Very Strange Case & Unexplainable

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Ahiatalwhat
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/16/2008 10:16 PM (GMT -6)   
(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)


stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/17/2008 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell and yes that was a long read smilewinkgrin .
 
I am not a professional but IMHO it seems like you have a lot of history of poor eating habits, lack of activity and some poor judgement in the amount of alcohol you put into your body.  Alcohol can eat up your liver as it is a poison in your system.  Have you shared with the multiple physicians the drinking binges?
 
You also have a hx of depression and alcohol is a depressant.  Anxiety can set off GERD but you seem to have a semi-diagnosis re if you have GERD.
 
I know your at a tough age and as you said you just "wanted to flex your muscle" but I think you perhaps flexed a bit much.  Would that sound right to you?  All of us have made errors in judgement but you may want to think of going back to your primary and discuss the drinking and how it may play a role in your problems.
 
I am sorry you are going through this but I have the feeling you are a strong person and that you will get to the real issues going on with your health and with your drinking.
 
Other members will have input for you. 
Keep on posting and do not give up, you are your own best advocate.
 
Again a Warm Welcome.
Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 8/19/2008 3:54:40 PM (GMT-6)


Ahiatalwhat
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/17/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt and thanks for the welcome :)

Yes, I did flex it a bit too much. My alcohol tolerance got the best of me, since I don't normally get sick, I kind of abused it. I haven't had a single drop of alcohol since July 20th. I only had a couple nights of drinking (I believe in June and July). I noticed on those times, when I drank wine or beer, I didn't feel much worse, but hard liquor caused me to cough a lot the next day.

I've been eating good and eating small portions. I know I have a problem, and it's not really just with alcohol, but any mind-altering substance. I'm a creative writer and I'm also very over-analytical. My mind is constantly racing with new ideas and I was also diagnosed with ADHD as a kid (although that diagnosis is a bit shaky in and of itself). The alcohol calms me down and stops the thoughts, it makes me feel more "normal". I don't really have any "substance" addictions. I feel the same when I take vicodin if I get prescribed it from the dentist or whomever. Alcohol was just a cheap and easy way, it was my escape, and now that the option of alcohol is temporarily closed off, I feel even crazier/stressed.

I do meditate, and even got into astral projection. I've tried breathing techniques and taking things like magnesium powder and kava kava, nothing really seems to stop the flow of ideas, except mind-altering substances (pain killers/alcohol, etc.). I've never abused any hard drugs, nor do I plan to. I do not smoke either.

Anyway, before I turn this into a semi-biography (lol), my main concerns are the two symptoms I've been experiencing. The irritation between the collar bones/pit of throat, and the constant burping/getting that "mmpph" pressure/feeling like I ate a huge meal when I haven't.

I think that because my symptoms are not food-related, were unresponsive to all antacids/PPI's, and due to the presence of my bowel movement symptoms, it seems to be something other than acid reflux. Or perhaps an internal issue that is increasing pressure in the stomach, instead of a faulty valve or too much acid.

You were very perceptive to observe that I'm a strong person, but this ailment seems to have sapped a great deal of my will and motivation. I'm going to be honest when I say that this problem has given me suicidal feelings and extreme debilitating depression. Even though I have a gf coming down here for college in less than a month, a loving family, and good grades in college. I get nostalgic for times when I was better and wonder if this is permanent. I feel like an actor playing the role of my former self. I feel broken, like an old ruin reminiscing past days of glory. Ah, here I go rambling on with another biography, lol. Sorry.

I definitely will look forward to seeing if anyone here has more input for me :)

Post Edited (Ahiatalwhat) : 8/17/2008 10:05:02 PM (GMT-6)


marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/17/2008 11:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Haa anyone told you that you might possibly have bipolar type 2 disorder?

Ahiatalwhat
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/17/2008 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
marthamae said...
Haa anyone told you that you might possibly have bipolar type 2 disorder?


Bipolar disorder? Not sure. I doubt that it could cause my sudden and acute symptoms that have lasted this long. I don't doubt that I may have problems with depression, but my main concern is cracking down on these symptoms. Btw, I went 2-3 years with no depression at all. This ailment has made me depressed due to these odd symptoms. It's the symptoms that are making me depressed and the fact I don't know the cause. If they were gone, I would not feel this way.

marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 8/18/2008 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not saying you have bipolar disorder, but you certainly have symptoms from what you describe.

Going 2-3 years with no depression at all is common in bipolar people...take it from me.

Binge drinking can certainly be caused by mania...so can racing thoughts.

The fact that you've had thoughts of suicide is a red flag to seek help for more than your tummy troubles.

Anyone with GERD knows that stress and anxiety are major factors.

I'd suggest a consult with a psychiatrist or a therapist to see what is going on. If you've been through "physical" doctors and they aren't helping, you may very well have a chemical imbalance in your brain.

It can't hurt to try.

hugs,
martha

Ahiatalwhat
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/18/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
marthamae said...
I'm not saying you have bipolar disorder, but you certainly have symptoms from what you describe.

Going 2-3 years with no depression at all is common in bipolar people...take it from me.

Binge drinking can certainly be caused by mania...so can racing thoughts.

The fact that you've had thoughts of suicide is a red flag to seek help for more than your tummy troubles.

Anyone with GERD knows that stress and anxiety are major factors.

I'd suggest a consult with a psychiatrist or a therapist to see what is going on. If you've been through "physical" doctors and they aren't helping, you may very well have a chemical imbalance in your brain.

It can't hurt to try.

hugs,
martha


Hi, I thank you for your concern, but my racing thoughts are more or less part of my creative personality. It's hard to explain but it's different from someones average "racing thoughts". The doctors thought it could be psychological as well and tried me on Ativan, it didn't do anything.

I find it odd that one nights drinking can trigger a whole slew of symptoms from a psychological standpoint. I'm willing to try it though.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/19/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Good Afternoon,

Martha has a point and you may want to post on our depression forum where you will still find me................ turn I agree it certainly appears to be a good idea to seek professioanal help to sort out the depression.   Here is a link for you to take a look at that may give you some insight.

http://psychologyinfo.com/depression/depression_types.html

Also anxiety nearly always goes hand in hand with depression and anxiety may  cause the sx you have described.

We have lots of info and support for Depression so please do post in the Depression Forum.  You will be very welcome there also.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 8/20/2008 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I am certainly not a Dr. (unless you call internet searches a med school curriculum!), but I have had my share of "strange". So many Dr.'s came up with some sort of dx and most were wrong. Those that were strongly in my corner never gave up, but understood that I am certainly a square peg in a round hole.

In my mind and with my history, it certainly sounds like aspirating reflux...silent and unrelenting and very difficult to diagnose correctly. Have you had a 24 hour PH?, that would certainly provide definitive information.

I have to agree, strongly, with Kitt about the alcohol. It is very possible, very possible, that the level of drinking created a toxic reaction in your liver; something akin to alcohol poisoning but on a different level. It may be (and again, I am no Dr. and may be so far out in left field on this one..), but it may be that your body is trying to detox from the binging; liver problems can take a long time to resolve, but if you haven't damaged it to much, it will resolve. I would suggest that you also maintain as healthy a lifestyle as you can to see if this will pass, but do request a 24 PH from your gastroenterologist to rule out reflux.

Good luck.
Janice

Ahiatalwhat
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/20/2008 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
LdyJane said...
I am certainly not a Dr. (unless you call internet searches a med school curriculum!), but I have had my share of "strange". So many Dr.'s came up with some sort of dx and most were wrong. Those that were strongly in my corner never gave up, but understood that I am certainly a square peg in a round hole.

In my mind and with my history, it certainly sounds like aspirating reflux...silent and unrelenting and very difficult to diagnose correctly. Have you had a 24 hour PH?, that would certainly provide definitive information.

I have to agree, strongly, with Kitt about the alcohol. It is very possible, very possible, that the level of drinking created a toxic reaction in your liver; something akin to alcohol poisoning but on a different level. It may be (and again, I am no Dr. and may be so far out in left field on this one..), but it may be that your body is trying to detox from the binging; liver problems can take a long time to resolve, but if you haven't damaged it to much, it will resolve. I would suggest that you also maintain as healthy a lifestyle as you can to see if this will pass, but do request a 24 PH from your gastroenterologist to rule out reflux.

Good luck.
Janice


Hi, thanks for the reply. No I haven't had the 24 hour PH, but I've been completely unresponsive to every PPI/Antacid on the market.

I don't see how it's possible how I can go from 0 aspiration/reflux to a case of it in one night of drinking, when I have a history of drinking and eating spicy foods. I do know that I've been tossing around the theory of acidosis. My pH is 5.8, that is very acidic, so I could be getting gasses from the stomach that are irritating my throat. I'm going to try an alkaline diet. I know that even hiatal hernias are a result of an acidic condition putting pressure on the stomach (like pressing a balloon between your hands).

I don't believe in "flap malfunctions", our sphincter is not a flap, but the same sphincter mechanism as an anal sphincter. The burping is from gas pressing up and forcing the sphincter open to relieve it. I get a lot of bloating as well as if I had eaten a large meal.

I can say that this gassy condition can definitely be one of the symptoms, but I'm not sure about the actual cause. I don't think silent reflux can cause fatigue or a change in bowel movements (and change in structure to stools). From what I've read, reflux is also very food related. Where people will eat a certain flood and "flare up". Mine is rather constant, 24/7. It's unaffected by tomatoes, chocolate, or spicy foods. It's unaffected by bland foods.

The sore throat is a new addition that started 5 days ago, the same time I started taking a B6 Niacin supplement, so that could also be the cause of the sore throat (relaxing on the supplements for now).

I also get no heartburn at all and I've had an endoscopy that showed no damage or irritation. No history of anything like this ever.
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