(This may be a long read, but I guarantee it's worth it, I really need your help)
I am a 21 year old relatively healthy male (had no prior problems) that is slightly overweight (I'm around 6 foot and weigh around 222).
A bit of history: I'm a college student, so I do a lot of sitting around/studying, and I also play a lot of online games. My diet was very poor (a lot of restaurant foods and more like a "whatevers in the fridge" mentality). When I was 13 I had been on respridral and other meds that caused me to balloon up to 320 pounds at a height of 5'5. I dropped all that leading up into my later teen years and was on anti-depressant meds as well, which I got off of when I turned 18.
I have a very strong stomach and can handle extremely spicy foods and very large quantities.
Fast-forward to December 2007, I turned 21. I had drank on and off (maybe 2-3 times a year if not even less) from 15-20. I also had a couple beers (literally, just two) on holidays. So when I turned 21 I wanted to "flex my ID" a bit. I bought some Jack Daniels and Captain Morgans. Experiments with a couple bottles of each for a couple months.
I did a political vlog, I do not wish to describe the details of it, but it involved me placing a bet that I'd drink a bottle of wine from a certain place every time someone used a certain insult against me. I didn't follow through an insult per bottle, but I did start vlogging with a bottle of wine. After buying the wine I discovered how insanely cheap it was (I live in California). So I bought more.
1 bottle lead to 2, 2 lead to 3, and 3 lead to buying boxes of wine. I'm very tolerant to alcohol so I had no problem with it. I'd say things really kicked up from around March 08 to late May 08. I was drinking every two to three days at night, sometimes every night, about
5 beer mugs of red wine. I had a huge stressful myriad of events. First the version of windows on my PC went out (the 60 day trial) and I had an argument with someone who provided it about
the code not working. I had to reformat, only to find out I could've saved my info. Then my ulnar nerve started acting up and going a bit numb. Just days afterwards my transmission on my car was having trouble, all while I was going through a very strenuous college writing summer class I had to get to 5 days a week.
This was too much, so I started up on the brandy. I drank about
a couple bottles over a few weeks and I bought a bottle of gin, something I've never had before. It was Seagram's Extra Dry Gin. I find out my transmission isn't so bad, it was the quality of gas someone had been putting in it and the oil change helped a lot. I decided to drink the gin as a celebration. I considered it "just another hard liquor". To give you an idea on how "experimental" I was acting, I actually made a mixed drink, something uncharacteristic of me (I usually drink all alcohol straight, including whiskey).
I mixed the gin with lemon juice and ginger ale on the night of June 6th. I drank some, then I drank some more. I went a bit crazy and filled my beer mug w/ half straight gin, and half mix. Upon halfway through this particular drought (I could not taste the alcohol and had gone through half a bottle by then about
) I started noticing the need to take a sigh/breath. I had no other discomfort at all aside from a strong desire to sigh, as one might take a deep breath after calming down. This was very strange.
Even in my semi-drunken state, I was alarmed. I slowed down the drinking till it really started weirding me out and then stopped and went to bed. The next day I woke up to the same sensation and a cough/irritation between the collar bones below the throat. The kind of irritation you get when you've ran for a long time and can't run anymore and you're trying to catch your breath.
I went to the doctor, had an EKG test done as well as a chest X-Ray that turned out negative. I was told to try some Prilosec as the GP suspected some indigestion or "GERD". I found this odd, since I am a hot sauce collector and have a very hearty constitution. I could eat raw habanero and not have a single bout of heartburn, I didn't even know what heartburn was. I took the Prilosec and all it did was make my stomach "pulsate".
I came in and they prescribed me arithromyacin an anti-biotic, it did nothing. They tried me on Ativan because they thought it was anxiety, it did nothing. At this point I was getting a "lump in the throat" and feeling like food was getting stuck so I would have to chew it finer, as if there was a "blockage". They immediately said "must be GERD!" and slapped me on Protonix. I took that for a week and saw no effect (yes, I know the whole "you have to me on it for months and months for it to work", meh, I know people who have true acid reflux and felt relief within days, I think the "months" might be a marketing ploy).
I had a Barium swallow test done that showed no hernias or reflux at all, nothing. I had a pulmonologist examine me and tell me I had inflamed sinuses and an irritated throat, but passed the spirometer and flow meter test with flying colors. He also said that it didn't look like "GERD" at all. I was panicing, frantic, I didn't feel like my "old self". I get super tired after I eat, and I always feel run down. I used to be confident, always joking with a huge ego, now I feel like a ruin of my former self, as if I'm constantly in mourning for something lost. I had panic attacks for the first time in my life. I suffered extreme depression and thoughts of suicide, where had "I" gone?
After a lot of protesting by me, the doctors finally did an endoscopy, and it was negative. They only found a very very small 3-4 cm sliding hiatal hernia that was so small, it didn't show up on the barium swallow. They did biopsies that were negative, and told me the hernia was so small, it could not have caused my symptoms. They put me on Aciphex and Zegerid and tried me on PepcidAC, Zantac, etc., nothing helped at all. A gallbladder/liver ultrasound came up negative as well.
At this point I was now burping frequently, hearing a "gassy" sound in my throat when I'd lie down, had a white/yellow coated tongue, self-perceived bad breath (no one else could smell it, body warning sign?) and "cough sensation". The "cough sensation" in my throat would sometimes turn "hot", travel up the back of my neck and around my back up the side of my head (the areas where nerves are, where no fluid could reach). My stools became irregular and had seemingly indigested chunks in them. They were heavy "flakes" that would coat the bottom of the toilet and fly up in a stormy powdery tornado whenever I'd flush (it was like flushing powdered flour from the bottom of the toilet bowl after letting it sit or detergent).
I changed my diet, started taking betaine HCL, Alfalfa, probiotics, and candidase. I researched the hell out of everything stomach-related (days and nights online searching). I bought "indigestion cure" books and personally talked to the writer of the original one. I had blood tests done and allergy tests done. Nothing showed.
An acupuncturist told me I had a liver imbalance that was effecting my stomach and put me on some chinese herbs. The acupuncture was enjoyable, and I still go for it, but it hasn't cured me. I see Kiniesiologist/Chiropracter/Naturopath who is very good. He does Neuro Emotional Technique and says I am extremely B6 deficient, and ran a Juniper allergy test and concluded the gin was not an allergy trigger.
He ran my stats as:
Ph of 5.8 (acidic)
A pulse of 91 beats per minute
Good blood pressure and zinc levels
Low overall cholesterol, 125
High triglycerides (TG's) 137
Very low good cholesterol (HDL) 36
Very low calcium 150
Low bad cholesterol (LDL) which is a good thing, 61
A bit high in the glucose at 98 when the range is 80-95 and found my TC : HDL to be 3.4
Body fat percentage 24.7%
At this moment I'm having a bit of a sore throat when I wakeup, I burp whenever I sit up but feel better when I lay down. I have a lot of fatigue and what I eat does not effect my symptoms. I can go for spicy Mexican, or eat bland, it's the same, and it's non-stop 24/7 but better in the morning.
I don't think this is GERD/LPR or acid reflux, since the meds didn't help and my stomach has always been hearty. I see reflux and GERD as a scam, I don't believe in big pharma and I think the Protonix may have done more harm than good. After acupuncture and herbal treatment, my tongue thrush has decreased but my symptoms remain. Its been 2 months.
Keep in mind, despite my alcohol intake and my generally unhealthy lifestyle prior to June 6th, I had felt a bit low on energy and got a few colds, but I never felt like this or had any of these symptoms at all, it seemed instantly after I drank the gin they came on, and I've never had gin before. I keep getting nostalgic for times when I didn't feel like this, and regardless of advice, I keep feeling like that gin was my breaking point and I could've avoided all this had I not drank it.
I often get that "mpphh" indigestion feeling even on an empty stomach.
I know a lot of you may be baffled by now (I know 5 GP's, a gastro doc, a pulmonologist, and 10 Nurse/Health coach's were as well) but if any of you have any idea on what it may be, I'd like to know. Again, I don't think it's likely that I have "GERD" (the newly coined term of the century).
Post Edited (Ahiatalwhat) : 8/16/2008 10:17:30 PM (GMT-6)