GERD and Panic Attacks? Is it normal?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 7/25/2014 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Two days ago I was on my home from shopping when I suddenly felt extremely sick in the car. I wasn't driving, thank goodness. First, I felt a tingling in my arms and legs, sort of like when your foot falls asleep and it feels like pins and needles. My breathing was hard and I had to take deep breaths. There was a sharp pain in my stomach and it felt like it had a rock in it and was being squeezed tight. On top of that I was nauseous, light-headed, dizzy and even my mouth felt like it was being squeezed and pricked. We pulled over and I got out hoping I could just walk it off or at least throw up. Instead the symptoms got worse, my left arm felt tight and my hand seized to where I couldn't move it. I was positive I was going to black out or faint, but I didn't. Instead I just laid on the ground and waited for an ambulance. While on the ground, I was able to feel every nerve in my body from head to toe vibrating and burning. At this point I was sure it was a seizure or a stroke, but I never lost consciousness.

Finally an ambulance arrived and I was able to answer their questions, like what my name was, my birthday, etc. They sat me up and after a few minutes and some help, I was able to walk into the ambulance, which I was very thankful for. Went to the ER, which was very busy, and had to wait four and a half hours before I was seen. Not including triage where they took my blood pressure and sugar level (147 at the time) and a urine sample. When I was finally seen, they gave me some sort of cocktail, took some blood, and hooked me up to an IV. After that was done, they said everything was normal and sent me on my merry way.

I already had a doctor's appointment the next day where I told him and an attending what happened. They both said it was a panic attack. I was diagnosed with GERD and gastritis a couple of months ago and it has been making my life hell. I've never experienced anything like this before, and I'm not sure what could have caused an attack. I've been having lots of other symptoms related to my GERD, like pain all through my abdomen, headaches, neck stiffness and pain, constipation and diarrhea, back pain, trouble sleeping, sore throat, barely eating. I have an appointment with a GI in three weeks, until then I'm just trying to deal and watch what I eat.

My question is has anyone ever experienced this sort of attack before? Is it normal for people with GERD? Was it actually a panic attack?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 7/25/2014 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cheetahjade:)

Looking over some posts while I am recuperating from a flare with reflux and also weaning off my meds. I speak for myself only and I know that I am a total nutball when I am sick or that I feel something is going on with my body. I become this hypersentive person and I realize it made everything worse. I've landed in the hospital quite a few times, with panic attacks also with (I don't know) symptoms thinking it was my heart. It's always good to visit ER when you have symptoms that aren't right, I'd assume if ECG was ok like mine were then and with GERD and gastritis, you and I are the same. I'm still waiting for GI consult, trouble getting one to see because of province issues here in Canada. I keep to a low acid diet, reduce my stress as much as I can. My panic attacks were ( at the worst) sudden hyperventilation, arm and legs felt squishy felt like my heart was going to pop and also noticed kind of a goosebump cold feeling along my spine. I now realize that was my flight or fight response going in overdrive and that's where my GERD started ( very stressful time in my life). Look up posts in both GERD and Anxiety Panic Attacks section or type it in search box. I've found many sympathizing people on both and so were are so not alone. Anything you need I'm right here with ya, take care and keep updating :)
-Take care of your mind and body so that your soul will be tempted to stay-

GERD with laryngoesophagitis
Intercostal Neuralgia 2012
General Anxiety Disorder
Lactose Intolerant

Losec 20mg twice a day (July 2014) and tapering off
Ativan 1mg since 2011 for body/ GERD spasm and sleep as needed.
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