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Avatar universal

What could cause sudden anxiety after diarrhea?

I've been suffering weird symptoms for little over a year now, but my condition got worse a couple of months ago. Last spring I started to get these sudden episode of severe upper stomach pain (below ribcage) and headache. I also started to lose my vision, so that I couldn't read normal size texts anymore. I had to buy reading glasses (and I'm a young person). I also had severe fatigue and weakness in my legs every day,so that even walking was hard. Other symptoms were tinnitus and inability to focus. I have also had shortness of breath for a couple of years. I've been tested for asthma and I don't have it. Inhlaer doesn't really help with my breathing. At the beginning of this year I decided to start taking vitamins to support my health. I was feeling a little better. Later in this spring I took a probiotic for a couple of weeks. When I stopped taking the probiotic, things got worse. I got diarrhea, that lasted for almost a month. During that month I suddenly started to have panic attacks and developed a bad social anxiety and OCD type thoughts. My physical anxiety symptoms were tingling in my arms, nausea, shortness of breath and feeling like I was going to faint. I lost my appetite, and I've now lost 6kg of body weight in under a month. I finally got the courage to go to the doctor, but she only said to increase my SSRI medication dosage. I did that, but the anxiety almost became worse. The doctor won't do any tests. I do have somewhat low ferritin levels (about 30),but according to my doctor, it can't be anemia. Last fall I got my B12 levels checked and they were also normal. After the anxiety kicked in, I've had headaches everyday. Another weird symptom is that I have bruises that haven't healed at all in months. My vision is still bad some days. I have arthritis and I have a biological medication for that, if that is important to know. Could I have some illness or deficiencies, or am I just anxious?
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1530171 tn?1448129593
I'm requesting the MedHelp Moderators for some latitude to allow the posting of
pertinent links for the benefit of all members concerned.
Auto-immune conditions are on the rise*, without any effective therapy available.
Diagnosis is extremely challenging and there is no specific medical specialty
which addresses these conditions adequately.
The closest specialty would be Rheumatology, but so far results for the average
A/I patient are far from desirable.
Diagnosis takes typically around 5 years or longer and treatment consists of symptom management at best, without any realistic prospects of cure in the horizon.
Among the biggest problems in A/I disease is the lack of funding  for A/I research.

*About 50 Million people in the U.S.A. ( estimate from the  American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association) suffering from an A/I disease.

Hey Pstina.
You seem to be doing a lot of the right things.
Going  on a wheat/gluten free as well as dairy free diet seems to help you manage your life a little easier, right?  I'm glad for you!
Gluten is usually the main culprit (with dairy being number 2), however, please read on:

In the event of cross-reactivity some foods like rice, casein, corn, yeast and others which have a very similar amino-acid  sequence to  gluten's, may cause the same response from your immune system!
Suggested reading:

Suggested  tests:
---Dr Coca's Pulse Test (free domain/free download) 1-2 weeks to complete on your own.
Fair degree of accuracy.
---Intestinal permeability  (leaky gut) test.  See "Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen"
Array 2, Cyrex Labs. Must be ordered by licensed health professional
Or look into Serum Zonulin Test
---Also look into Array 3x, 4, 5, and other ones, possibly  relevant to you from Cyrex Labs
---Elimination diets are useful but often take far too long. Gluten's effects may still be lingering around for months after it's elimination!

Also look into molecular mimicry in regards to autoimmunity, similar mechanism to cross-reactivity, but the immune system reacts to tissues in the body which have similar amino-acid sequences to foods.
Suggested reading:

I hope this helps, however, I must mention again that my comments and links
are for educational purposes and not intended as a substitute for medical advice.

Best wishes,
Helpful - 0
Thanks, I'm very happy to receive links for further reading! I was actually diagnosed with dairy allergy a couple of years ago with a prick test. That was kind of surprising to me. Haven't had milk or milk products since. I also developed a strawberry allergy out of nowhere. Right now my stomach can't handle wheat at all. First I cut out gluten, but that wasn't enough. Now I eat mainly vegetables, meat, fish and some fruits and nuts. Today I got a horrible reaction when I ate pineapple. Also yesterday peanuts made the rash in my arms worse. These intolerances seem to come out of nowhere! Pretty soon I'm only going to be able to eat meat and potatoes. I burst out laughing when I got the reaction to pineapple - bloating, severe abdominal pain and a throbbing headache that lasted for hours. Sometimes I just feel so helpless that there's nothing else I can do than just laugh at the whole situation. Something is definitely wrong with my gut and/or my immune system. Nevertheless, I'm going to keep searching for answers and solutions.

It is quite crazy how many people these days have autoimmune diseases. And how little the medical field knows about AI diseases. The lack of research funding is definitely an issue..
1530171 tn?1448129593
Hi Pstina.
Unfortunately diagnosing Sjögren’s (pronounce Show-grins, the way my Swedish friends told me) Syndrome is  very challenging to say the least.
From a practical point of view a "possible  Sjögren’s Syndrome" diagnosis (in your case secondary), may not serve you well, considering that there's only symptom relief treatment.
It takes over 5 years on the average to officially diagnose SS..
Because it is a Syndrome/Systemic Disease affecting many bodily systems and organs , the diagnosis may call for  a number of different specialists to get involved, a process which complicates matters further.
I understand patients' need to  get a dx irregardless of availability of effective treatment, however, let this be a motivating factor for you to pursue solutions and strategies outside the conventional medicine box.
You seem to be a "fast study" and motivated.
Look into the following :


Methylation is  a process involved in nearly all biochemical functions in the body.
In chronic  and autoimmune disease, most sufferers have some degree of  methylation impairment. (Usually due to genetic mutations - C677T
and /or A1298C  MTHFR gene)

The short cut to diagnosing low Methylation  function, regardless of cause, is an
MMA test along with a Homocystein test. These tests will indicate Methylocobalamin and Methylfolate levels which  when low, methylation  function
is low.

(Independently, some of the main symptoms of a functional folate deficiency -methylfolate- include anxiety, depression, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating ,poor memory and more.
And symptoms of a functional B12 deficiency -methylocobalamin- include anemia, shortness of breath, neurological  issues like nerve damage, tingling, vision changes, digestive and G/I issues, weight loss,  etc)

If you are hypomethylating - regardless of cause -  your T-cells will be low and your B cells high.
Which  means you'll likely have many food  and  environmental sensitivities along with chronic inflammation
In addition, your energy production will be diminished  mainly at the mitochondria level and the Co-Q10 production , affecting primarily  the muscle cells which have around 100 mitochondria each and to a lesser degree the nervous system cells.
Look into your underperforming body systems and functions.  Low energy levels and prolonged inflammation can easily explain  that.
In addition, methylation turns on and off genes. It helps process and breakdown toxins, xeno-estrogens (from cosmetic products, chemicals etc.), neurotransmitters
(in excess when accumulating and not broken down, serious issues like insomnia,
anxiety can arise).
In your case, in the event you have low methylation, your body's ability to detox, repair, fight infections, etc would be severely compromised since you're taking biologics.

Low battery warning.
GTG now but post again or message me if you have any questions.

Helpful - 0
Wow, thank you again for the great information! Yes, I have been studying a whole lot about these things recently and I came across the methylation subject as well. I'm quite certain I have that on top of everything else. That might explain why I didn't find any relief with cyanocobalamine, but instead methylcobalamine seems to lower my anxiety tremendously. I've just recently only learned about functional medicine, and the stuff I found have convinced me that there are so many biochemical issues that traditional medicine disregards. You mentioned allergies/sensitivities, and that is definitely something I suffer with as well. Currently I'm unable to consume milk and wheat. I literally get instant diarrhea from those two. I suspect that processed oils also increase my inflammation. Also I'm very sensitive to mold and I can smell it in different places and even on other people's clothes. And thanks for the info about what I should get tested!

I'm aware that treatments for Sjogren's is merely symptom relief - and I don't want any more medication. I only hope that with some kind of diagnosis the doctor would take my gastrointestinal and possible liver and lung problems more seriously. And maybe I would be able to get B12 shots instead of having to rely on supplements. I've read that deficient patients should always get shots to fill up on their B12 levels,and that way my gastric issues wouldn't be affecting the nutrient absorption either.

I'm quite certain my rheumatologist isn't going to take my suspicions seriously, but we'll see. Until then, I'm going to keep treating my symptoms with nutrition, supplements exercise and meditation, like I have done so far. I'll try not to get anxious when these different symptoms arise. I'm positive I'll find some answers sooner or later. Thanks again for your input - it's refreshing to exchange ideas with someone who actually understand about health issues from a holistic perspective!
Avatar universal
Hi guys. By doing my own research, I actually might have found the cause to my health problems - Sjogren's syndrome. It's an autoimmune disease just like rheumatoid arthritis, which I have, except it affects the body's mucous membranes. I just read that about one in three people that have arthritis develop Sjogren's at some point in their lives. My rheumatologist hasn't ever mentioned this to me. All my physical symptoms actually line up with this syndrome. The occasional loss of vision can be due to dry eyes. The acid reflux, malabsorption and other digestive issues are very common in the syndrome, since the stomach lining can evidently dry up. Absorption of nutrients such as B12 and vitamin D is weak, which causes additional health problems such as mental health issues, neurological issues etc. The syndrome can also affect other organs, such as the lungs, which would explain my breathing problems. Severe fatigue is part of the syndrome. There are also other common symptoms to the syndrome, which I have, such as purple rashes, dry mouth, yeast overgrowth in tongue, multiple cavities and other oral issues, since the mouth is too dry. Another indication is also high ESR, which I've had for several years and has puzzled my rheumatologist. I'm going to call my rheumatologist next week to tell that I suspect this syndrome. I guess the reason my rheumatologist hasn't considered this syndrome is because it typically occurs in women over 50 and I'm in my thirties. I don't want to have yet another autoimmune disease, but on the other I would be relieved to have found an answer to my puzzling symptoms.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Have you had blood work done? Hyperthyroidism can cause these symptoms. If you do get blood work done ask for TSH, FT3 and FT4 (not just TSH). Also, you may want to ask your PCP to refer you to a neurologist just to rule out rare brain related conditions (your brain is probably ok, just to rule this out).
Helpful - 0
Haven't had any new blood work done this year. Only the basic ones that I am required to have every three months because of my biologic medication, that monitor my blood cells. The basic blood cell tests are pretty much within normal limits, but all my white blood cell counts have decreased continuously. Also red blood cell counts has dropped and hemoglobin has dropped. Red blood cells have gotten bigger. What I have read, these indicate some anemic symptoms, but the changes are not major so the doctor hasn't got any opinion about any of them. Unfortunately that's all I know. I have left a message to my doctor and hopefully she will order some blood tests for me next week. If not, I will try to find a doctor that takes me seriously. Perhaps schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist or gastroenterologist, even though those kinds of appointment are very expensive here where I live.
1530171 tn?1448129593
PPIs and other acid reducing meds are on top of the list of de-prescribing, a fairly new field in medicine.  It's about time!

If your gastric acid levels are not back to normal (perhaps they were too low already before your controversial treatment, which would explain acid reflux symptoms as you mentioned), you will have a number of deficiencies, including a functional B12
deficiency (even if you're taking B12-unless it's B12 methylocobalmin  and preferably
in drops, taken sublingually).
Do a Betaine HCL challenge (look it up) for  self-testing your gastric acid levels.
If low you may want to take with each meal a tablespoon of Organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which contains the mother.
Also pay attention to your vitamin D levels.
As a precaution it is safe to take let's say 2000 IU of D3 daily, as long as you take K2 with it.
Make sure you also take foods rich in magnesium and do a magnesium oil   transdermal treatment (magnesium chloride flakes with water 50-50 and sprayed on the bare skin  and left on for 20-30 min. before showering) every couple days.
Extra Mg could help with headaches, anxiety, digestion and more.

And naturally, as  backhurtz mentioned, you really need to know about supplements
and any potential adverse reactions as well as  interactions  with your meds.

Oh BTW, make sure you're adequately hydrated all the time. Do not use thirst as a guide, because it may not be  reliable.  Drink spring water 1 hour away form meals.
It might also help with your headaches.

Any questions about supplements or anything else please post again or pm me.

Best wishes,
Helpful - 0
Thanks for all the tips! I've already switched cyanocobalamine to methylcobalamine and noticed a change in my overall mood within five minutes of taking it. I'm taking a tablet that dissolves in the mouth which is probably the reason why it worked so fast. The cyano one didn't work at all. I have been taking magnesium citrate and low dose of vitamin D occasionally, but I might have to start taking them more mindfully and paying attention to their impact. I really appreciate your input on all these things. I've had to study all these things by myself and through trial and error, in a short period of time, since the doctor is unwilling to test me for anything. It's good to know I'm probably on the right track. I'm really curious if my arthritis medication could also be affecting my digestion.. I talked to a pharmacist, which told me that the type of medication I'm taking is one of the worst when it comes to digestion. She told that constipation is very very common with this medication - which is what I've had for years before this sudden one-month-diarrhea episode. My doctor has no opinion on the matter. There probably hasn't been many studies on the subject, since these types of medication are fairly new.
20803600 tn?1546262537
Check for a medication interaction as well. Some medications can cause adverse effects, even with supplements or vitamins. You would need to compare each medication against each other and the otc supplements you are taking to see if there are adverse interactions.
Helpful - 0
Thanks for commenting! I checked and all supplements should be okay to take with my medication. I only have the one med for my arthritis.
1530171 tn?1448129593
Hi Pstina and so sorry about your suffering.

The sudden anxiety and other symptoms  may have to do  with  malabsorption and deficiencies, perhaps caused by underlying pathogenic infectious conditions.

You immune system, when taking biologics (immuno-suppressants) , has substantially diminished ability to fight infections.

In addition,  an undiagnosed infectious condition could be a contributing factor in your arthritis.

Finally look into the  Gut and Phsychology  Syndrome (GAPS).
You might find some information pertinent to your condition.

However,  you really need  to find a new doctor, who's willing to work with you.

I hope this helps, but please note that my comments are not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Best wishes,
Helpful - 0
Thank you for responding! I also suspect that there might be more to my arthritis. And it's true what you sais about the medication - I have had many bad infections over the years due to my biologic medication, such as several pneumonias. So it's definitely possible that there are pathogens that are behind my current health issues. Malabsorption is also very much possible. I have had troubles with my gut in the past. At some point I was prescribed antiacid for reflux, which I took for a while. Doctors didn't tell me that they should only be taken for a short period of time. I wonder if that could have something to do with not getting enough nutrients. If the meds did some permanent or long lasting damage to my stomach... According to my research, too little stomach acid can also cause reflux, which means that antiacid might have been a big mistake for me. I've started taking apple cider vinegar daily to increase acidity and see how my stomach reacts. And hopefully help absorption of nutrients. It's too early to tell if it works - hopefully it will. I have also found that B12, folate, B1, B2 and strong omega3 supplements help with mental health tremendously. Also iron supplements have helped a bit with shortness of breath. That kind of indicates malabsorption. Haven't gotten rid of my general anxiety altogether, but I can somehow function my daily tasks at the moment. The headaches, stomach aches and other puzzling symptoms still remain. I haven't heard of GAPS before, but I'll definitely look into that. And I agree that I must find myself a new doctor. It's too bad that my current doctor only wishes to treat my symptoms (and not even all of them) instead of finding out what is the root cause. Thanks again!

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