I am a 26 year old male. It all started when I was 18 years old graduating from high school. I began to have abdominal pain and minor bouts of diarrhea. I thought it was just a virus or just going through a phase, but after a month I had enough and went in to see a gastroenterologist. I had blood tests run, an ultrasound of my abdomen, and finally a colonoscopy. After all the tests my doctor said that I had “minor” IBS and that I would be fine. After speaking with the doctor I felt better knowing that I would be fine but in the back of my head I knew something was not right.
I went off to college for 5 years and the symptoms continued to get worse and worse, I saw a few other doctors along the way and they said that it is just the IBS you are “fine” just cut back on drinking and eating junk food/bad food. It got to the point towards the end of college where if I went out drinking than I would have extreme pain in the abdomen area/bad diarrhea so I began to cut back on the drinking and bad foods. Also my stools slowly started to become loose. I began to just not be myself and I knew something was wrong in the back of my head. But what more could I do besides a colonoscopy? I also started to experience frequent urination that got worse over time and also muscle spasms and heart palpitations that also got worse. My doctor said it was just “stress” and told me to cut back on any caffeine you may be consuming.
These symptoms progressively got worse over time but I was still able to live a moderately normal life until one day about a year after I graduated from college. At about 1:00AM in the morning I remember waking up from sleeping on the couch and quickly walking to bed. As soon as I laid down on my stomach I suddenly felt very light headed and queezy. I got very faint, my heart rate shot to what felt like 150bpm, I was sweating profusely, had scary heart palpitations, and I thought this was it my life was ending tonight. I got very close to passing out but never lost consciousness. My girlfriend at the time rushed me to the hospital and they did blood work and a cat scan of my head and x-ray of my chest. I spent about half the night there and at the end of it the doctor said that I was free to leave and thought it was probably stress that triggered it and gave me no explanation. After that day I started noticing awful reactions to certain foods like sugar, white carbs, alcohol, eating excessively, and even exercise. I was having awful heart palpitations, feeling dizzy, was not able to think clearly, my lymph nodes became swollen and would get worse after eating the above referenced foods, and my heart would randomly jump to 130-15bpm. I got random bouts of dizziness after changing elevations quickly.
One day for lunch at work about a week after the first trip to the ER I consumed one single beer and immediately I started feeling dizzy and wound up going to the emergency room again that night. The same symptoms as the first trip to the ER happened and the doctor ended up saying basically the same thing. By the way it has been about a year since that second trip to the ER and I have not had a single drink since then. Shortly after the first trip to the ER I began seeing several doctors. The first doctor I saw was my general practitioner. He did extensive blood work and said everything looked normal and that it was probably stress and he recommended me to a cardiologist, endocrinologist, and even a psychologist! The second one I saw was a cardiologist in which I had a stress test done, several EKG’s, too much blood work, and also an ultrasound of my heart. Everything checked out fine and he said it was probably just “stress” you were experiencing and that you just need to relax. I proceeded to see another cardiologist and had the same tests done in which he told me that it was again just stress and that I was fine. Now I moved on to see two endocrinologists in which I did all the blood work in the world it felt like. I got tested for thyroid problems and everything and I got the same response from all the other doctors. I proceeded to see a gastroenterologist where he did extensive blood work and tested for chrons, colitis, celiac disease, and any inflammation and various other diseases. I told him everything and he literally told me to take pepto bismol and that I was fine. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. At this point all I wanted was a doctor to give me some concrete answers and tell me something besides stress is causing all of this. On to another gastroenterologist. I went to the Medical Center in Houston, TX one of the best hopitals in the country. They did a stool sample, a cat scan of my abdomen, and extensive blood work. After all those tests they said everything was normal and that you’re symptoms were over a broad range of organ systems so they basically could not give me any answers. I have seen 7 doctors in 3 months at this point but hey who is counting. After eating anything at this point I just don’t feel right. My symptoms after seeing the 7th doctor include: heart palpitations, muscle spasms, swollen lymph nodes(gets worse after eating), tight chest(gets tight after eating), loose stools, occasional diarrhea, brain fog, loss of appetite, constipation, dizziness after sudden elevation changes, sleep loss, ringing in ears, and loss of weight. I went from being 175 pounds
to 140 pounds
without even trying. All of these symptoms get worse after eating, especially after sugar, junk food, starches, and alcohol. The only thing that made me feel slightly better was keeping an extremely strict diet. The more I researched the more I thought that this was a gastro related nervous system disorder so I saw a neurologist and he said that the gut is lined by the nervous system and that I had an extremely over reactive gut. He prescribed me clonazepam’s and said this would help calm my gut. I thought this was the last thing I wanted because I thought it would probably make me worse or it would just be a band-aid and not cover the real issues at hand. Nonetheless I took them for a few weeks to just try and keep sane because I was desperate and then got off of them quickly. They did not solve any real problems.
It has been almost a year now since that first trip to the emergency room and my symptoms have gotten slightly better but they are still there and the only things that have helped me has been to keep an extremely strict diet. Right not all I want is some answers. I try hard to keep a positive attitude but sometimes it is extremely hard and I get really down on myself. All of my friends seem so happy and healthy and I cannot say the same for myself. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? This is not stress or IBS we are talking about here. Please if there is anyone out there that has any insight to what is going on with me or a possible doctor referral that could help me out please contact me or message me. I apologize for the lengthy post but I can not go my whole life without knowing what is wrong with me. If anyone is going through the same types of issues or anything similar at all feel free to email me to discuss as well.
****Update – Fast forward about another 2 years to now and I am about to turn 28 years old. After seeing over 10 doctors within that first year and none of them giving me any real answers I decided to take matters into my own hands and read/research every book on health/nutrition I could find. I have come to realize that the best doctor in the world is yourself we all need to listen to our own bodies and react appropriately to it. By precisely controlling what I drink and eat I have managed to keep symptoms to a minimum. I have learned that I have intolerances/disturbances to gluten, most nuts, anything very fatty, most grains, alcohol of course I have not had a drink in over 2 years, and several other things. I am no doctor but I feel as though I suffer from some extreme form of gut permeability, candida, & leaky gut and I still think I have some form of colitis/chrons but the doctor’s have told me other wise but I am not diagnosed. I also feel as though my vagus nerve is out of whack as I have several neurological symptoms. My heart palpitations can be very scary at times although I feel as though I have them under control. If anyone has any insight please let me know thanks for reading the long post!