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Anxiety & CFS symptoms activated by Eating/Drinking

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by seth, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. seth


    I've had extended periods of anxiety and chronic fatigue symptoms for many years. Anxiety is the all-day kind, not the 1-2 hr. panic-then-subsiding. Flare-ups can last for 6-12 months or more, then disappear, leaving me anxiety free, for 1-2 years or more. Changes in lifestyle or diet never had any effect. Done long fasts, liver, kidney & gall flushes, complete stoppage of all sugar & dairy, you name it.

    Prior to 2015, I've never experienced any connection between this pattern and my eating patterns. I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted during both anxious & calm periods, and my stomach/gut motility & regularity was seamless. But this year, often I eat or drink something and almost immediately get a severe shot of anxiety, weakness, nausea and muscle aches. I must say sometimes, because some meals produce no ill effect at all.

    I tried to track a pattern showing which foods, liquids, meal times, amounts, etc. kick in the anxiety & CFS, and it seems totally random. Some days I'll have simple toast in the AM, and good sized lunch and dinner (mostly greens, grains & salad, all organic, very little fat except maybe some feta cheese on the salad or olive oil on the food,) and feel no symptom kick-in from breakfast or lunch and maybe only a little nausea/bloat from the dinner meal. The the next morning I'll have the same toast or maybe just a cup of tea and wham!, the symptoms hit immediately and I'm crawling out of my skin for hours, even all day, with later meals just exacerbating the symptoms. Doesn't matter which food or drink I had - even high-fat or high-sugar foods sometimes cause symptoms, sometimes not. The only consistency is feeling quickly over-full & bloated from amounts smaller than than I used to be able to eat.

    I've had every GI test you can name, all stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, etc organs show up normal. One bacteria-crazed GI guy in LA suspected h-pylori & Blastocystitis, put me on 2 weeks of Nitazoxinide (Alinia) which would have killed either of those (Nearly killed me...ugh!) but symptoms still persist months later.
    Anybody else have this, or have a sense of what this is?

    By the way, Happy Holidays to all, and a wish for a wonderful 2016!
    alkt, hellytheelephant and Skippa like this.
  2. alkt

    alkt Senior Member

    there are biochemical reasons for symptoms to not show up immediately like mental fatigue or pem not happening for 12 24 hrs after the cause it could be the same with your stomach must of took me fifteen years before i could finish a full plate of food. although i still have very little appetite.
  3. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

    @seth, do you suffer from any other symptoms besides anxiety?
    Are you on an anti-anxiety med like benzodiazepine?

    A few things that come to mind that might trigger your anxiety after eating;

    - Glutamate
    - Histamine intolerance
    - Dysautonomia
  4. Dufresne

    Dufresne almost there...

    There was a time when all my symptoms were greatly improved while fasting, and then within five minutes of swallowing food they'd all start up again. Later, as I grew more sensitive, I'd notice that drinking water could aggravate things too. Therapies that offset this either had a heavy calming effect on the brain and/or reduced oxidative stress.

    I now know these symptoms were/are caused by certain infections and toxins. Why they'd worsen after eating... I still don't have any idea.

    I'd be wondering about that reaction to nitazoxanide. Have you done any parasite cleanses or gut work?
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

    It's perhaps a long shot, but you might want to check to see if you get this reaction when you eat or drink something containing the sweetener known as "high fructose corn syrup" (HFCS). For whatever reason, I developed a pretty striking sensitivity to HFCS after the onset of ME. I would get symptoms such as a pounding heart, flushing, sweating and feeling awful after consuming a 12 oz can of soda sweetened with HFCS, but not from a 12 oz can sweetened with sugar. Some might describe these symptoms as an anxiety attack.

    Table sugar, or, indeed, even regular corn syrup, did not produce this effect - only HFCS.

    My best guess is that (in my case, at least) something about ME causes my system to perceive HFCS as a LOT of sugar (even though it is not). The body responds by producing a LOT of insulin. This drives the blood sugar WAY down (hypoglycemia) and the body tries to compensate by releasing adrenaline. This is all speculation, but I believe that the adrenaline produces most of the symptoms I mentioned. There is also an uncomfortable initial phase (a sort of sense of "dread") which I would attribute to the perception of hypoglycemia.

    I had multiple glucose tolerance tests which were all normal, so the answer is not simply bad handling of glucose.
    PatJ likes this.
  6. seth


    Thanks. My wife and I are very judicious about avoiding all HFCS in all foods we consume...we're good label readers. That said, the occasional ingestion of HFCS hasn't seemed to set off symptoms.

    I am not on a regular dose of a benzo. However, I have a stash of Klonopin, which I take occasionally (less than one tiny .5mg dose a week on average,) with sometimes years in between doses when I'm going thru one of my calm, low-CFS periods. It does help a lot w/both the anxiety and the GI symptoms, which makes me feel like my 'illness' is mostly neurological in nature.

    We've checked for Dysautonomia and Glutumate or Histamine intolerance, and I don't seem to fit the profile, in as much as I have virtually none of the symptoms of Dysauto and never display the prominent skin-based symptoms (rashes, hives,i itchiness) common to Glutumate or Histamine intolerance.

    Many parasite/candida/bacteria cleanses over the last 20 years. The nitazoxanide was the most recent one, a few months ago, but it was started because of my GI symptoms, not the cause of them.

    Thanks all for your ideas. Nothing concrete yet, so I guess it's back to the drawing board :(
  7. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    Check out Roemheld Syndrome. A mechanical change in the gut from eating or taking in too much air with food can compress the vagus nerve, slowing the heart so the autonomic system kicks in to increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
  8. Nina

    Nina Senior Member

    Histamine can be a huge problem even if there are no skin-based symptoms whatsoever. I tend to get the symptoms of anxiety without actually feeling "anxious" (if that makes sense) from histamine (increased heart rate, weakness, feeling faint, tingling and more).

    Although the fact that you experience longer symptom-free periods points in another direction, I wouldn't rule out histamine as a (complicating) factor completely.

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