I'm new to these forums and found this website via a google search. I am looking for some insight and help from other sufferers because I do not have anyone in my life who can relate and offer guidance. This is going to be a long story to type and read but I think everything written below is a contributing factor to why i'm suffering.
I'll first start by telling you that I am a female and 25 years old. Now i'll start by explaining my history and then i'll move on to where i'm at today.
my first bout of anxiety was when i was very young (6-10 years old) when we were leaving for a family trip to Vermont for a week. I got so worked up; I ended up vomiting on the side of the highway. For the rest of the vacation I was relatively OK (from what i can remember)
In my early high school years; i developed anxiety and I suffered from it for months to years. I didn't know what it was at first but over time, I knew I started to realize that I had anxiety issues. I do not know what ever caused the onset of it; it just showed up one day and I had to learn to cope with it. My anxiety started with sick to my stomach feelings the moment I woke up in the morning. I'd feel suddenly ice cold, I would start shaking and chattering teeth and I'd instantly have the urge to vomit; although not much ever came up. I went through this routine EVERY morning for my entire high school years. Leaving the house became extremely troublesome. Road trips to anyone's house was not in the options and going on vacation was pure living hell. I tried desperately to mentally control myself but in all honesty; I could do nothing to help myself no matter how hard I tried to calm myself down.
I started to associate my anxiety with eating certain foods. I was literally starving myself; only eating a BLT sandwich and some toast everyday. If I ate anything more than that I would worry myself sick until it all came back up. Occassionally I would get Diarrhea also. In my high school years I occassionally went out on dates; which made my anxiety very difficult to manage. I couldn't eat anything and if i did; i automatically went into panic mode and began puking. I tried telling my mother that i thought i had anxiety issues but she brushed it off and I had no help. i resulted in trying to tire myself out before bed (swimming hours in the pool, etc); but that never worked. By sophmore year in high school, i weighed a mere 105-110 pounds. i would sit on the bus in the morning and uncontrollably shake like a leaf. School and life outside of school was tremendously busy but I never felt overly stressed out. The stress level in my life at that point in time definately didn't seem bad enough to cause me to get this bad. I was a happy, bubbly person with a group of great friends (who never did know about my issues until just a few years ago) and a good family. In my later high school years we took a trip to Europe which required a tremendous amount of mental prep for me; and I think that event marked the end of my anxiety that i suffered during those years. The trip was made successfully and I didnt have any major attacks despite the very busy trip.
I suffered some normal anxiety during the beginning of college but not nearly as bad as it had been in the past. I quickly got over it, made new friends, had a blast and graduated from school. I started to eat like a normal college kid, by the time i graduated i weighed 165lbs (although not to my liking). I was healthy, rarely ever sick and I was enjoying my life. During my sophmore year of college my grandmother passed away. She was near and dear to my heart and a major part of my life. I suffered tremendously from that loss and I believe I still do today.
I think about her everyday and sometimes often find myself breaking down in tears. I took her death out on myself mentally and I determined it was time to live for me, enjoy life, and rid the people from my life who just were not going to be good for me in the long run. I saw how much my grandparents loved eachother right up until the end and I had a boyfriend at the time who I had been with for almost 2 years. We had our differences and our arguments but we spent a lot of time together. Towards the end of our relationship; i found us fighting more often and I realized I just couldn't do it anymore; he wasn't the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was a very difficult break up and it made me feel horrible for months on end and it stressed me out tremendously. At that point in time i had two friends who i considered to be extremely close. We had a falling out and i decided to no longer associate with them. This was very close to the issues with my ex boyfriend and my life was beginning to crumble.
I lost my boyfriend of 2 years, my 2 closest friends, and my grandmother within 2-3 months of eachother. I was mentally exhausted and I was still trying to get through the most difficult of college years. At this point I can agree that these losses mentally affected me and i can almost agree that I was/am mentally depressed (although not in a major way). I made new friends and graduated school and my anxiety didnt really kick back in. I was doing relatively good despite my depression issues. I was no longer the bubbly, smiley person and my weight gain (from finally eating 3 meals a day) were beginning to take an affect on my image of myself. I'll admit it; i began to LOVE food mainly because i had stopped eating anything and everything for so long; eating a delicious meal became so satisfying.
shortly after my grandmother passed; my parents began to have issues. They had been married for quite some time. i grew up in a great household with great parents and strong family values. Things began to fall apart in my family through my parents, my grandfather was struggling with the loss of my g-ma, and things were not looking up. More things to add onto my mental strain. My parents are still together to this day, thank God, but things are not the way they used to be and their little tiffs with eachother on a weekly basis literally send me over the deep end; stress wise.
Flash forward to today:
i have a history of randomly getting a gassy stomach and rapid diarrhea after eating a meal. I never could narrow it down but i did find that drinking a soda with my meal frequently caused it. I thought it was normal but now i'm thinking maybe I have IBS? It was always so quick after i ate that i had to run to the bathroom; it was a concern to me, and still is!
I am a very busy person. I'm constantly on the go and stressing out about getting everything done without enough hours in the day. I recently lost a bunch of animals at home within a few weeks of eachother due to freak illnesses and that took a mental hit on me. We had a huge livestock show coming up and i was majorly stressing about it. Work was hectic and stressful. I was overly stressed out.
I went to dinner a few weeks ago at a local resturaunt and had a salad. Within 5 minutes after consuming my meal i was running to the bathroom for a very gassy stomach and i knew I was going to have a diarrhea problem. i was expecting it to be like the rest; have diarrhea; and feel fine after its over with. I did, i felt better, but 5 minutes later I felt horrible again. We immediately left dinner and went home because i felt so ill. I had very bad diarrhea for about an hour until my system was completely cleaned out. I had major gas buildup and i literally felt horrible. I thought i had eaten something contaminated because it was so bad. I was OK for the rest of the night but the following 2-3 days my stools we loose and just not right. They started to improve but quickly got bad again. i was having diarrhea in the morning hours (mostly immediately after i woke up). After a few days of this and no improvement, i consulted my doctor. The doctor though i had a stomach bug or food poinsoning and told me this could take 2 weeks to resolve itself. I was eating an extremely bland diet of white rice, 2peices of toast, and plain grilled chicken breast. I was loosing weight and I just had no appetite.
i was waking up before my alarm clock to dry mouth, sweating, shaking, tightness in my chest, sick to my stomach feeling. My stomach would instantly start gurgling, i'd get gas instantly, and i would immediately have to run to the bathroom. Once i had diarrhea I felt better but not great. for 2 weeks i would have to go back to bed for 2-3 hours and then i would feel almost normal. I'd finally get to go to work and continue on my day only to start it all over again the next day. When the problem continued after 1 1/2 weeks, the doctor ordered a stool sample to make sure i didnt have a bacteria/parasite problem. It came back negative so she suggested that i go to a GI specialist (which i haven't done yet). My condition improved to the point where I would wake up, have the shaking, tense, cold feeling, gas, and instant diarrhea; but then i felt pretty good and i'd just start my day. it was like my body just needed to rid what was in my bowels and then i could continue on with my life for the day. I had mucous discharge in the diarrhea which didnt really concern my doctor; she said it was mostly normal. i had absolutely NO blood in my stool and i still havent at all.
I had a major event coming up which i was stressed out about. After the event passed; My bowel movements seemed to improve; I started to eat more normally (hooray) and things looked better. Flash forward to where i'm at currently....i have a major event in a few weeks, and a major trip at the beginning of October. When i heard about the major trip; things started to get ugly again and now I have my morning diarrhea issues which have not improved in the last 5 days. I am now becomming worried about going out to dinner. My current issues have only been morning diarrhea issues and I have not had any issues after eating specific things or meals throughout the day.
Sorry for the long story but at least it gives you a good idea of how my life has been for the past 10 years and maybe why am suffering like i am? I am frustrated, I am woried, and i am scared about this being something more than anxiety. I have told my parents about my issues but they haven't said much. Everyone in my life thinks I can just flip a switch and be ok (OH how nice that would be!!). It is mentally draining me and I feel exhausted and hungry all of the time (i am reverting back to having no appetite since i learned: eat less= less of an issue in the morning).
Since there is no blood in my stool; my doctor wasn't concerned it was something major since all bacteria/parasite/viral tests came back negative. I have not gone to the GI specialist since I have heard horror stories of them wanting to perform every test known to man. I am extremely terrified of doctors, needles, and hospitals and the thought of having to go that route might make my issues even worse because I'll start bugging myself out.
Since i constantly feel uptight, i start shaking, go into cold sweats, teeth clattering, and instant belly gas and diarrhea; i am thinking this could be a major anxiety/stress problem? It seems no matter what i try ni the morning; nothing prevents it from happening. I just want to go back to being normal so I can return to my normal life again. Any help, suggestions, insight will be grealty appreciated. thanks for bearing with me and reading!
edit to add: i also burp a lot and this has led me to think that maybe i have GERD too. I have acid that randomly comes up so maybe this was brought on my stress also? i take 1 Tums in the morning and 1 at night with dinner to try and prevent this but doesnt seem to be helping.