Posted 12/17/2011 5:19 PM (GMT -7)
I read an old post on here from a guy who had almost the exact same situation as me - but it was written in 2008 and there didn't seem to be any resolution, so I thought I would post my own info.
I picked up some kind of virus in 2005 when I lived in Japan. The doctors in Japan thought it was just gastritis, so they prescribed an antacid for a few months until I moved back to Australia. When I came back, I had a gastroscopy, a colonoscopy and was treated for giardia with flagyll. I also had blood tests and a fecal sample taken but nothing showed up. I experienced a couple of years of feeling 'off'. This included variable digestion, nausea, dizziness and intolerances to cow's milk, caffeine and alcohol.
Eventually I felt mostly better, but still had to avoid milk, caffeine and alcohol. But every few months I would have some sort of relapse. I always felt that it was related to my digestion, but I didn't do much other than take acidophilus and try eating healthier for a while. Occasionally I would go to the doctor but no one had any suggestions.
This year I have noticed a few distinct episodes almost every two months on the dot. They start with a heavy feeling in my chest, which then progresses to a kind of breathlessness and a feeling of unreality. I know some sort of anxiety attack is happening at the same time, but there seems to be no trigger. Then I can't eat much for a few days and I feel tired and weird. This last time didn't seem to go away, and it was accompanied by quite bad chest pain, so I went to the doctor who did another whole bunch of tests plus put me on a ten day course of flagyll again. I think I felt worse (probably because it disrupted the little balance I had left in my gut).
The doctor couldn't find anything wrong, so I went to the naturopath who gave me some ginger powder that is supposed to help with digestion, and some herbs. I also take acidophilus and slippery elm after a meal. The slippery elm seems to help for a short while, but I still get a lot of referred pain in my upper chest like a stitch.
After every meal I feel tired and breathless, and then I start to almost feel pannicky. I'm not normally an anxious person, but I do tend to worry about my health a lot. I've also developed a fear of flying since I returned from Japan, and I just got back from an overseas trip with four flights in ten days, which I'm sure didn't help my anxiety. Funnily enough, I felt mostly normal while I was away, but as soon as I got back, I seemed to revert to how I was before. I don't know if this was the diet, weather, environment, or just taking it extra easy (I had slippery elm and gaviscon a lot to be on the safe side because I didn't want to get sick over there).
I just don't know what to do. I know I have some sort of anxiety that probably needs dealing with, but I kind of feel like it's a symptom of my illness rather than the cause, and that if I can get my digestive system sorted out, I won't be anxious anymore.
I studied naturopathy for a couple of years and have a great book on nutritional medicine, but I'm not really sure which direction to go in. Do I eat lots of alkaline foods? Or do I take apple cider vinegar before meals to help increase the acid in my stomach for digestion? There's so much conflicting information out there. I don't mind taking some sort of supplement every day but I don't want to take something that could cause more damage in the long run.
I'm sick of feeling fuzzy headed and like my eyes can't quite focus on things at times. And wondering if what I'm eating is going to make me feel bad. I can't find any consistent patterns, although eating sugar does make it worse. I'm not diabetic, I don't have any traditional allergies, I don't seem to have a gluten or wheat intolerance or any of the other mainstream things out there. I also had my heart checked and it's fine. I think I just need to get my gut back on track, but I don't know how.
Thanks for reading my post :)