Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Panic disorder....embarrassing diarrhea...please help me

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 21 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 26, 2007
  • 11:02 AM

I have been suffering from a panic disorder for several years since a horrible car accident, however in the last few months it has taken a horrible twist. I started becoming intolerant to certain foods, and unfortunately had a diarrhea episode where I did not make it to the loo. Since then being in a situation where I am away from a toilet fills me with such fear that it actually induces diarrhea. I take imodium every day now, simply so I can get out of the house. I am currently receiving CBT therapy, however it does not seem to be working. Please Please is there anybody who has had either a similar experience, or knows how to calm my irrational body/mind. I feel like such a fool,
thank you.

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21 Replies:

  • Well its not fully irrational, it is traumatic experience and stressful events that can trigger development of a food intolerence. The symptoms are very much like anxiety, especially in a case with severe diarrhea and/or physical discomfort. If you truly feel you can overcome your anxiety and its your stomach and bowels that are stopping you, I would say you need to find the food(s) that trigger your body's panic response. The longterm consequences of food intolerence are much more than inconvenient.
    Azaral 152 Replies
    • February 26, 2007
    • 00:32 PM
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  • An acupuncturist will help you with all of your symptoms - the panic/anxiety, diarrhea, pain, and overall stress. Please don't take the Immodium AD long term - this totally disrupts your bowel rhythms and can cause further problems. To find a practitioner near you please visit www.acufinder.com Have you had a full stool test done to rule out giarrdia, parasites, candida, c. difficile, e coli and other possible infections? This should be done if it hasn't already. To help get your intestinal flora back in balance you need to take a good quality probiotic and take the highest dose. This will help the diarrhea. www.vitacost.com has many to choose from at really great prices. Lastly, the very best thing I have found to help with post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety is called Rescue Remedy. It is a Bach flower remedy tincture, and you just put 4 drops in a glass of water. This helps you with the emotional aspect of any trauma, whether it is a car accident, illness, divorce or death in family, or any other source of stress. This stuff is wonderful and I can't recommend it highly enough! Best wishes.DOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • February 27, 2007
    • 03:38 AM
    • 0
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  • have you thought of prayer?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know relatives who have had that problem, where they poop on themselves if they try to drive anywhere, thus they never leave the house.You just have to find one of these counseler people that will go with you, and thus make the exposure less stressful, someone you feel comfortable with, who is patient and not judgemental. And after a few sessions, you are cured.Just google around, and see if you can find out what those people are called, and if they have them in your area.http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=nervous+diarrhea+counselor&spell=1
    Wolf Dreamer 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for your kind words everyone, I think maybe acupuncture and hypnotherapy will be one way forward, I am trying to make myself get out everyday, even if it is hard and I end up running to a loo. I suppose with everything, time is what is needed. Also less stress would be good. I don't think prayer is the way forward for me, (but thank you for the suggestion), however I have considered meditation. Any thoughts anyone?Kate
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Meditation takes a lot of work. You wouldn't imagine it so hard to clear your mind, but alas, it is.Some try to find something to take their mind off of it, like a prayer, song, or chant, or a ritual of some sort, some even suggesting wearing a rubber band to smack yourself with.Nothing ever worked for me.What I do as a distraction, to keep my mind off of things, creative writing, and compulsively playing a ten year old real time strategy game.
    Wolf Dreamer 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • i have the same thingg i suffer from very bad anxiety ive had pretty much everything u can think of and now i am intolerant to alot of foods.....i hope its because of anxietyy
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 2, 2007
    • 08:57 PM
    • 0
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  • I've had the same problem. I saw a doctor who specialized in Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I no longer have any of those symptoms, and lice a completely normal life. Just ask your family doctor about a doctor who specializes in that. The amount of medication is so minimal and I have been taking it so long I forget to take it sometimes. I hope this will help.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 4, 2007
    • 08:04 PM
    • 0
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  • I have had various forms of this for many years (pretty much all my life -- 50 yrs+) and thru trial and error have found that it stems (in my case) from multiple areas though the greatest change happened after I had a serious auto accident. Now I notice that it seems to stem from irritation and inflammation of my lower and mid back areas. A very good chiropractor has helped significantly as does ice. I also carry Bentyl with me (there are other anti-spasmodics as well out there that work well) and avoid dairy products and sugar when I am under stress. I have also found that cayenne pepper helps (and jalapeno hurts -- there is some Chinese reasoning for this I'm told). Taking extra Vitamin B6 has also helped.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 8, 2007
    • 06:09 AM
    • 0
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  • I can so relate to what you are saying. I can't offer any solutions, but I know exactly what you mean. I couldn't believe it when I was reading your question, as I could've written it myself. I have exactly the same - bad car crash and then the panic attacks and diarrhea. And feeling like a complete idiot. It's hard to admit to other people as you feel so ridiculous and embarrassed. Doctors have put me on anti-depressants and benzodiazapines. I have found that the anti-depressants (first tried effexor, then Lexapro) don't help with the attacks, make me feel worse and have other side effects, so I stopped that. They might, however, work for you. The doctor said that Lexapro has a good success rate, however when I was on it, it made me feel so, so sad and teary. The benzodiazapines help, in that at least it allows you to relax enough to be on the bus without freaking out too much. I still can't do the train (as there is nowhere to go/can't get off if diarrhea strikes) And can't bring myself to drive too far from home. So embarrassing when you are with a friend who is driving and you have to get them to pull over at the nearest public toilets (like NOW). I am seeing a psychologist, and going to a new psychiatrist tomorrow to see if he can't help figure out how to get back to being normal and happy. After reading answers to your question, will try acupuncture, rescue remedy, vitamin B6. To be honest, I don't usually go for alternative therapies, but the conventional ones don't seem to work, and at the moment, will try anything. Caffiene seems to be a bit of a contributor too. What foods do you feel contribute?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I can sorta relate because i get extremely nauseous at the begining of an attack. Not sure if this will help you, but at the suggestion of a clerk at the Vitamin Shop, i started taking Papaya enzyme tablets along with a tablet of Bromelain every day to keep the balance in my stomach and so far it seems to be working. It might work for you to.hope it helpsSimoneanxiety.prevention@gmail.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • While your symptoms may be all related to the original accident and panic, you may have a physical problem...there is a condition called carcinoid syndrome associated with panic, anxiety, diarrhea, some food intolerance, flushing of the face and spells of high blood pressure. There are a few other medical conditions that can cause this too.It's pretty rare, but if this is like your symptoms, consider seeing a Dr. to check for it. Meanwhile, continue counselling. Hope this helps. Marionstar
    marionstar 228 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have your stools checked to rule out Giardiasis please. You may not even have the right diagnosis.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Do you often re-live the accident in your mind? If you do there are some very simple techniques to help with that, which can then lead on the relief from the symptoms you have (always supposing there is no other cause). Perhaps the most useful is to run the whole event backwards in your mind, so a reverse version of what you've been running forwards all this time. Imagine you've got it all on a film, or video tape, or a DVD and that you're going to control those pictures and feelings from a sort of mental remote control. Sounds odd but it can be amazingly effective with all sorts of traumatic events. If you want to give it a go but need more information I can probably find some links that explain it more fully. One very important thing to remember to do is to give your panic a grade (on a scale of 1 to 10) before you start - and then grade it again afterwards. Any improvement, even just one point, is success. Try it a couple of times and see how you go.Something else the people have found useful is "tapping" (also known as emotional freedom technique).From what you've said, I'm confident you'll be recovering, perhaps surprisingly soon.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • View the techniques for control of anxiety/panic attacks, in section 8, at ezy build, below. Begin, on this first occasion, only, by holding your breath for 5, or 10 seconds: this will give you the confidence to realise that YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR BREATHING, but not pass out, or die (your autonomic nervous system resumes breathing, if you become unconscious). Understand panic attacks, and what triggers them, in your life (if it is unresolved anxiety, or stress, see sections 6, or 42, respectively). The paper bag method works for most people: try it. If you are fairly suggestible, the following are reliable: http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/Your last alternative is psychotherapy, to address its fundamental cause: read section 1, and examine the http://1-800-therapist.com/ website, and use the locators, and phone book. I used to suffer from panic attacks, until I questioned what had changed in my life, at, or just before that time, to trigger them. For some people, this is enough. These days, I have instilled the habit of, whenever a situation occurs where panic is likely, I visualise a large, "STOP!" sign, as vividly as possible, followed by repeating to myself: "stay calm" in my mind. You could try the same method. It usually takes 30 - 40 repetitions, for most people, to establish a new habit. I also suggest that you learn, then practise the controlled breathing technique, until competent, then employ it, at the very first sign of a panic attack. Practice one of the relaxation methods on pages 2, 11, 2c, or 2i, daily, and when needed. Also, give the EFT a good tryout, to see if it helps you. There is also a version for use in public places, (if you like, you can claim to have a headache, as you massage/lightly tap your temples, but you would then be restricted to subvocalising: saying it to yourself in your mind). Section 53, and pages 2, 2.q and 2.o at http://www.ezy-build.net.nz/~shaneris also refer: "Even though I sometimes suffer from panic attacks, I deeply and completely accept myself." Note: the controlled breathing only helps with the symptoms (as do medications/herbal remedies): you need to address the underlying cause, and this requires some form of therapy, and Cognitive Behavio(u)ral Therapy has proved effective. Advice from a published psychiatrist on controlled breathing. (1.) Get a clock, or watch with a second timer. (2.) Practise for 5 minutes, 4 times daily, until proficient. (3.) Take a small breath in, and hold it, for 6 seconds. (4.) Think to yourself: "RELAX", just before breathing out. (5.) Try to feel a sense of releasing tension, as you breathe out. (6.) Breathe in for 3 seconds, then out, for 3 seconds. Try to make your breathing very smooth, and light, as you breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth, or nose. (7.) For the next minute, continue to breathe in, and out, every 3 seconds. (8.) Go back to step 3, at the end of the minute, and proceed through to step 7, doing this for 5 minutes. Use this at the very first sign of a panic attack starting, or any time you feel anxious, or tense. Because many people can't access/afford professional therapy, I include the EFT, and EMDR variant for them to try, free of charge. Cognitive Behavio(u)ral Therapy is generally available in most areas, but EMDR (see section 33) may well be worth trying, and is becoming more widespread. (The following is a variant of EMDR therapy, which has been used successfully for those people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, insomnia, and anxiety: it is easily learned, quick to use, yet can be very effective. It is easy to be dismissive of such a seemingly unusual technique, but give it a good tryout, for at least a few weeks, to see if it is effective in your case). Prior to using either of the methods in the above paragraph, first sit comfortably, and take a deep breath. Then, without moving your head, move your eyes from the left, to the right, and back again, taking around a second to do so (say: "a thousand and one": this takes approximately a second). Repeat this procedure (without the words, although you can count, subvocally, if you like) 20 times: "A thousand and one; a thousand and two... " and so on, to a thousand and twenty. Then close your eyes and relax. Become aware of any tension or discomfort you feel. Then open your eyes, and take another deep breath, and repeat step one, closing your eyes, and relaxing afterwards, in the same manner. Then, repeat the procedure one last time. Some people may find that this is all they need do. With experience, you may find that you can practise this in public, with your eyes closed, which greatly widens the window of opportunity for its use, and avoids attracting unwanted attention. I have found that the 2 - 3 minutes spent using the EMDR markedly reduces distractions to the relaxation process, and is repaid many times over. I also use it prior to my chosen relaxation technique, after lights out, at night. For more about Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing therapy, showing recommendations by those who have used it, including a professional psychotherapist with more than 20 years of experience in that field, see sections 33 - 34, at ezy-build. She was skeptical, at first, and I remained unconvinced, until trying it, and now I use it twice daily, including after lights out, at night. It may also help to minimise, or eliminate caffeine products from your life (coffee can be a trigger) and sugar. Xylitol, or Stevia is preferable, (health food stores) or fruit sugar (fructose, such as "Fruisana", from supermarket sugar aisles) or even a little honey. Minimise/eliminate consumption of highly processed foods, particularly grain products, such as white bread, donuts, cake, cookies/biscuits, or anything with sugar. Opt for more wholefoods, non-starchy vegetables, and fruit. For a while, increase your consumption of low fat cheese, and yoghurt. I had your problem when I was preparing for a colonoscopy, and I was too late, as well. If you wore adult nappies, outside, just for the time it takes to get through this, once going off Imodium it may help, as you will not have to worry so much about embarrassment. Try to evacuate your bowels before going out, or time it so you do go out just afterwards.
    shaneris 46 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've had the same problem. I saw a doctor who specialized in Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I no longer have any of those symptoms, and lice a completely normal life. Just ask your family doctor about a doctor who specializes in that. The amount of medication is so minimal and I have been taking it so long I forget to take it sometimes. I hope this will help.What are you taking?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 10, 2009
    • 02:51 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thank you for your kind words everyone, I think maybe acupuncture and hypnotherapy will be one way forward, I am trying to make myself get out everyday, even if it is hard and I end up running to a loo. I suppose with everything, time is what is needed. Also less stress would be good. I don't think prayer is the way forward for me, (but thank you for the suggestion), however I have considered meditation. Any thoughts anyone?KateKate, I suffered from this problem for 40 years! I know how embarassing this condition is. It makes you not want to leave the house, be in public places, or travel . I understand completely. One thing I found is that stress triggers this condition. It is easier said than done to control stress, because just the thought of having an "episode" creates stress. See a gastrointestinal Doctor to clear your mind of any fears of this being some sort of serious condition, because it is probably IBS. Go to the websites and read up on how people have dealt with this condition. Taking Fibercon helped me mentally, to feel a supplement would help me not have diaherra. Also, I wore a pad in my undergarment that gave me more confidence that if I had an attack I would have a defense! Your Doctor may give you medication to help slow down the transiet time through your colon. There is much help available to you. You will find many alternatives to your problem, and you are certainly not alone in your situation! Good Luck, Cheryl
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 13, 2009
    • 05:11 PM
    • 0
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  • What are you taking?i have irritable bowel and anxiety that comes from the bowel. i take celexa and what a difference this has made in my life! i tried getting more fiber in my diet and started eating Fiber One muffins and snack bars. they have chicory root and that causes horrible diarrhea ...even had what is called a 'hot red face' during one episode.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 20, 2009
    • 11:59 AM
    • 0
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  • What is happening is your mind is getting away from you and your stressing yourself out for no reason other then your memories. I also suffer from this and have found one thing that actually helps. “Mindfulness”!!!!!!There are 100’s of book about this topic but I would recommend 2The Power of Now by Eckhart TolleThe second is Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-ZinnAlso available on Audio Both of these book and countless other have given me an new outlook on how life is lived. I would suggest them to anyone with or with out anxiety. Have an open mind and please look into it.
    Momphrare 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been suffering from a panic disorder for several years since a horrible car accident, however in the last few months it has taken a horrible twist. I started becoming intolerant to certain foods, and unfortunately had a diarrhea episode where I did not make it to the loo. Since then being in a situation where I am away from a toilet fills me with such fear that it actually induces diarrhea. I take imodium every day now, simply so I can get out of the house. I am currently receiving CBT therapy, however it does not seem to be working. Please Please is there anybody who has had either a similar experience, or knows how to calm my irrational body/mind. I feel like such a fool, thank you.I am so sorry for your suffering! As we humans evolved over millions of years, there was a stage when we developed two very simple nervous systems, or brains. This this a very simplistic explanation, obviously, but one of these "brains" was generally speaking, in our digestive systems. Know how bad news can feel like you got hit in the stomach? Get butterflies? Feel like "bowels turned to water" when scared? Those are examples of what is left of our "prehistoric belly brains" as I call it. I think you need some psychological counseling to help you with what may be a symptom of your trauma related to the accident or you may be subconsciously keeping yourself "safe" by causing a medical problem that prevents you from going out. You could end up with agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) if you don't. See a mental health professional and a medical professional and get better really soon! Life is too short and hey, s--t happens, right? Good luck! Ava
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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