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10962624 tn?1421807972

First post! Explaining my situation...

Hi everyone. Recently I've been feeling crappy (literally). Over the past two weeks my appetite has swindled down to almost nothing. I have small bouts of diarrhea on and off followed by days of constipation. The doctor thinks its some stomach virus thats just taking a while to go away but to me it feels different. I've had stomach viruses before and they've never taken two weeks to exit my system. I have frequent dizzy spells and lower abdominal pain on my left side. From all my research I definitely think this could be IBS.

This feeling is all new to me, I'm a male, 24, and have been staying relatively active playing soccer, etc. I drink socially and do not use tobacco or any other drinks. All my life I have been a worrier, stress has just always been present. I feel like my anxiety maybe the main source of what has kicked all this into high gear! I recently graduated college and now I'm trying to start my life, new career and everything at once. It is stressful! I've been missing work a lot lately over all of this.

My latest trip to the doctor's I was given meds to help calm nausea, which may have been a misdiagnosis. I never really feel like vomiting, it is more dizzy spells and lightheadedness. And a stool sample kit which I have since completed *shutter* and sent back in for testing to be done. I'll be awaiting the results next week and have set up an appointment on Friday (10/31/2014) to go over results.

I have yet to really discuss my anxiety with the doctor as I am apprehensive towards going on any anti-anxiety meds. I've always been the kind of person to stay away from medication as I have always thought myself healthy enough to deal with it on my own.

I wanted a place to kind of talk about what is going on with me and document it just in case anyone in the future finds themselves in a similar situation!

Thanks
24 Responses
Avatar universal
You have 2 issues, physical and mental.

PHYSICAL You are convinced that doc has the wrong diagnosis, however you have no medical training so to me it is just a hunch and MAYBE causes SOME of your anxiety. Since you have test results next week, there is nothing to do on the physical side except wait.

MENTAL Having constant or painful indigestion or stomach pain is enough to make even a calm person anxious so short term anti-anxiety medicine used SPARINGLY might not be a bad idea. Ativan or something like that lasts half a day or much less depending on the person and can help you over a panicky stretch. Doc can advise you about what is appropriate. Be honest with doc, and don't hold anything back if you want him to make the best decision about meds. When I suffered from anx years ago over a year period, it would get very bad very quickly whenever a stomach pain would occur.
10962624 tn?1421807972
Thank you! You are truly right, I'm making this whole situation worse on myself by worrying about it 24/7. My test results came in yesterday. No parasites or anything like that in the stool tests. My blood work was basically all normal, except a few things like really low blood sugar levels and other things spawning from that im guessing (Low ALT levels, etc.). That must be because I've only eaten soups, saltines, and bananas over the past week or so. I will talk to my doctor this week about anti-anxiety meds, I'm cautious about them because I know some can be highly addictive.

This morning I was very nauseous, and had to take a prescribed pill for that. The past two days I've sometimes had large amounts of mucus with bowel movements, which I have been told is normal, (stomach lining produces this to help itself heal), but I still can't help but become anxious. Being a pretty much healthy person all my life this experience is taking a toll on me mentally.

I'm suppose to be receiving a call tomorrow to see a GI specialist, so we'll see where things go from there.  
Avatar universal
" That must be because I've only eaten soups, saltines, and bananas over the past week or so."
You came up with that diet or doc? You can try a bland diet for a few weeks. Google it for foods to avoid like spice, tomato especially ketchup, etc.and ask the GI what kind of diet to be on, but you need protein for one thing that you have been missing.
SIP lots of water, because it is a low tech way to dilute stomach acid. I had gastritis for 5 years and took meds and avoided the bad foods like the ones I mentioned above and was usually ok except for maybe once bad day a month, then it all went away 2 years ago.
Use any short term anti-anx med sparingly. I took up to 4 Ativan per day for a few months and stopped them the first moment I could. I had zero addiction cravings for it so if you are just using as necessary you will likely be the same.
10962624 tn?1421807972
Doc told me to eat broth soups to help with some of the lightheadedness and the dizziness, which it has helped with that quite a lot. The broth helps replace salts and minerals in my body which I haven't been getting from water. He told me to stick to easy to digest foods, nothing overly greasy or fatty, and the temperature of things I eat should be mild/warm. He said doing this will help my stomach get back to a more stable state. I will def go over diet plans with the GI, I feel like this is the area that I haven't got much information on at all. Because, like you said, I haven't been getting nearly enough proteins, sugars, etc. with the way I've been eating.

With anti-anx meds were any of the side effects prominent when you took yours? I know with the nausea pills I have now I'm reluctant to take any unless I absolutely have to because of the "may cause dizziness" side effect. With my mind, if its a possibility, I'll get it. lol

And thank you for talking with me birdie, it really helps!
Avatar universal
I am guessing that you are mixing up ST and LT anti-anx meds which are totally different and LT will not be applicable for your case. You should go over this ST meds issue with doc so you can make the right decision one on one, which CAN'T be done here.
The meds affect different people differently I would try one in the presence of someone you know to make sure you act logically on it, because my boss said she did weird things in the dentist's office, however it didn't do anything like that to me and I took it at work etc. for months. I imagine one test will show how you react but anyone is free to contradict me here if they know better.
11001779 tn?1414470301
I am very sorry about this, IBS is no fun from my experience. The constant farting, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting, is not fun at all and nobody deserves it. I am a worry wort myself and when I stress I get diarrhea, when I have a nervous laugh I fart and if I am anxious I vomit. I don't know if this sounds familiar to you but this is my personal experience. Hope I helped.

poopy poo jk
10962624 tn?1421807972
Thanks guys. Yesterday I went back to the Doc and went over all my tests (blood,stool) and she found nothing of concern. I told her about my constant anxiety and she prescribed me short term 10MG Buspar meant to be taken twice daily. She only prescribed it to me after I pushed the subject. She believes I do not have IBS because she said "IBS normally isn't trigger from one sole event."

Well I came home and took one pill of the Buspar at noon and the day went along fine, I did feel calmer somewhat. But towards the end of the day, around 8pm I felt miserable. I felt like a zombie. I had no emotion, anxiety slowly returned, and a headache when I went to bed at 9pm. I woke this morning feeling somewhat better, had a bowel movement which didn't happen the day before because I was constipated. Now today I have gone three times so far, the later two being somewhat loose movements. I still feel like **** and I am a total shell of my former self 3 weeks ago. I am scared to retake the Buspar from how it made me feel before.

I am still slowly losing weight, Doc thinks thats from not eating. I have been forcing three meals a day onto myself to try and gain some weight back but it dosn't appear to be helping. I have no energy and I feel like this is all slowly driving me insane. I just want relief from somewhere.
Avatar universal
" I felt like a zombie. I had no emotion, anxiety slowly returned, and a headache when I went to bed at 9pm"
This is pretty much what you were feeling before, so you can't blame Buspar for a bad evening. You got some relief for a while yesterday so the med might not have a long enough effect for you to be relaxed for 8 hours, and you might be just confusing that issue with the idea Buspar brought the bad feelings you got.
You need to focus on what doc said, if you are to achieve peace. You likely don't have IBS, so if you can accept that diagnosis you will likely feel much better. No need to go into daily recap of when you have bowel activities because we all have them and doc says you don't have IBS, so the more you focus on normal things like this thinking they aren't normal, the more of your energy is unproductive.
I am not a fan of taking meds unless necessary but if doc gave you a script and it works you might need to use it to get you relaxed so you can remember what that feels like. Anx can become all encompassing to the point it isn't possible to remember what normal life was like. So although I am saying you might get relief from Buspar, you have to do your part if you can, and realize the disease you have been worrying about doesn't exist so that worry has to stop IF YOU CAN. Some people can't get over their fears, so not everyone can be anxiety free, but realize you are worrying about something that doesn't exist and perhaps that will help you put it into context.
You aren't eating and therefore are losing weight. That means you have to both eat and stop worrying in order to get proper digestion.
10996785 tn?1432816577
Hey Matty. Long time anxiety sufferer ( I'm also an alcoholic). Took Xanax last 14 years until I started abusing them. Down hill I went, slowly sinking to my bottom. I suggest you find a Doc who understands addiction as well as Anxiety disorders. There is help out there so put your trust in a good Doctor. Benzo's can help but please be careful. That's all I have for now. GOOD LUCK to you.  
11013830 tn?1414561463
Hello there! I have similar symptoms as you, actually I am experiencing them right now, so you are definitely not alone. Since my symptoms started happening a few days ago, I can barely function, let alone relax. Relaxing is just not an option for me, my symptoms get worse. I have the same issues, especially with loss of appetite. I have to force myself to eat, I also have a hard time falling asleep naturally, idk if you are experiencing that as well. From reading your post I think that it's time I go see a doctor as well because I too am starting to forget what it feels like to be normal. Thank you for posting your symptoms, it helps to know you are not alone!
10962624 tn?1421807972
I didn't take the buspar I was prescribed yesterday and felt ten times better. That may be in my head or it may not be so I wont blame the meds for how I was feeling the other night. I tried getting out more yesterday, went into work some, went to a soccer game, did things to try and get my mind off it. Some things helped greatly, there were moments yesterday where I wasn't thinking about this at all and my stomach felt fine. This has come down to me being so anxious, thinking about it all the time, that its actually putting my stomach in knots. So birdie you are right about that, I def have to try and keep my mind off this and try and get my mindset back to that normal lifestyle thinking. Still not a strong appetite just yet, working on that.

Lizzie sorry to hear you are feeling bad too. Try and do small things to keep your mind off it if you can (video games, music, drawing, etc.) that is what is kind of helping put my mind at some ease. Going to the doctor's def helps ease the mind some, the abdominal cramping medicine I got really helps calm me towards nighttime and helps me sleep. So maybe they'll give you something to help your situation. The way I see it, if you feel like crap seeing a doctor never hurts!
10962624 tn?1421807972
***UPDATE***

The battle is still ongoing with me. My anxiety seems to come and go. I take the Buspar when it gets pretty bad, sometimes I feel it helps and sometimes it doesn't. My bowel movements are still sporadic. My appetite is still extremely low even though I've been eating more food. I'm not eating like I use to because I simply can't bring myself to eat a lot. My weight is now concerning, I'm at 119 down from 133. There were a few days where I felt better but today I feel like I've slipped back down to square one again. I'm fatigued and have no energy and back to letting myself worry because I know something is not right. I have no idea if I should go see the doctor again, I'm not sure if it is even helping to see her.

At this point my mind is tired of the constant worry. Should I be requesting screening at this point? For possible colon cancer, ibs, or other diseases? I feel like after three weeks of this I should have more concrete answers than I do.
Avatar universal
No wonder you are losing weight. "My appetite is still extremely low .This has come down to me being so anxious, thinking about it all the time, that its actually putting my stomach in knots."

Again, stop with the constant bowel movement updates - there is no diagnosed illness and no one can do that from here, so you are hoarding in your mind what you call "important data on your bowels" and what is likely just junk information that you obsess over trying to make a diagnosis from it.

"sometimes I feel Buspar helps and sometimes it doesn't." This should be discussed with doc, and you can go over all the above with doc at that time to see what he thinks - whether or not you have a malady you need to find ways to get your weight back to normal.

Avatar universal
Your first post " lower abdominal pain on my left side. From all my research I definitely think this could be IBS. "
Doc said it can't be IBS, so it is time to give that self diagnosis career up although you still don't per you last post, Give that one up before you talk to him.

Having ab pain is enough to drive anyone batty, so your anx is pretty natural and I have been in that situation so we have something in common. Try to accept the fact this is likely going to pass, per doc but I know the anx is not something you can just turn off easily so be honest with doc.
10962624 tn?1421807972
Thanks Birdie. It's the weight loss that is making me feel like I'm running in place I guess. Even after eating more foods, a little more each day, forcing soups, chicken, breads, etc. with no appetite still. Then getting on the scale and seeing I'm still losing weight is disheartening. I know I need to stop the self diagnosis stuff and I'm really trying, it is tough though! If I could just see a little progress somewhere, weather it be on the scale or in my mood/energy, it would probably help go a long way. I just haven't seen it yet.
Avatar universal
I'm the same as you natty, I can't eat, I haven't eaten or slept for 5 days
10962624 tn?1421807972
Went to doc today and I am now on 10MG Lexapro. She isn't too concerned with the weight loss, I have to really try to start upping my calorie intake. I have to start drinking Ensure now as well. Really just trying to get my constant anxiety under control now. Well leave updates in the future as I continue to take the Lexapro.
10962624 tn?1421807972
Going on day three on Lexapro. The first day I had a huge headache but last night had no side effects at all. After dinner last night felt my stomach rumbling for about an hour or so, not sure if thats truly internal or my anxiety knotting up my stomach again. Still no appetite at all. I've been waking up every morning with slight shakes and thinking "Why is this happening to me?" and "Why do I feel like this? What happened?" I miss my old self. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will get that relief Lexapro is suppose to bring. Until then I still feel the same.
480448 tn?1426952138
I've been waking up every morning with slight shakes and thinking "Why is this happening to me?" and "Why do I feel like this? What happened?" I miss my old self. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will get that relief Lexapro is suppose to bring. Until then I still feel the same.


It's very common to experience an increase in anxiety initially when starting Lexapro.  The "jittery" feeling (like you drank too much coffee) is a common start up side effect that for most people, will begin to improve, and then subside after about two weeks.  You have to give it time.  Remember that Lexapro won't work overnight....you have to expect that it may take 4-6 weeks (even possibly longer) before you notice obvious improvements in your anxiety symptoms.  Lexapro has a pretty good track record, so hopefully it will help you.  Take it every day, around the same time of day.

Are you in any therapy?  You could really benefit from that, specifically CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) if possible.  While the Lexapro will hopefully help to control the symptoms of anxiety, therapy is where you learn how to change your thinking.....dismiss those "what if" thoughts that keep you stuck in the cycle of anxiety.

Until you've given the Lexapro time to work, and have started some therapy, the VERY best thing you can do is keep yourself as distracted as possible.  Throw yourself into a project, even if something mundane like cleaning out a closet or drawer.  As you've already found, the less time you spend ruminating and analyzing every sensation, the better you feel.  That's anxiety for you.  Our minds are our own worst enemies.  You may have to really push yourself, there will be times you won't want to do anything, but I cannot stress enough how much it will help you.  And, stay away from Dr. Google.  NOTHING good will ever come from an anxious person searching the internet about symptoms and illnesses.  That's like throwing gasoline on a fire for your anxiety.  You have to be proactive and take these necessary steps to help yourself, while you're waiting on the medication to help with the symptoms, and hopefully for therapy to start.

Hang in there...let us know how you're doing.  You're not alone, that's for sure.
10962624 tn?1421807972
Thank you! I know Lexapro is going to be a long waiting game for any kind of relief and I'm trying to mentally prep myself for that wait. Hopefully it pays off in the end. I'm trying to keep myself positive and tell myself the increased anxiety is a hill I have to get over for the meds to kick in. Its just hard, anxiety is unforgiving.

In my mind I still believe that something is wrong with my irregular bowel movements and digestive problems. And I know I know, I'm suppose to not be hung up over it, everyone has bowel movements but for me its not normal. The weight loss and no appetite only increases my anxiety. I feel like the anxiety itself is spawning from a real problem that is going undiscovered and untreated if that makes sense? Despite my doctors reassurance I still can't help but feel something is wrong.

I asked for a colonoscopy or a scan but she wants to wait and let the GI I'm seeing on Dec. 9th make that decision. I hate the constant waiting around, it doesn't put my mind at ease at all. lol

I'm not in therapy but I do think that might help and have it on my list to discuss with Doc on my next visit in two weeks.
Avatar universal
"everyone has bowel movements but for me its not normal."
You need to stop that self diagnosis, because it is just a disguised variation of what ng said about MrGoogle - it provides no relief for anx people and throws gasoline on a fire.
In a meditation book I read this quote "The difference between a human and animal is the human can control their thinking." TO elaborate, you can't control your thoughts, but you can read about ways to push disturbing ones to the side (such as the distracting ng mentioned) until a better day comes.
10962624 tn?1421807972
***UPDATE***

Today marks one week on Lexapro. I have had to deal with several side effects, mostly including nausea, lightheadedness, increased anxiety, and some diarrhea. As of today I'm feeling somewhat better I suppose, I'm not sure how much of a mood lift I should expect from Lexapro and I know it is still relatively early only a week in. Last week I had to go to the ER for dehydration and received two bags of fluid through IV and a CT scan.

The CT scan showed nothing major and the doctor reassured me I can put colon cancer out of my mind. I'm still battling loss of appetite, I still have no cravings for food but have tried increasing my calories and liquid intake. Today I finally saw a positive result on the scale by gaining a pound and a half back. Hopefully from this point on the positive vibes continue.

I've decided to try going gluten free, I feel like every time I eat wheat or some type of break my stomach goes crazy with the rolling gurgling sounds followed by diarrhea. Two days going gluten free and my stomach has calmed down considerably, I haven't discussed this with Doc but plan to on my next visit.
10962624 tn?1421807972
*bread
10962624 tn?1421807972
So I've been on the gluten free diet for almost a week now and my stomach seems to have settled down considerably. I will still have nights where I hear it rumbling but it is no where near as bad as it was. I did a blood test to check if gluten was in fact the problem and I am waiting on the results for that. My GI appointment was moved up to this coming Monday so hopefully I can get some more solid answers then. It maybe anxiety to completely blame! We shall see.

As for the Lexapro I had a few really bad days with increased anxiety and I'm coming up on two weeks on the medicine. I have been increased to 15MG a day and yesterday was the first day I felt my anxiety levels decreased tremendously. I went through the whole day and enjoyed a lot of the activities I was doing, I kept myself busy. Today my anxiety has returned and I'm thinking about it a lot more, my head is light/dizzy and I'm depressed that I'm having a bad day after such a good day. I thought maybe I was in the clear and things were on the up. I'm assuming in the first few weeks it is normal to have a good day followed by a bad day? I hope so at least.
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