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Nov 13, 2011 · agoraphobia in Digestive Health

3 words … COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY!!!! … it’s hard work but if you put in the effort and work you will have your life back.

Nov 13, 2011 · IBS in Digestive Health

Check out FODMAPs diet … it was too strict for me personally to be on full time but it helped me “regulate”

Nov 13, 2011 · IBS in Digestive Health

Find the right dietician. Keep a food and symptom journal for the dietician as well as for yourself. Then go back and see if there are any specific foods triggering your symptoms. Also a good probiotic, not generic acidophilous on a shelf at the grocery store. Go to a health food store and the good probiotics are in a special refrigerated section. And lastly, exercise. Start a regular exercise routine and that should help. Oh, and avoid foods with lots of preservatives … stick with the basics and do as much of your own cooking as possible. Whole grains, lean meats, and lots of fruits and veggies. I also found that restricting my lactose intake helps too. So I switched to Lactaid milk and rather than doing flavored yogurts I do Fage (it has no sugar and is loaded with protein, I add honey to sweeten it up). Good luck!

Nov 9, 2011 · GI distress and vertigo in Digestive Health

I’ve been tested for celiac via blood test (looking for the antibodies) 3 times but it’s come back negative. I’ve heard the only true way to know is by upper endoscopy and getting a biopsy of the small intestine to check for damaged villi.

Has your vertigo gone away since going on a gluten-free diet following your celiac diagnose?

Nov 8, 2011 · GI distress and vertigo in Digestive Health

I’m 24 and have had GI issues since I was in 6th grade. I saw a pediatric gastroenterologist which diagnosed it as lactose intolerance. Didn’t eat dairy until the end of high school. When I was 17 I had my gallbladder out after being hospitalized due to it being severely infected because my gallstones blocked the duct. In college I had a series of tests … lots of blood work, sigmoidoscopy, barium contrast CT scan and nothing. I tested negative for every GI disorder/disease. My symptoms were labelled as IBS. I spent 2 years working with a dietician and started exercising more seriously (I’ve run half a dozen half marathons and a few marathons since then). I also did Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to deal with the anxiety/mental aspects that came along with my GI issues. These days my “IBS symptoms” are pretty much under control … Did I mention I’ve also been underweight my entire life?

Now I get horrid episodes. It starts with severe vertigo. I need to put my hand on a wall to keep from falling if I’m going to walk. Accompanied is extreme abdominal pain and a very strong urge to vomit. My entire body shakes. That lasts approximately 4 hours.

Occasionally I get mild vertigo that lasts only 15-30 minutes that isn’t accompanied by the pain. And sporatically I get muscle aches that aren’t exercise related. It just feels like a mild case of the flu.

Just wondering if there’s anyone else out there who has experienced this sort of thing. My primary care doc really wants to find out what’s wrong but he’s baffled. He’s sending me to see a neurologist due to the vertigo. The only other thing he suggested was going to the ER when I’m in one of the horrid episodes …

Thoughts anyone? Thanks for reading.

Nov 8, 2011 · Physical Health Symptoms due to panic attacks or chronic anxiety in Digestive Health

I’m the same way as you … would prefer not to take medication unless absolutely necessary. Check out the show Obsessed on A&E (if you don’t have cable it’s available on Netflix). It follows people going through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy … although they have OCD rather than anxiety. A little more on my own personal experience – I got to a point where I refused to be driven by anyone, I cut a lot of foods out of my diet, and I had a lot of anxiety when it came to eating in public. One of my “exposures” was riding the bus while eating a snack that I would never dream of eating (my therapist made me eat Fritos). For another exposure my therapist picked me up and drove me to a restaurant for dinner but didn’t tell me where we were going. At the restaurant I had to eat something I had formerly cut out of my diet because I thought it made me sick. Through the course of CBT I realized that the foods I cut out of my diet weren’t making me sick and I actually feel better if I eat more of a variety. Essentially the exposures are designed to make you have an “panic attack”. But your therapist is with you and realistically talks you through it. And once you’re in the “panic attack” you need to stay in the situation until your anxiety comes down. If you escape when you’re anxiety peaks you’re reinforcing your safety behavors (i.e. when I feel like X, I can do X to relieve it – in my case, I felt anxiety eating in a restaurant so I would just pick up my food to go and eat at home instead). Every time you do that provoking activity the anxiety is less severe. CBT is hard work and it’s a commitment … but I can’t even tell you how worth it is is!

Nov 8, 2011 · Physical Health Symptoms due to panic attacks or chronic anxiety in Digestive Health

I have had GI problems since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and over the years I developed a lot of anxiety because of it. I started avoiding situations and preferred to just stay home because I didn’t want to have an episode in public. A little over a year ago I went through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and that helped me tremendously with the mental aspect of having GI problems. It’s not traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and talk about how you feel … it’s actually doing the things that make you anxious and learning how to cope with the anxiety. And the more you expose yourself to the things that cause the anxiety the more you “acclimate”, so to speak. I highly reccomend CBT to anyone who has anxiety. I still have GI issues but I’m SO much better at dealing with them.

Nov 3, 2011 · Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Constipation in Digestive Health

I have had GI issues since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and I have been tested for every GI disease/disorder under the sun with every test coming back normal. So my symptoms were labelled as IBS. I also had my gallbladder removed when I was 17 because it was infected due to a blockage of the duct with stones. I get extremely bad episodes where I get really bad vertigo followed by severe abdominal pain. It’s not localized … just a wall of pain and a very strong urge to vomit. My whole body shakes and it lasts for 4 hours. It’s so painful that I can’t lay down, I pace and eventually curl up in a ball and will myself to sleep. Sometimes I have episodes that aren’t as bad but last for days … I feel nauseous and and my stomach and intestines feel completely raw.

I’ve done a lot of work with a dietician to perfect my diet and that has helped a lot … but it’s so frustrating feeling like I have no control over my own body. I’ve been underweight my entire life because of this. When I’m feeling good I make an extra effort to pack in the food and I’ll gain a pound or 2 but then I’ll have an episode and I lose it. I’m extremely self conscious about my thinness.

It’s so frustrating. I hate living this way … I’m sure some of you can relate! I’m tired of being given drugs to mask the symptoms when all I really want is to know what is wrong.