Hello All. Just wanted to let you all in on something that I found out that was extremely helpful to me. Im hoping maybe it can help somebody else, also. This is not something that was an "end-all cure", but simply something that has drastically decreased the amount of anxiety and panic I have had. Hope it helps, here it is:
Without going very deep into my history, let me just start by saying that I have had anxiety and panic problems since I was a child. Of course I didnt know it at the time, but suffice to say Ive had it since I was 5-6 years old at least, and has varied in its intensity and duration over the years. Like alot of you probably have experienced, there would be periods where I thought it was completely gone, only to have it return and start again.
However, a few months ago, I started experiencing a large increase in the frequency and amount of anxiety and panic I was feeling. It started with the typical anxiety symptoms I had always felt: obsessive worrying, fear of many different things like driving, working, going to public places, health scares, etc, you know what I mean. What soon became apparent tho was this was much more intense than I had ever experienced. Instead of this happening occasionally, it was happening several times a day, 4-5 days a week. Things that I experienced before, but MUCH more frequently, and much more intensively, like the starting to fall asleep and wake in a panic, having panic attacks even in places I felt completely comfortable and safe, waking up with a "fuzzy" feeling that something is dreadfully wrong with me, depersonalization (feeling outside yourself), shortness of breath, tunnel vision, etc, (like I said, alot of you prolly know what I mean). It was just that now instead of this being an "occasional, happening in spurts" kind of problem, it was happening so often and attacking me so hard, that it was becoming unbearable. I also began to shake and tremble involuntarily--as if I were having convulsions--and this was something that was new to me. I really started to question my sanity. All I could picture was my family having to come visit me in an institution somewhere, thats how bad it was getting. One night in particular, I was hearing voices. No exaggeration, I was hearing "talking" in my head. Some talking directly to me, others just generalized chaotic talking. That night as I was lying on the floor, trembling and hearing voices, I thought it was over. Whatever was happening, I could not control anymore and I felt as if my life (if I wasnt dying, that is) was about to be put in the hands of my family, who would have to put me into an institution. I told nobody about this, and still havent told them the "voices" part, partly because its chilling for me to think about anymore. I was going to wait to see if it happened again, and if it did I was going to have myself commited, because I was convinced I was going nuts.
Yet---sorry for the cliche, but its true---God works in mysterious ways. A day or two after this worst of all episodes, I had to escort a young relative to the doctor. This relative has been abusing alchohol and drugs for quite awhile, and had asked me to go with him to see his doctor, as he has done a few times now because he still will not tell his parents what is really going on. During the appt. the doctor began to ask him questions about his mental state as of late. Among the things asked, was whether or not he had been experiencing any acute anxiety or panic recently. He simply said "no" and the doctor began to ask another question, when I interrupted with a "WHY?" Interestingly enough, the doctor proceeds to tell me that between the booze and the drugs, and since his some of his liver counts had been a little high, it could account for such a problem. They continued talking, but in the back of my mind I was thinking "well I dont drink, and I dont do drugs, so I guess thats not my problem." At the end of the appt. though, I still decided to ask the doctor a few more questions.
I figured since I dont drink or do drugs, this was not related, but since I was getting desperate anyways, I decided it was time to talk to my doctor. Amongst the other tests done (EKG, Doppler, CT, etc.) I had to REQUEST blood drawn to test my Liver and Kidney Function. Incredibly, my doctor had never heard of liver levels affecting anxiety and acted somewhat doubtful---until I mentioned that I had just been told by "Dr. So and So" that it was a fact. My doctor either recognized and trusted the other doctors name, or indulged me and ordered the bloodwork. Not sure which, but I headed right to the lab dept.
Cut to the following week, the results of my testing: All of those tests come out OK, except for one---FOUR of my Liver levels were high. Specifically, my Bili-Ruben level was well over max. The max for an adult is 1.2. Mine was a 1.7. More Testing. Two weeks later, after doing some of the things my doctor suggested, my levels had actually gone UP! I have been on a few different medications over time for past health problems (Blood Thinners, anti-infammitories, BP, etc), and after my levels going up, my doctor made some changes to my medicine. Also, I was not drinking nearly enough water. That might sound trivial, but its not! Between the amount of caffeine and medication I was on, my Kidneys were prolly having a hard time---and your Kidneys and Liver are SO dependent on each other, that anything that affects one organ will affect the other. I began to drink at LEAST 6 full glasses of water each day, in addition to getting more vegetables and fruit in my diet since I have always had a bad habit of skipping those alot of days.
I was still having the bad bouts of Panic and anxiety, but after talking with my doctor I felt I could handle it better. Mainly because she told me that while my levels were rather high, they were not near a fatal level, she had seen much higher than mine and were able to bring them down over time. I think perhaps thats why when I started to experience these bad episodes, I was able to convice myself that I would be ok, and the crazy thoughts and voices I heard was just garbage. It mostly worked. Hardly any quality sleep since all of this started, of course, but it was just impossible some nights to even attempt to sleep. Usually it was more of a pass-out kind of sleep, simply because physically I just couldnt stay awake any longer.
A few seemingly LONG weeks later, I noticed that this severe episode that started months ago was over! I dont know the day or time or anything, but at some point I just noticed it was over. Now, dont get me wrong---I still experience some anxiety and panic disorder problems---but it is not the strength, duration, or near-insanity I was experiencing. So the last time I went to the doctor, I wasnt surprised to find that my bloodwork showed all of my liver levels had gone down to near normal, and in fact the Bili-Ruben level was now borderline normal. The reason I mention the Bili-Ruben level specifically, is because now my doctor told me that level in particular can cause a marked increase in anxiety/panic/stress, and if it gets too high, it can make somebody delusional. Hellooooo voices, lol! Since my liver levels have gone down, I am back to my "not quite normal" self, rather than my "Im going insane" self!
Im sorry this was so long-winded, but I just wanted to share the experience for two reasons:
1) I have not been able to share the full extent of my experience with anyone, and wanted to get it off my chest. The thought of telling ppl I know that I was literally hearing voices in my head is just a bit much for me to handle. Even for the most understanding person, to hear that from someone would prolly make you question their sanity anyways.
2) To hope it maybe helps somebody who reads this. Like I said above, Im not by any means "cured" of my anxiety/panic problems, but the difference in my life is like night and day. If there was any kind of a good side to this happening, its that now when I have a bad episode, it doesnt even rank with what happened to me before. While Im sure alot of you have already had every test known to medicine and this may not help, Im hoping that some of the ppl I see post in here looking for answers might read this and recognize something. Maybe, just maybe, somebody is having a physical problem that is easily remedied, but doesnt know what it is or where to start. While this was going on in my life, I kept coming back here and looking for symptoms like mine but found none. If I would have seen that a simple blood test to check my Liver and Kidney function might reveal a problem that directly effects anxiety levels, it would have saved me not only time, but about 500 grey hairs!!
So thats it, Take Care of yourselves and if you are having problems with anxiety and/or panic and havent done so already---get your butt to the doctor! And if they dont do so themselves, MAKE them test your Liver and Kidney function. Its a simple, non-invasive test. They just draw blood like they do for anything else. And if it comes back that its all normal, then hey, at least you've eliminated one more variable on your way to getting better. GOD bless!!
You know, this is really interesting. When I had my first panic attack, they checked my liver........and many other things...........but my liver tests were high. I had to wait in the hospital for 3 days and get off all medication, and then my liver was back to normal. I'm not quit sure what brought it up..........maybe it was the medication, but I will ask my doctor about checking it again. I'm not even sure why they haven't checked it yet. Thank you so very much for all the info hun. It was a beautiful story.
BTW- I never heard voices, but I thought I was going crazy too and couldn;t even remember my families names at one point. I also shakes uncontrollably after a panic attack. I had ALL of the symptoms you had and more....
INteresting post. I don't know if they every checked my liver count. I know my cholesterol was high. They checked my thyroid which would give one the tremors but that was normal. They never checked my adrenaline. They did a cbc and that was normal. I just don't know. I was diagnosed with PTSD by a Psych and am in therapy. Just can't stand some of these body symptoms but I refuse to let it get to me like it was and have panic attacks, but the axniety is still there. The voices, I hear voices in my head, but these are voice of the higher self trying to communicate to you. If you hear nasty voices, and you're not scizophrenic, well it's your mind fooling you into thinking you're going crazy, but you're not.
This makes a lot of sense. The liver is one of the largest organs in your body, and if it's not functioning at it's optimal level then its going to affect your health, and mental state. I read a great book by Dr Sandra Cabot, called 'The Liver Cleansing Diet'. One of the symptoms of a poor functioning liver is anxiety!
It would definitely be worth a try by those who have been on medications - as these aren't too great for your liver - not harmful in any way.
If you can't get the book, these are the general principles of the diet:
8 week diet
No red meat or any chemically modified food - it MUST be all natural, so no preservatives / colours / additives etc.
Very little alcohol (yes, this bit scared me but I figured a glass of red is OK of a night)
1st 2 weeks you can eat fish or chicken, and lots of vegies and fruit
Middle 4 weeks is only vegies and fish and fruit (this bit would be hard)
Last 2 weeks back to chicken and the rest.
then you can come off the diet but you'll find your eating patterns will be different and more healthy.
Remember if you want to do something like this, for the first 2 weeks or so you may feel a tad worse, as your body will be eliminating toxins.
Certainly worth a try, afterall, we are what we eat!!
Im glad to hear that this post might have informed some people! Like I mentioned, if I had read someones experience with Liver problems turning out to have such a direct affect on a persons mental health, it would have saved me alot of time and trouble!
Also I had two curious questions:
First, Im assuming the moderators edited out the type for the "watercure" link? Why do the moderators do that? I can understand that for certain types of links, but if its informative and related to the topic, why arent we allowed to post links? Doesnt make sense to me if its a harmless link that might also help somebody.
Second, I was curious about drinking a glass of Red Wine that was mentioned. Somebody told me that Red Wine (1 small glass per night) can actually help your heart and fight cancer. Is that true? Im not a drinker and dont really like the taste of wine either, but if its really supposed to be that good for you I suppose a small glass would be tolerable.
Anyways Im off to the doctors tomorrow, and will be having more bloodwork done. Im still feeling much better and back to my normal self, so Im sure that my Liver is not in bad shape or, at least not in the shape it was in before. Based on what happened when it was bad, I would assume I would know it now. Still, it will be nice to see if my Liver levels have gone back down into the normal range, since they were still borderline the last blood test. Again, take care of yourselves, and if any of this sounded familiar, get yourself to the doctor and have your Liver and Kidney function tested! GOD Bless!
A glass of red wine is good for you (so the new research is increasingly saying). It's got heaps of antioxidants in it, and it's great for the heart too. It's just that the liver cleansing diet stipulates no alchohol at all.
Good luck at docs, and thanks for posting such an informative topic!!!
This is really interesting...over a year ago, when all of this started for me...my liver enzymes were very high. I think it was my alt and ast. They have now lowered, but are still a little above normal.
Yes definitely something to consider. My ALT was pretty high also, in addition to a few of the other levels.
Weird thing is, I had another one of those "shaking" episodes last night, like a Panic Attack I suppose, but its the first one Ive had in awhile now. I just had more bloodwork, so Im hoping to hear from my Doctor on Monday to find out how my levels were.
Another weird thing: I would almost be happy to hear that my levels were up again, simply b/c it would mean that my Anxiety/Panic is not getting worse. At least by knowing its something physical, the last weeks have been more tolerable for me b/c I know Im not getting worse or going crazy. Finding out about the connection b/t Liver problems and Anxiety really helped me move into the "acceptance" phase of my problems with anxiety. I mean, its not like Im totally cured of it or anything, but having been to the far side of Hell with it gave me a new appreciation for my problems in the past.
However, just having another episode makes me fear that its going to get worse and/or more frequent again, so now Im going to have to learn to accept that this is just who I am, and find a way to deal with it, which I wasnt really doing until it got so bad I had no choice. Either way, once I know my physical health is okay, I can start really accepting and working on my mental health.
Sorry for the rambling, I guess what Im really trying to say is that considering my Liver problems, its just been hard for me to figure out which episodes are just true anxiety like I had in the past, or which episodes are being caused by a physical problem. Im still waiting to hear from the Doc, so Ill update you all once I hear from my Doctor. Take care!!
Well the results of my last bloodwork came back a little bit better than the last time, but not by much. That might explain why Im still getting anxious a bit more than I was used to, but like I said its NOTHING compared to before!
I guess it will take awhile longer before my liver is back to normal, but it will get there eventually. My doctor told me that the liver is one of the few organs that can literally regenerate its own cells---once the liver is no longer being damaged/stressed. So after a month even, the liver can begin to heal itself. Amazing!! All new info to me, and things Im glad to hear on top of it! Take care everyone!
Thank you for posting. I am linking things together now. Last year, in October, I was having pains in my stomach, like an ulcer. When the doctor took blood, my liver enzymes were high. Within 5 months later, I have had problems with dizziness, lightheadedness, trouble focusing, the tremors you explained at times, and constant anxiety. I just can't help but think that this is all related. Mind me asking but, what were all of your symptoms?
Hi Carrie. Most of my symptoms are explained in my first post in this thread, but basically they were similar to what you describe: tremors/shaking, trouble focusing, frequent and intense anxiety/panic attacks----way more than usual. As far as the trouble focusing, I remember one night I literally couldnt figure out whether my bedroom door was open---and I was looking right at it!!
I have no doubt that those things were related simply b/c once my Liver levels began to come down, most of the symptoms became less frequent, less intense, and with regards to the trembling/shaking---have completely stopped.
I think its worse for those of us who already have anxiety issues, because you think that maybe its just getting worse and thats all there is to it. But now I know that its a plain fact that something that is wrong physically can definitely affect you mentally. In fact, if your liver gets bad enough, you can start to hallucinate, even becoming delirious and violent! My liver levels were pretty bad, so its no wonder that the symptoms were getting worse and worse. If only I had been able to make the connection sooner myself, it might have saved me alot of grief, and allowed me to start working on getting my liver back to normal alot faster!
My doctor didnt seem to know about this direct connection, and I only was made aware of it thru somebody elses doctor. My doctor only indulged me based on what explained, and seemed to know more later on----probably after asking some peers about it.
There is also information about this I remember reading about on the web, after finding out about it from the other persons doctor. If your doctor seems reluctant to believe it or doesnt seem to know about it, you might even want to print it out and take it to your doctor the next appt. you have. If he/she doesnt seem to be making the connection after that even, I would consider changing doctors. God Bless!