I'm a 21 year old slightly overweight but healthy male. I had been drinking a lot prior to this situation but just wine every night or almost every night. On June 6th I tried gin for the first time and I've had other hard liquors before. I drank it on an empty stomach mixed with lemon juice and ginger ale (I don't usually mix, was experimenting). I drank half the bottle and started feeling the need to take deep breaths so I stopped.
In the morning I had the same sensation, and a cough/irritation below my throat. I had every test done including EKG/Gallbladder & Liver scan/endoscopy/barium swallow/blood tests/allergies etc. all were negative aside from the endoscopy finding a 3-4 cm sliding hiatal hernia, which was so small it didn't show on the barium swallow and doesn't coincide w/ my symptoms since they happened instantly.
I saw a pulmonologist who did a spirometer and flow meter test for the lungs, it came out fine. My main symptom is an irritation below my neck near the collar bones, it's constant. The shortness of breath has lessened since that day.
I had a lot of stress right before this happened, transmission had problems, had to reformat computer, etc. I have college as well and that is also a bit stressful but I don't feel "stressed" right now, I feel calm. Is it possible to still be stressed even though you feel fine? I also notice my leg shakes a lot (restless leg) since this started.
I'm usually not anxious or hypochondriac-like but these sensations are new to me and very unsettling.
Ever since this started, my bowel movements have been strange. They drop out in strange clustered pieces that fall to the bottom of the toilet and never float. They have a "scattered" "dirt-like" quality with this powdery/murky stuff coming out of them floating all around, it looks like tiny little dots. When I flush, it all billows up in a huge cloud as if flushing flour that has sat on the bottom of the toilet bowl. It's not diarrhea but it seems to be "coated" with something strange and powdery.
This can't just be "GERD", this makes no sense. Something is in my stomach?
I was put on all types of antacids and PPI's because they thought it was acid reflux. I took Zantac/PepcidAC/Protonix/Zegerid/Aciphex etc. nothing helped. After trying those plus antibiotics and ativan because they thought it was psychological, I started burping a lot. I burp all the time now, especially when I sit up or after I eat(not when I lay down at all).
I don't burp up food, but I get an indigestion feeling like an "mmmph" as if I've eaten too much, even on an empty stomach. My tongue is coated white/yellow. My breath is worse in the morning, and I still have a cough/irritation between my collar bones that gets worse when I take a deep breath (feels air related, not swallow related).
I don't regurgitate food nor do I regurgitate acid. I don't get any heartburn and none of the antacid pills have helped. The endoscopy showed no inflammation or irritation. No one knows what it is but all I know is it started to happen after I drank the gin. I haven't drank any alcohol and I'm eating a good diet, small meals, all the recommendations for stomach issues.
I'm getting acupuncture and treatment through a naturopath, they have some good ideas, and are trying, but I have not been "cured" yet. I am wondering if any of you could give me some info on how gin could cause this and what it could be? I have a very very hearty stomach, I collect hot sauces and used to eat habanero sauce and very very large meals. I have a very high alcohol tolerance and never had this problem before, even after copious amounts, it's so strange.
All I can think of is the day that I drank the gin, I had Japanese food for lunch (Sushi and teriaki beef) along with some spicy beef jerky (the kind they keep in the plastic vats). I've had it before so I'm not sure if perhaps I contracted some stomach bug from the food and the gin aggravated it? I have no idea, but this has lasted 2 months and I'm freaking out.
Here are my stats taken by the naturopath:
Ph of 5.8 (acidic)
A pulse of 91 beats per minute
Good blood pressure and zinc levels
Low overall cholesterol, 125
High triglycerides (TG's) 137
Very low good cholesterol (HDL) 36
Very low calcium 150
Low bad cholesterol (LDL) which is a good thing, 61
A bit high in the glucose at 98 when the range is 80-95 and found my TC : HDL to be 3.4
Body fat percentage 24.7%
Again, I was perfectly fine before June 6th (night of the gin), no symptoms whatsoever. In fact, I felt 10x better than I do now even during my drinking binge days where I was having a lot of hangovers...compared to this "healthier living" and my current symptoms....
I think you can relax now. I don't think you have a disease to be "cured."
The half bottle of gin was a big assault to your liver. It made you sick all over, but you're over it now. Your liver did its job. Say thank you and promise to never assault it again like that.
I think it's the anxiety about it that is making you keep running to doctors. Stop for a while. Live well and relax. If you still have chest tightness or breathing problems, it could be due to anxiety, mild allergies, or just being out of shape.
You've tried a lot of different things in a relatively short amount of time. All these tests and treatments can be stressful in themselves, and so far it doesn't look like you have anything serious. It's normal for adults to have a lot of little pains, indigestion, and minor symptoms.
Note that some treatments - such as antacids - will have some side effects. They reduce the acid in your stomach, slowing down digestion, causing other symptoms. It doesn't sound like you need them if you don't have heartburn. The differences in your stools are very normal, and are probably due to antacids, antibiotics, or dietary change. Stools don't tell you much (even if they're green) so it just causes stress to look at them too closely. (Exceptions: If they always float, or you see blood, call your doctor.)
My advice: Increase your exercise to improve your HDL, to keep your heart and lungs strong, and to fight the negative effect of stress hormones. Stay away from gin (or stop at one or two shots). Keep working on the healthy diet and stress management techniques. Keep your diet simple and pure for awhile. Let your digestive system get back to normal.
Also, just in case… Watch out for supplements. Some naturopaths go to extremes with them. They cost a lot of money, and have a lot of ingredients and fillers that can upset your digestive symptom or trigger allergies.