Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Not your usual hangover....

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: rick_br2001
  • September 15, 2013
  • 05:27 PM

Hi there,
Since 7 or 8 months ago, my close friend has been experiencing particularly unusual symptoms, seemingly without pattern.
The first time he called me, he was in bed feeling so unpleasant that he truly was afraid he might not wake up (he's not prone to hyperbole, so it did genuinely concern me). He woke up the next day (thank God) and eventually recovered fully over the day.
He has since had this unpleasant feeling with an apparent relative increase in regularity.
He is a 24 year old man, 5ft 8inches and slim build. There are no previously diagnosed conditions.
Anyway, here are the symptoms as best as I can understand them:

Each time, the feeling has begun with a sensation in his throat. It's not a pain, just 'a feeling', which he describes as reminiscent to a need for something - water, food, a cigarette, whatever. I've heard him describe it as a kind of emptiness/hollowness before. He can't place it. This feeling then over a few minutes, travels down the centre-line of his body, through his chest, down to his stomach, then all the way back up to his head. This is consistent with each experience.
When the above feeling starts to get stronger in his throat, he begins to feel weak and just generally 'ill'.
He experiences a feeling similar to nausea, but never productive.
His feet go cold.
He feels shaky.
He gets incredibly, unquenchably thirsty at points.
He gets cold sweats.
The feeling can take upto 24-48 hours to go.
There is no overtly noticeable external manifestation.
He can get very fatigued and quite irritable during these episodes.
There are some occasional stomach cramps.
Now in background, I feel it appropriate to mention that he has been drinking, smoking and taking various types of street-drugs from being a young teenager. The drugs (apart from a very weak joint every few nights) have slowed down immensely and have become a very occasional thing. The drink is regular from the point of view that every night, pretty much without fail, he will at least have a beer and a large glass or two of Wine. He may then get actually drunk either one or two times a week (though sometimes not at all).
He is a regular smoker of about 20 a day. His diet is good, consisting of a lot of vegetables (not much meat though) and a lot of water.
He jogs approximately once per week.

Now it could be worth mentioning that two instances that I can remember, have been a day or two after particularly heavy intoxication. One was a couple of days after taking MDMA, and one after a medium-heavy night of drinking. I forget the circumstances surrounding the other two.
Now I would like to be able to put this all down to intoxicants, but would like to make clear that there have been many equally heavy/more heavy nights inbetween episodes, so there's not necessarily a link.
On two occasions, chocolate has helped, but not on the most recent.
He has been to the doctor after the occasion before last, had nothing strictly suggested, but did a blood test. Nothing came back however, so the doctor clearly did not find what they were looking for. My problem with seeing a general practitioner, is that they would stand a much better chance of diagnosis if he was there while poorly.

OK, I thank you for reading this far and hope you've managed to bear with me. I just felt it necessary to explain as much as I could remember and list all circumstances that may be relevant.
Please please try to help if possible - I'm extremely worried for him as it's particularly troubling to see such a normally healthy and energetic young man so affected. I'd be extremely grateful for and interested in all plausible suggestions, so please fire away!

Many thanks in advance,

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2 Replies:

  • I hope when I say this it isn't offensive as a lot of times people can be offended but I think he might be experiencing panic attacks with anxiety disorder. When you put alcohol into your body often you start becoming dependent and (I am not judging) however alcohol is a depressant and calms the nerves but over time your body needs more to achieve the desired affect. When the body doesn't get it (from experience) you will feel like you are going to die if you have progressed to the point of being emotionally, psychologically, or physically dependent. I would highly suggest (and saying so in that what as a suggestion and not being told what you need to do) mentioning to this person that maybe it will help to seek out a psychologist. I definitely would suggest detox to get everything out the body because you can't tell what is physical, mental or the result of substances until you clear them out the body. Unfortunately, living the lifestyle we tend to neglect our health because of these things. the best friends you will ever find are the ones who I met at "those meetings" and "those meetings" saved my life. Everyone has a choice and letting your friend know there is a solution and it truly works and if it works for me it will work for anyone, we are not unique, nothing original and we all have the same symptoms. No one decided to stop drinking who were in those meetings because they stopped liking how it made them feel but because the consequences became to painful to continue. You said this person does MDMA and this isn't going to be any different of a solution than alcohol. Complete abstinence because one drink is never enough and starts a craving that you can't stop until you are stopped. You can try going to a bar having one drink and not drinking anymore. See if you can stop that's a quick diagnostic tool or if it starts an obsession where you do various things like count the clock to the next day. When I drank I never experienced peace and I had profound anxiety of when and how I was going to drink again. Anxiety gives you a sensation of a lump in your throat and is very common. My anxiety left not through medical treatment alone. I surrendered and stopped using recreational drugs and drinking plus working a 12 step program. I have never been more satisfied with life. I am not going to say I am this happy person who never has a problem but now I get what true happiness is and that's being just okay. I was tired of feeling awful and it stopped being fun. I had to realize that the image my mind painted of drinking and when I thought of drinking was far from reality. Reality is I wasn't in paradise, without a care in the world I was having panic attacks thinking I was going to die, praying and begging God for one more chance and secretly crying in the bathroom or constantly repeating my sad pity stories over and over that no one wanted to hear but tolerated. I am sure they were tired of hearing e whine about being a victim of circumstance. Anyways hope that helps.
    Mercys87 2 Replies
    • September 25, 2013
    • 02:06 PM
    • 0
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  • Your friends symptoms could be caused from numerous things-alcohol withdrawal,hyperthyroidism,graves disease....etcHowever the reality is that doctors can only find if his symptoms are illness related once he stops drinking alcohol and doing drugs,otherwise it just confuses them.So your friend needs to find a safe and effective way to get off them and he also needs to be aware that taking drugs,in some people,can cause psychosis.So,if the symptoms still remain after your friends living a more healthy lifestyle,then other potential causes can be looked into.
    rozellelily 21 Replies
    • October 16, 2013
    • 05:07 AM
    • 0
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