Thought the best thing would be to sum up as concisely as possible what I know about these episodes/attacks...
Started 6 years ago. Very spread apart. 1st one was gas/ belching on the way to work. I felt agitated also. Told it was anxiety. Went off coffee and took ativan twice and the problem seemed to go away. I am reasonably healthy otherwise and run 5k often....or did until recently.
I have had a number of episodes since then but often far apart (6 months or more). I was in a very high stress situation in Australia for a year (2006) and they only occurred 2 or 3 times that whole year.
Last 6 weeks seemed to have worsened. My principal called an ambulance at work on Jan. 6th when she saw me.
Today: occurrences coming couple times a week now. Off work for a few weeks. I am scheduled to see an internist soon and hope for answers. Heart has mostly been ruled out with stress test, echocardiogram, and ecg.
A typical Episode: Often in the morning. Often accompanied by 2 or more bowel movements. Starts with gas/belching and feeling slightly agitated. When having them I try to “walk them off”. Feet and hands get cold..... sometimes I shiver like my circulation is reduced or the blood goes to my core. I have never had cold hands/feet before. I find holding a conversation difficult. Attacks can now last for half a day. When I eat almost anything I will belch and feel off within 5-10 minutes. Worst one ever occurred recently.... felt very light headed and abnormal. Stomach muscles become very tight. I become too aware of breathing and will try to breath in such a way as to reduce symptoms.
I often hear that it is stress/anxiety but I don’t really believe it. Think it is more likely some GI thing that involves other systems. I say this because I am not under undue stress and like my job. When I am having a good day I downplay the severity of the attacks and think I have turned a corner, but the increase in severity and frequency of these episodes tells me I have not.
Possible causes I have considered: Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome, IBS, anxiety, food allergies, gallbladder issues, but I really don’t have a clue. Any thoughts very mush appreciated.