Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety and odd metal taste before "episode"

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: shewhocannotbe
  • March 3, 2009
  • 00:57 AM

Hi Everyone,

I am hoping some of you can shed some light on my problem. I have been reading the board all day and am so darn frustrated I am on the verge of tears.

37 year old woman.
Seemingly fit and a healthy good eater. I must admit to a glass of wine or two an evening of the red.
At age 14 I had my first episode. They almost always come on the same way. Very often I am eating or in the car. I feel an odd numbness. A feeling of being detached. Then I become aware of a taste in my mouth. It tastes like a handful of old pennies. I become very flushed and hot. I feel completely claustrophobic. The next thought....

I MUST get to a bathroom to relieve myself.

Usually on the way to whatever bathroom....tunnel vision, hot and sweaty combined with cold and clammy. I feel absolutely rubbery in the legs and can't catch my breath. Once I get to the bathroom one of three things happen.

1. explosive diarrhea. As in, I never knew so much waste could come out of someone in one sitting. It is watery, no blood and usually undigested.

2. I faint. I have also woken up to having a "release" of my bowels while I had fainted.

3. Vomiting and the need to lay down on a cool surface.

The episodes usually last about 15-30 minutes and the feeling afterwards is like you have just been chased by a lion.

I have been on Effexor for almost 6 years and prior to that Paxil but to be frank nothing has helped much.

In daily life I can easily sleep 12 hours and still feel a mess. I am a walking zombie. I can't do much of anything and I am held hostage by my fear of having an episode.

I lived in New Orleans during Katrina and my doctor for a time was convinced this was PTSD or some sort of emotional issue. Now that he sees the other elements he is thinking this is a Gastro issue.

I have had my cortosol and ACTH levels tested and they came back normal. Also no Anemia.

My life is filled with a lot of stress. My father and Stepfather both are terminally ill. I have been looking after and moved both my mother and stepdad into my home. I just don't think this is anxiety.....it's manifestations are too physical.

Help!

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6 Replies:

  • House Season 2 Episode 15 "Clueless" nitric acid, mixed with gold, turns bright purple. Maria's hands are stained purple. House accuses Maria of sprinkling Bob's food with gold sodium thiomalate, an arthritis remedy that's out of date in the U.S. but still popular in Mexico. Maria denies it, but Chase reports that the tox screen for gold was off the charts. sounds like poison or http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/symptoms/metallic_taste/causes.htm
    Horus Ra 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi:Anxiety, anxiety--- Some docs and lay people say "oh don't worry it's just stress." You're caring for ill family members which is a wonderful caring thing to do, but it drains your positive energy. Let me say I also have a lot of your same symptoms and have been a sole caretaker for my family too. I know it's freaky to have a metallic taste in your mouth, right? Well, you see our brains and nerves are connected to muscles, gastro-tract, mouth, ears, heart, etc. Chronic anxiety throws perception out of whack because the stress causes discharge of chemicals from the brain and nerves that effects organs- so they speed up the bowel causing urgent diahrea, tense up musclers so they twitch, change the tasebuds in your mouth, screw up the sleep cycle, and make you fatigued. The anti-depressants you're taking are meant to alter the chemical balance, sometimes they don't adjust everything. Try this, after you care for others, try to have some personal caring time for yourself. Try to do some physical exercise to increase chemical endorphins, light some nice scented candles while exercising for aroma therapy to increase these positive chemicals, get some touch therapy--a message, etc. So, get the picture---the negative stress chemicals do act elsewhere and do easily cause these physical symptoms. We're all connected body and mind and it's just a sign both are in overload.. Now, I personally know, ther'es no easy fix and the suggestions above are easier said than fit in motion, but I hope you can find some help with it. Good lucK GG
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I just don't think this is anxiety.....it's manifestations are too physical.I agree with the above poster that this sounds like physical manifestations of anxiety. Believe me, I've been through it--anxiety really can cause all these physical issues. It sounds like you are having a 'fight-or-flight' response, probably due to PTSD (a disorder with a high connection to anxiety). It sounds like you are having what's known as 'panic attacks'--they are very real. I also think you are experiencing what's known as derealization or depersonalization--another symptom of anxiety. You can google all of these and see if they fit for you.Our bodies store seratonin in the gastro tract. When I was highly anxious, I developed severe diarrhea too. It's tied to the seratonin levels! Good news is you can contoll all of this. Look up 'anxiety' on the web--there are many techniques available to you, but you have to open your mind to this possibility then work to fix it. Really, I'm sorry for all you have been through and what you are doing now taking care of your family. It really does take it's physical toll on our bodies, all those kinds of stresses. Please seek help for this, you can beat it and have a normal life!
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello,While anything is possible, I get the feeling this is not caused by anxiety. The reason I say that is because of the odd symptom of the metallic taste in your mouth just before the episode. Interestingly, I had very similar experiences to yours, I've also been under considerable family stress, and I'm 39 years old. I had several doctors tell me it was all in my head, anxiety, and getting older. I learned the episodes I had were due to severe food allergies that I didn't know I had and an allergy to Sodium Benzoate (a common chemical in processed foods). Before testing, food allergies couldn't have been farther from my mind, and I never would have believed I had them until I saw it on paper. I had to pay for the tests out of pocket because my insurance wouldn't cover it, it was somewhere around $300 if I remember correctly. I had to have several tubes of my blood drawn and sent to a lab in another state for analysis. It took about 2 weeks for my results. An ordinary main stream doctor would never have taken the time to suggest this diagnosis, I work in the medical field and I know this to be true. I found a medical doctor who was more open minded and considered things like nutrition and natural therapies, and he suggested the test. I found him on Mary Shomon's "top thyroid doctors" website. I was there because I believed I had hypothyroidism, which turns out to be true too. In case anyone wants to know I'm on Armour thyroid now (not the synthetics) and I'm doing fantastic! In my case I am severly allergic to gluten, dairy (actually the caesin protein dariy), and eggs (whites and yolks). I'm moderately allergic to avacados, beef, and almonds. When I found out what I was allergic to I eliminated the foods and found my symptoms / episodes were completely resolved, but if I ate even a little of these, usually by accident, I would pay the price. I read a book on enzymes written by the owner of Enzymedica company. The book is excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone, but if you don't want to read it you can go on the website and educate yourself there too. There is a lot to read and videos to watch. I am not affiliated in ANY WAY with this company! I learned that there are many people who have the same problem I do and that this company makes a product called Gluten Ease which are enzymes for the digestion of gluten and caesin (dairy). I was afraid to try these in the beginning because I didn't want to risk another episode, but I tried anyway. I found that when I take them with food I can eat anything I want without worry! I would suggest the blood test for food allergies and I would suggest you consider enzyme products. Try to think about what you ate when this happens. If you are unsure about what product to take, you can call the company and they will help you. They have an online quiz to help you learn where you are deficient in enzymes. There are no side effects to enzymes other than good ones! Enzymedica can be located here: http://www.enzymedica.com/and if you don't want to use them you'd probably see a benefit from other digestive enzymes too. You just have to be sure you are taking the right dose at the right time. You could study up on your own or ask them about it. I hope this helps you!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • A parent started to get really sick suddenly. No answers after seeing specialists and undergoing tests. (gastro, blood test, allergy, etc.)Few years later, I started to have 'episodes'. The symptoms matched my parent's exactly.I really don't want to share the next paragraph, so skip next paragraph to avoid gross.SymptomAn urge to go immediately. After sitting down, a metal oily taste coats the inside of the mouth. Diarrhea pours out at the consistency of ... pudding. It stinks, wreaks. Hot, sweat, fever and weakness strikes. It is all one can do to crawl into the bathtub. Strip out of jeans and shirt. Feels so hot, like on fire, ready to spontaneous combustion. While diarrhea continues to pour out, nausea threatens/succeeds in pouring out vomit at the other end. Sometimes the mind is aware, but has no control while the body moves and jerks. It stops as suddenly as it started. Shivering cold. Weak, so weak. Past exhausted. It is over. It last from start to finish about an hour. I keep a zip lock bag of ice in freezer, bottle of water, an inflatable pillow, washcloth, paper towels and trash bags under the sink.A doctor explained to me, it could not be a food allergy, because food allergies happen instantaneously and not a day later. I believe we do not yet know everything there is to know about the way different bodies process and react to foods, preservatives, dyes, chemicals, etc. I also believe to presume we do, is foolish.My parent and I both feel, as with most reactions, allergies, illnesses, and/or diseases, stress is not the root cause of the problem however it can play a huge part in the symptoms. We both feel stress, anxiety, and/or lack of sleep can trigger an episode or exasperate the symptoms/problem.Both my parent and I feel it is a reaction to something consumed, food. Although we differ a little on guesses to the exact cause. Neither of us had an episode for a couple of years.We both feel it happens approximately 12 - 72 hours, usually 12 - 24 hours, after consuming something. How we feel we avoid 'episodes':1) Either one (1) or both (2) of us avoid eating:-2- All deep fried food-2- All prepared food sold at convenience stores-1- Fried food-1- Restaurant fried food-1- Prepackaged snack pastries-2- Cheap ice-scream-1- Cheap cheese2) Both of us feel we have become sensitive. When a bite of food has the slightest taste of metal, we spit it out and dispose of the rest.3) We carry with us at all times an anti-diarrhea medication, and take at the slightest sign.4) My parent has completely eliminated trying new food. I have limited mine.Our guess of the cause of the 'episodes' is:A cooking oilA preservativeA cleanerSeparate substances combined internallyA cumulative storage of something our bodies can not process when reaching a thrush hold level ex-spells the substance.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Sounds like Diverticulitis to me.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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