Persistent stomach issues

Hey everyone.

I am so depressed! I am 19 and have very bad anxiety disorder, panic attacks and major depressive disorder. For the past few weeks, I was suddenly struck with stomach problems. Anxiety has always affected my stomach but this time had been different. I woke up one day and suddenly felt severely nauseous like I'm going to vomit, lack of appetite, stomach churning violently etc. This lasted the entire day over into the other day and I couldn't sleep. Went emergency room and they said its GERD (acid reflux) , started on lansaprazole with no help. I went back doctor and this time they requested tests, so I did a full blood work (which came normal but said I'm low on iron a bit) , I also did a barium swallow test (X-ray) , it came back saying I definitely have mild gastro-oesaphageal reflux and that was the only thing found on the barium meal. So the doctor read the results and started me on nexium 40mg once daily and maxolon tablets three times daily... I won't be able to see a GI doctor at the clinic until December 3. I can't afford one outside neither. Nor an endoscopy...

But I need some advice please, I can't cope. I'm nauseated 24/7, always feel like I'm on the verge of vomiting my life out. I always have to travel with a just incase plastic bag, I fear going in public in fear that I might vomit infront a crowd and draw attention, I now fear going on public transports. Because I always feel like I'm going to vomit but never did even when it came close. I have school 8am to 4pm on September 7 and I'm practically depressed, how will I focus in class? What I feel sick or vomit in there? I won't be able to cope at all. I just need some advice :( I've hit rock bottom. I've also loss weight.

Not to mention I'm emetophobic (a fear of vomiting) so I get panic attacks when I feel nauseous. I know it was my anxiety that causes these digestive issues.

Has anyone has these problems?

Please give me some tips and advice?

Remedies to help with nausea and how to cope at school always feeling sick?

Thanks

10 Replies

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  • Ok, take a deep breathe and calm your mind. Your fear of vomiting is just fear ... you have some things to deal with and your doctor is helping with that. One of the things you can do for the nausea feeling is get a small bottle or spray bottle with a lid. Fill it with rubbing alcohol....the smell of the alcohol helps to alleviate the nausea....they use it in hospitals all the time, especially for people that have had outpatient surgical procedures. Often times the patients will experience nausea from the anesthesia they receive. The nurses will take a cotton ball and put some alcohol on it then give it to the patient to smell. If you have a small bottle with you, you can just open it and smell it a little or if you have a spray bottle just spray a little on your wrist or in the air. Smell it and calm your mind. I keep a bottle in my desk drawer at work. And I have a bottle at home too. That is just one thing you can do ... if they do it in the hospital, it is safe for you to do on your own. I had all the same tests as you when I was in my early 20's ... nothing there but some mild indigestion. Anxiety of the real problem. Find ways to divert your mind whether that is thru movement or by listening to music or reading or, for me, typing. When I get really stressed I find that typing helps me work the anxiety out thru my hands. I type like 110 words a minute now! But that was not my purpose....I just want to be able to relax and it really helps me to do that. Find a way that helps you...walk, dance, pace, play cards ... whatever. And keep posting. Everyone here will offer support and suggestions ... and you will be ok. Trust your doctors and trust yourself. Be well and try not to be afraid.

  • Thank u very much, Ur post has been so encouraging...I've been doing the little rubbing alcohol trick for some months now and it helps to relief some nausea, just not fully...

    So u had the same nausea and GI problems like me?

    And how will u advice me to cope at school with anxiety and feeling sick? A crowded classroom.

  • School can be a tough situation just because it is a social environment. I have always been interested in drawing and art so I would doodle, or just draw designs. I could listen and learn but my hands would be busy and that would help get rid of the anxiety. Concentrating on my breathing helped too. I would challenge myself to breath in through my nose, hold it for up to 5 counts if I could, then breath out through my nose and try to do that up to 5 or more counts. If I could do that 3 times, I always found that I felt better. I am sure there are other techniques but that is what I did. This biggest thing is to believe in yourself. You can do it, you can get through your day. Get some colored pencils or markers and just draw small circles or designs. And when you are in a class that you really like, let your mind be there completely. You can worry about stuff after you get out. Make that classroom your safe place. And please know that you can talk to your school counselor or a teacher that you are comfortable with. Or a good friend that you trust. It will help you to feel more secure if you know someone else is aware of your discomfort. Fear is just "false evidence appearing real" - try to remember that. You will have good days and you will have not so good days. That is OKAY. Hang in there and keep sharing.

  • Thank you very much, I will take your advice in mind. I agree with you. It really is anxiety that causes gutt and digestive problems but first, we must work on the anxiety. Thanks.

  • And one more thing....watch your diet. Chances are there are foods setting off the Gerd ... could be all kinds of things. One of the worst for me is chocolate (which I LOVE but just can't eat anymore) ... experiment a little with the food you eat and see if you have more problems after certain foods. That does not mean to not eat though. You need nutrition to support your bodily systems! In the long run it is better to eliminate food that bothers you than it is to take lots of medications. One step at a time. Be patient with yourself.

  • Yeah but the thing is, I've never had GERD problems until the awful long term anxiety. Food never use to trigger any reactions, but I do now try to cut down on greasy foods and meat. I try to eat more vegetables and fruits which I didn't use to eat often. But I really didn't have gastro problems till a long term of anxiety. And if I have gotten the burning alone,it wouldn't be that bad, but I got the worse, nausea! And nausea can be caused from GERD right?

    I eat so many different foods that it will be difficult to pin point what causes reflux, but as I said, good never use to trigger me at all.....

  • Oh, I see. Okay, the anxiety is really the culprit here. You get nervous and your stomach releases acid....you get Gerd and that causes nausea ... probably goes something like that. So back to managing the fear ... you can do that by distracting yourself as I said before. Whatever takes your mind off of how you are feeling. And keep telling yourself that you are okay. If you had a dear friend that was suffering the way you are, what would you say to help them....to ease their fear? Let's say you would tell they you are there for them, you will watch out for them, you will help them through it, they are going to be fine. Don't worry. Well do that for yourself. Be your best friend...I know it sounds silly, but I spent a lot of time being my best friend. I looked after myself - kind of like visualizing yourself as a little kid, a really cute, adorable kid. If that little one started to cry or got scared you would get down on one knee and hug them. Well give yourself a hug when you get scared. You are beautiful and valuable. I know this all sounds silly, but it really isn't. Truly. Sorry I get so carried away. I just spent so much time being so afraid - I hate to see someone going thru the same darn thing.

  • No its not crazy at all !!!!

    Your right. Stuff like that really do help, I always try to think rational and positive even when it seems hard.., but trust me its not easy, I hope as soon as I get my anxiety intact, then my nausea and reflux will decrease, in time for school. I am on a anxiety clinic at the hospital currently , will start a CBT. Also on drug therapy call Valium. The doctor also put me on a course of nexium and maxolon. Your right, wen we get anxiety, our stomach over produces acids resulting in reflux symptoms. The radiologist did said my reflux is very mild. They said stress can cause it. My other problems tend to be I'm always consumed by fear, I fear vomiting so bad that I'm always anxious that reflux will make it happen, then I dread going in public places and on the bus cuz I fear throwing up infront people cuz I feel so sick all the time, that's why I really dread school September, I even plan on sitting next to the exit in the classroom, I really enjoy talking to u cuz u understand so well and don't think Im just whining ... :(

  • You are not whining....you have anxiety and panic attacks. It is a real problem for many people. Thank goodness your reflux is mild! That is a huge blessing. I hate vomiting too....sit by the exit, do whatever makes you feel safe. You be good to you. I will be leaving soon so I won't be on my computer until later this evening or tomorrow . It is a pleasure to chat with you.

  • Yes thanks for your help. Take care of yourself.

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