad.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I should have specified that the first CT scan done was a chest CT. This was an abdominal and pelvic CT. I guess we will find out this afternoon. I just have so much trouble believing that these stomach issues are caused by anxiety. I'm sure these will come back fine as well.
My tests to date include
MRI Thoracic - Normal
MRI Brain - Sinus Infection
CT Chest- Normal
Chest X-Ray - Normal
CT Abdominal(Waiting on Results)
Regular Blood work - Normal
Blood panel for Thyroid(T4,T3 and all that junk) - Normal
Blood Panel for Vitamins (Waiting on Results)
Lyme Titer test (Waiting on results)
Tilt Table - Scheduled for tomorrow
I'm sure there are more that I'm missing, but if these next 2 come back normal then I'm done. I'll take the Anxiety meds and I guess I'll learn to deal feeling like crap all the time. If the dizziness and stomach problems are just anxiety, then they will go away with the anxiety medicine. Thanks again for the feedback.... It's nice to hear others who feel as crazy as you do.
Had the tilt test done today and my BP was all over the place. The drops in blood pressure they say is what is causing the lightheadedness and corresponding Panic Attacks, which continue to get worse. Good to finally have some sort of diagnosis, so it looks like BP medication and Anxiety pills until I can get the Anxiety under control. Thanks to everyone for their help and insight. I hope others dealing with this find a cause. Although it's expensive to have all of the tests, piece of mind is the only thing that I believe will help curb the anxiety. I have to say that the symptoms of anxiety these past two months have been the worst thing i've ever experienced. I used to be that person who thought people were crazy, but anxiety is real and I am definitely a believer.