Anyone experiencing panic attacks and anxiety from UC?

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sharry
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/8/2008 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been really having problems dealing with panic attacks and anxiety from UC. I have tried numerous antianxiety meds, but they bother me and make my symptoms worse than what I am experiencing. It seems after every flareup, I suffer with these. I haven't been driving at all. This is when I have these panic attacks, so I don't feel safe behind the wheel. Since I can't seem to take any of the antianxiety meds, the doctor suggested I go get therapy. I really don't want to do that because, well, I just don't. I know UC and leaving the house has always been an issue with me even after a flare.

My gyne told me at my last annual exam that I am menopausal. I did have a hysterectomy about 9 years ago and have no other symptoms with menopause except all of this anxiety. She put me on estrogen, but so far, I am still having these. I also still have my ovaries.

I wonder if the meds I take for UC are causing this anxiety. Have any of you experienced this?

I do take Elavil, but it does not help with the anxiety. It does, however, help me sleep and with the colon spasms at night that I experience with a flareup.

TIA :)
Ulcerative Colitis diagnosed 1996.
Asacol, Rowasa, Elavil, probiotics, Fisol Enteric-Coated Fish Oil, multi vitamins. Hate Prednisone and it hates me too!


dakotagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 5/8/2008 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
My flare in 2006 lead me to increase the dose of Effexor I was on at the time. The anxiety of not feeling well was draining.

Prednisone can also lead to an increase in anxiety.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
 
30mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate


laurar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 5/8/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sharry,

Yes, I experience anxiety at the onset of every flare. I also sometimes experience anxiety when I'm not sick, but it usually coincides with something being "off" in my digestive system. I know that many others have written in on this topic as well, and I'm convinced that there's a direct link between the two conditions.

Like you, I've tried several anti anxiety meds, all of which actually made my symptoms worse, too. The only one I've found that works is Valium, and it can be addictive so I limit myself to one per week to help with sleep and just go to therapy, meditate and do yoga to cope with it the rest of the time. I've also found that taking lots of probiotics seems to help with the anxiety too. I'm sure others will write in, but you're definitely not alone!

Laura
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Probiotics
Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm
TURMERIC!!!


JEG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 5/8/2008 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
YES!!!  Before I knew what I had in 2006 I was experiencing extrememly high anxiety b/c of the urgency from having to go to the bathroom and the panic associated with trying to get to the bathroom on time.  A dr. first prescribed wellbutrin (Wrong) and it caused a full blown panic attack.  The first one that I had ever had.  After I had that I went to a gi and a primary care doc the gi diagnosed me with uc and putme on colazol, the primary care doc put me on lexapro (with xanax to take as needed until the initial anxiety caused by lexapro subsided).  It was great.  I went off lexapro b/c I wanted to get pregnant (now I'm finding that you can actually be on it while pregnant).  Anyway, during my 2nd trimester the anxiety got really bad and i was afraid to take anything for it which made it worse and then before I knew it, bam...a bad flare up of uc.  I had been in remission for over a year!  No matter what anyone says, there has to be a connection between the two.  Try and see what your doc says about different anti anxiety meds, I know I like xanax as needed when not pregnant, but I also walk, yoga, and have talked to a psych about breathing techniques for dealing with panic/anxiety issues.  I also got it in the car when in traffic...i attribute that to being scared in traffic during a flare for lack of a bathroom! 

3x3 colazol a day
1000 mg canasa bedtime
3 entocort a day
1-2 cortifoam enemas as needed
prenatal vitamin


SGRUBB
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/8/2008 3:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! I experience the same thing.
In fact, yesterday after leaving the doctor's I was stuck in traffic and had both of my small kids in the back....scared to death about needing the bathroom. I have resorted to having a small potty in the back of my car. It's was my kids potty but it comes in very handy when I need it......and believe me I have needed it!!

One of the things that I use for relief of anxiety is the gym. I work out everyday, if it's not the gym, I go to a park if at all possible. I try to exercise at least an hour a day. This really, really helps me out. Not only do I feel great after I do this but it helps put my troubles at ease. I run, walk, aerobics classes, spinning classes, etc. I enjoy it. I realize that not everyone feels this way but, this has worked for me. I am on enough medications and don't want to take one for anxiety. My grandmother, father and youngest sister take medication for anxiety.....nerve problems run in the family so to speak but I hope that I don't ever need them. I get enough of my anxiety just worrying about where the next bathroom is.
UC diagnosed in 1985...22 years.


Remicade


50 mg 6mp, Rowasa and Cortenemas as needed.
Probiotics and Aloe Vera Gel, Chlorella and digestive enzymes.


JEG
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 5/8/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Most of the time the panic associated with traffic is all in my head.  WOrking out does help ALOT!!!  IN fact a physician told me that working out 3-5 times a week is equal to taking an ssri b/c of the effects it has on your seratonin levels.  It makes sense, everything seems to feel better when I can work out.
3x3 colazol a day
1000 mg canasa bedtime
3 entocort a day
1-2 cortifoam enemas as needed
prenatal vitamin


sharry
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/8/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone for your responses. You all are the greatest! I am so glad I found this forum.

I too believe anxiety and UC are tied together. I also think the Prednisone has a lot to do with it. Each flareup makes it harder for me to drive and leave the house. My poor GI doctor has tried me on numerous antianxiety meds. The first one I tried was about 4 years ago. It was Paxil. That one took me 2 days to get out of my system. I was afraid to try others, so I dealt with the anxiety and panic attacks. I would avoid traffic, busy intersections, etc. I even bought a portapotty and carry it with me even now in my vehicle. That worked for a while, but the last two flareups have made me a mess. The thought of even driving down the street gives me panic attacks, one after the other. They totally exhaust me. Isn't it crazy how the mind works?

So far I have tried Xanax, Ativan, Zoloft, Buspar, plus I take the UC meds.

I have also heard about the exercising. I do walk about 3 evenings a week, that is if I feel okay. Some days, even after a flareup, I get diarrhea, so I won't leave the house due to my low energy level and cramping. I also do a ton of yard work. I used to exercise so faithfully, but the older I get, the harder it is to get motivated. I have developed arthritis in my lower back and neck from UC. I have tried the breathing exercises, but whenever I get anxious, I can't do them. I even have relaxation CDs to listen to. I try to listen to them before I leave the house. I did try therapy once, and I felt the therapist didn't understand how UC has affected me and my leaving the house and driving issues. I should try to find one that has treated UC patients. My poor husband drives me everywhere now. He doesn't know what to think about all of this.

I also think some of this anxiety is from menopause. I remember one of my mother's friends that went through menopause. She didn't have UC, but she did suffer so bad from these panic attacks. She even had my mother stay with her a few times when her husband had to go out of town. My mom would even go get her groceries because she didn't want to leave the house. I talked to this person recently, and she told me that one day I will get up and all of this anxiety will be gone. Her anxiety issues lasted a few years, and now she is a very successful professional.

Can one take too many probiotics?

Thanks again everyone, you all give such great advice! I am really going to try to exercise more.

:)
Ulcerative Colitis diagnosed 1996.
Asacol, Rowasa, Elavil, probiotics, Fisol Enteric-Coated Fish Oil, multi vitamins. Hate Prednisone and it hates me too!

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