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anxiety and stomach problem
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anxiety and stomach problem

In the morning when I awake up I get severe acidity.As I am giving my bachelor exam I go to give my exam.When I come back at 4 or 5 pm I eat something.After eating I start to feel uneasiness, restless and breathless feeling.I have allergic rhinitis and anxiety.While I give my exam with acidity it becomes very difficult for me to sit easily.I feel like uneasy and that I will faint.When I eat simething I get more gas in stomach which makes me feel breathless and uneasy.I am afraid of doing breakfast as I have acidity and anxiety I will be unable to give my exam easliy.I am taking medicine for allergic rhinitis and for anxiety a psychiatrist has prescribed me medicines but I will take them after exams as I have read on internet they take time to adjust and symptoms can be worst in the beginning.I have three exams left and the last one is on 24/04/2013.So what does anyone suggest?
19 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you tried eating breakfast on the weekends when you're not in school to see how your stomach does? Many of us that have anxiety also have stomach problems. When you eat nothing your stomach is empty and the acid is so irritating. If you don't want to take any meds for it then I would recommend trying aloe vera juice. You can buy it at almost any grocery or drug store and you drink it.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Yes, I agree with remar.  I think a light breakfast is probably optimal.  I also take an over the counter acid medication.  Maybe this would help you even if just psychologically?  

Are you prone to anxiety outside the exams?
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't know from your post whether you have an anxiety problem or not -- everyone gets a little nervous before important things, the adrenaline produced by it helps us be alert. If you don't suffer general anxiety but just from your stomach bothering you, then you have a gastric problem perhaps unrelated to anxiety.  One way this can happen is if you don't chew your food thoroughly.  Another way is you're eating something or many things that you don't digest well, which is extremely common given we eat many foods that aren't really appropriate for adult humans, such as wheat, dairy, too much beef.  You could have food intolerances, such as ciliac disease.  You could have food allergies -- the most common are dairy, wheat, and soy.  So this could be a whole lot of things.  What I would do after your exams are over is see a holistic nutritionist and try to figure this out -- this is an area where doctors aren't necessarily adept at, as they will give you medications that just make the problem worse by producing an acid rebound effect.  The suggestion to try aloe juice is a very good one.  Another product you can try is DGL, a form of licorice that you chew before meals.  Slippery elm can be helpful.  There are a lot of natural remedies that can help.  Some are helped by organic apple cider vinegar with the mother still in it, which can rebalance your acid/alkaline state.  So a lot of stuff out there to try to get to the bottom of this.  Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
I should add, what you describe sounds like reflux, which doesn't alter the natural approach any but it does suggest you might be eating too soon before going to bed.  Lying down soon after eating can aggravate this condition.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Paxiled, what are your feelings about the acid relieving over the counter meds like Tagamet?  That has been very helpful for me.  I find tomato or acid based foods do add to my difficulty and as I 'love' this type of food . . .  I take my antacid prior to the meal.  As I don't take the medication every day ---  but when I feel a symptom starting or if I'm giving into my craving for red sauce.  I've never had any issues with it not working??  

Anyway, interesting things we can do with our diet.  I have to moderate though in terms of giving up loved items.  

For the poster, I'd try something related to treating gerd now to see if that helps you .  good luck
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480448_tn?1403547723
I agree with the above recommendations.  If I remember from your other thread, you do have chronic anxiety correct?  Anxiety VERY commonly presents itself with GI related symptoms, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, etc.  Also, conditions like GERD can cause anxiety when the symptoms rear their ugly head as well, so the two will definitely feed off one another.  Determining whic came FIRST would be very helpful in figuring out how to manage this long term.  TRUE GERD is usually fairly easy to recognize...it presents as heartburn, and a sour taste in the mouth, and even coughing (from aspiration of the reflux material), MOST often occuring when a person lies down, usually at night.

Obviously, if the anxiety came first, followed by the stomach symptoms, then your treatment would be more focused on the anxiety, and vice versa.  SM made a good recommendation though, to treat your GI issues symptomatically, which, if you notice some relief, will help to improve the anxiety symptoms.

You can treat the kinds of symptoms you describe fairly easily with OTC remedies, just kind of try a few different things, and see if you notice any relief.  I personally like the liquid preparations for heartburn, like Maalox or Mylanta, versus something like Tums.  Just a person preference, but I feel the liquid remedies tend to work faster and are more soothing.  When you're looking at different products, I would encourage you to look for preparations that include Simethicone, which is a gas reliever, and would help that gas and bloated feeling.  You can always ask your doc if there is an OTC product he would recommend, and to check to make sure there isn't any reason you shouldn't take it.  Your pharmacist would be a good resource person too...he/she can tell you what products are okay with the Rx meds you're on, and make some recommendations.

You could give something like that a try first, along with the kinds of recommendations above, to work on being mindful of your diet, eating lighter meals before tests, or other anxiety-producing events, and steer clear of things you know may not agree with you, like spicy foods, etc.  It goes without saying that you should continue (or start) working on the anxiety issues as well, therapy can be VERY helpful.  You stated you take medication for your anxiety, what are you on, at what dose, and for how long?  Sometimes, some simple adjustments to the medication regimen makes a big difference also.

Being in school is always stressful, so you can look into some relaxation techniques as well.  Even just being sure to make time for "down time", "you" time is a start with stress management.  If you have a lot of test anxiety, you can ask for some support at school, ask to speak to an advisor, or counselor for some tips.  You don't indicate whether you're in HS or college, but both settings would offer resources for someone with severe test anxiety.  Never hesitate to ask for some extra help, or special considerations.

If the GI symptoms persist, it would make sense to explore it more with your doctor, asking for a referral to a GI specialist if warranted.  Personally, I have a hunch this is more anxiety related, and the two sets of symptoms are feeding off one another, in which case, employing all of the above recommendations may make a big difference.  IF indeed this is anxiety induced, and you don't address the anxiety, the symptoms will likely persist, and even possibly worsen.

Good luck, please let us know how you're doing!

If the symptoms do not improve./
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Avatar_f_tn
I have taked Faast + (Omeprazole/Sodium Bicarbonate) Capsules as advised by physician for 5 to 6 days and mucane and gaviscon syrup for about two to three days.I am feeling better now except I get excessive gas in my stomach which goes into head which causes a type of brain fog and later head ache? can gas go into head? what causes the feeling that gas is in head and why do we get heache after?
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480448_tn?1403547723
Could be anxiety, and no, gas cannot travel into your head/brain.  

You can always try Gas-X, or switch the Gavsicon to a product that has simethicone in it (an anti-gas agent), like Mylanta.  Ask your doc, but I personally am a fan of Mylanta, has the active ingredients to helo with heartburn, as well as the simethicone for the gas.
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Avatar_m_tn
My own opinion is to avoid all mediation for this problem, including all the ones mentioned by Nursegirl.  First of all, simethicone products can produce diarrhea, which isn't pleasant, or constipation to avoid the diarrhea, which also isn't pleasant,  But most of all, given that the poster has a persistent problem, regular use of any acid suppressant will force the digestive system to produce more acid as you can't digest protein without it.  That causes the rebound effect.  Tagamet is one of the worst, but if you just take it once in awhile it's probably not a big deal.  I learned this the hard way, because when I was in my twenties I developed an ulcer, before they discovered hpylori.  They of course gave me antacids, which were appropriate at the time because I had internal bleeding, but they had me keep taking it, which mess up my digestive system.  But this was in Berkeley, and a Berkeley doc just told me to learn TM, which solved the problem.  But later when I managed health food stores I learned about the natural approach, which goes to the cause of the problem, improper digestion, rather than treating the symptoms.  DGL and aloe vera along with other herbs coat and repair the mucousal lining of the stomach, protecting it from digestive problems, and starts to repair the damage.  Changing the diet and taking digestive enzymes helps to solve the problem, so you're not suppressing the acid the stomach must make for proper digestion.
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Avatar_m_tn
Mediation.  Said mediation.  Maybe arbitration!  Meant medication.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh, also, as to Tums, this is unabsorbable calcium, so you lose on two counts, acid suppression instead of healing and a bunch of unabsorbed calcium floating around causing the damage that causes.
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4190741_tn?1370181432
I have anxiety and GERD which is Gastroesophageal reflux disease and chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, bile flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD signs and symptoms. I have had the anxiety for many many years but only lately has GERD raised its painful head.  I was put on a prescription med and then I could eat anything I wanted without pain, but the script ran out and cannot afford any more doctor visits or tests so I take Zantac OTC only when I have symptoms and that has made all the difference for me...

If I am anxious about something, I don't feed the anxiety any food that might cause pain.  A piece of toast, a warm cut of tea usually sustains me until the anxiety causing incident is over and I am able to relax and then eat a decent normal meal

Good luck to you

M
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480448_tn?1403547723
While I agree with you in some respects, I think short-term or occasional use of OTC products for symptom control make sense, and overall, are not harmful.  

The issues I take with those (GERD) kinds of treatments are one, the GERD meds are way overprescribed and overused (OTC versions), often times without an official GERD diagnosis or without an assessment to further explore the symptoms.  

Also, I feel that people are put on the GERD meds and just left on them, without any encouragement for diet management, and suggestions to manage it more appropriately for the  long term.  It's my opinion that long-term use of these meds often create more problems than they help...especially if a person isn't sure what they're really dealing with in the first place.  

However, in contrast, some people with more severe (and actual) GERD often cannot stop taking the meds without being in misery.  My MIL is one of those.  She's been on various meds for years, and without them, she has terrible terrible symptoms.  She has modified her diet and done everything right, but the symptoms still persist without the meds.  Her symptoms are fairly well controlled as long as she is on something.  

The other products I mentioned, however, I feel would be more appropriate for an occasional or short-term treatment of the symptoms, while more exploration is done.  Just my opinion.  Like the Simethicone, unless someone is eating it like candy (which I realize some do), changes in bowel habits aren't common.  

I know this is anectdotal, but when I was working at a nursing home with a ventilator unit, most all of our patients had feeding tubes.  It's commonplace  for those people to be given simethicone to reduce gas, usually once a day, and I haven't seen any problems.  Same with post-op patients (especially post abdominal laproscopic surgery), they commonly take simethicone on a PRN basis, with no problems.  So, while I don't discount what you're saying, I think in the manner I'm suggesting, the issues you raise aren't a common concern.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I've had good luck with the tagamet.  Certainly gives me relief when I need it but again don't take it chronically.  

Luck to the poster.  I think quick relief would be great right now.  peace
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4190741_tn?1370181432
I was just reading your post and am interested in trying the
Simethicone...Usually my distress is with hard foods like chips or hot sauce and will look this up and try it....

Thank you

M
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you everyone for your support.I am fine now using (Omeprazole/Sodium Bicarbonate) capsules for 6 to 7 days.Everything is back to normal thanks to GOD.
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Avatar_m_tn
May I add that we're having some great discussions lately -- different opinions, expressed without anger, letting the poster know there are different experiences and theories out there.  Good work, folks.
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480448_tn?1403547723
I agree Paxiled!  We're usually pretty good at that though, although we have our moments...lol.

I enjoy these kinds of discussions!
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Avatar_f_tn
A low tech solution is to sip water all day. It dilutes the stomach acid. I read about it on a bland diet site, so it isn't just an umproven theory.

If the problem comes back, read up on bland diets too and try them for a while until the problem goes away. Do not eat foods that are recommmended you stay away from, no matter how much you crave them, as there is always something just as tasty to substitute in our modern grocery stores. Bland is not healthy, but not clearing the problem is unhealthier.
I have taken omeprazole when necessary, as you have, but this is not something you want to be on long term, if possible. Doc told me the researcher said they do not know if the long term effects like brittle bones users experience are from the drug, or from gastritis itself but to be safer it is best to minimize omeprazole intake.
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