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    Preventing Panic Attack Diarrhea
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    horse_mom1 posted:
    Hello, I suffer from the worst symptom anxiety and panic attacks can have: diarrhea. And I mean, EXPLOSIVE diarrhea. When it hits, I have very little time to get to a bathroom. There are a few situations that are known to cause me to have a panic attack. I take half a Xanax as needed (which is not very often) for the general axiety. But it does not stop the diarrhea in the severe panic attacks.

    There are times when I cannot avoid the situations that typically cause me to have a panic attack. One situation in particular is being stuck in a car in traffic. For me,its a lot like being chlostrophobic and stuck in a confined place. My panic is caused by the possibility I'll have a panic attack (with explosive diarrhea) and there is no possible way I will make it to a bathroom, because there's no place to turn off and get out of the traffic. I have had messed myself on a few occasions and had to go home to clean up and clean my car.

    Over labor day weekend I would like to take a trip in the car with 3 girlfriends. I think its a 6 hour drive to and from our destination. I don't want to have to cancel due to the possibility I'll have a panic attack and have diarrhea while we're sitting in labor day traffic. I would like to know if there are any medications I could ask my doctor to prescribe that I could take before I go on this trip that would essentially stop all movement in my bowels on the days we'll be driving. I am truly desperate. My only alternative is to do very unhealthy things such as use the bowel cleansing product I had to use the night before my laparscopic hysterectomy surgery (can't remember the name but it was an over the counter product) and then starve myself and not eat or drink anything, and pump myself full of the Xanax for the drives. I'm just hoping there might be a medication available that might be a little safer approach.

    Thanks, Valerie
     
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    zac22 responded:
    I have the same symptoms you have...constant fear of going away because of having to go to the bathroom... always making sure there is a bathrroom available... I'm so sick of it!!! I take an anxiety med (as needed), but it doesn't really help. I don't want to have to take a pill everyday. I would love to find a remedy for my anxiety/diarrhea problem because it sure does make my life miserable. I force myself to go out, but I always have the fear of haviing an anxiety attack accompanied with diarrhea. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
     
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    Cyndil19 responded:
    Hi Ladies, I stumbled across this site tonight and was amazed to find other suffering like myself. I too was a happy bubbly person who loved people and was the social butterfly. After a stressful episode at work 16 years ago I had my first panic attack with diarreoah. I was ok for a while and the attacks were rare but in the last few years they have become crippling. I will not put myself forward for senior positions as I am too scared to have to been in charge and be in meetings. I am quite capable of doing the work but feel I have to take a job where I can be left alone like the mushroom in the corner in case I have to rush off to the loo. It is a viscous circle and as I read all the other posts I realise we all have the same thing in common. After the first few attacks, especially when you mess yourself, you the fear then becomes the attack itself not the stress that caused the first one. I too have to know where every toilet is and I will not go anywhere if I know there is not a toilet close by. I had a job travelling 40 minutes each way and had to plan a route where there were public toilets on the way that were relatively close to each other should I panic and feel the need. Another common fear, being stuck anywhere. I will leave a supermarket if the queue is too long, avoid long drives, could never take the bus and avoid going out to dinner as food often sets it off if I feel trapped at the dinner table becaue I feel I will be embarrassed if I have to excuse myslef more than once as people always ask if you are ok and it is embarrassing to try explain. Everyone says I have an irritable bowel but I know it is the stress associated with having an attack. My partner is very understanding but I still find it embarrassing explaining it to him and I find myself making all sorts of exusces as to why I cannot go somewhere with him. Then when he goes alone I feel sad and depressed that I am not normal and cannot go somewhere that I would really like to go because of this stupid fear! I miss out on so much and it feels like I am not living. It has even got to the point where I feel it coming on when I am talking to friends or work collueges and I find myself thinking how i can excuse myself without embarrassing myself. My boss even noticed I was nervous and pre-occupied and asked me if I was OK which was just afewul as I feel like a nutter. There is no rationale for it though. I also take immodium if I know I am going somewhere as I feel it does slow things down. I also avoid dairy or over large meals, sometimes even not eating at all before I leave. It doesnt always work but often it does help. I would so love to be normal and be able to go to BBQ's and clubbing with my partner. I also find myslef always wearing black and feel envious when I see people in white skirts or pink skirts as I have so many beautiful clothes that I am too scared to wear in case I soil myself as I feel black is more forgiving. It is nice to know I am not alone but I really wish there is some way we can all be cured. I remember many years ago I went on the Fit For Life diet and I felt the best I ever have in my whole life. I am wanting to try this again to see if it will cure my symptoms and give me my life back. I just need to snap out of feeling so depressed about it all and get started. Only downfall is it can actually give you the runs after the first few days due to all the fruit and vegies so you need to start it when you can committ and stay close to the loo. I would like to hear from others too. My hotmail is [email protected] Please write.
     
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    Cyndil19 responded:
    One other thing that may be comon to us all. Another lady mentioned that her friends could not beleive she would have anxiety or this condition as she seemed so strong etc, All of my friends always see what is on the outside, a tough, take care of myself person who does not like to make mistakes or be imperfect. I am not a perfect freak but I feel judged if I make a mistake. I wonder if this is a common trait in us all and that part of this fear is the fear of being imperfect or flawed and then judged by others. I used to be a real go getter and Management Material and I cannot believe how far I have fallen. The feeling of being less of a person or flawed in some way is overwhelming and I do everything I can to keep my disorder from people. Does anyone else feel like this? The fear of having an embarrasing accident and having to explain myself is terrible. It even affected my work as I was late everyday as I was on the loo every morning as soon as it was time to leave. I would be fine up until I had to walk out the door and then I would have to run back inside to the loo in panic sometimes to do nothing! It is terrible.
     
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    FV_Dog_Mom responded:
    I don't have anything helpful to add, except how great it was to find this horrible condition described by someone else. I've had EXACTLY the same "Panic Attack Diarrhea" since childhood and never told anyone, because it was so awful, embarassing and not even addressed in the panic disorder literature I've seen. Even the vague generalized anxiety caused by going into stores, library, other public places alone brings it on - or, rather, I should say, that explosive diarrhea IS my only symptom in situations where I don't feel consciously, emotionally "anxious", such as familiar stores, my favorite library etc., if I'm forced to enter alone.

    So I'll continue watching these threads but it's really reassuring to find out someone else suffers from this condition.
     
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    SilkySwan responded:
    Wow. Guess what? I have anxiety, panic attacks, panic disorder, depression, and crazy diarrhea also! I had a major depressive episode when I was 15, fueled by panic attacks that at that time I had no information about so I honestly thought I was dying. The depression was combined with panic disorder to form some sort of sensory mishap where for the entire month I thought everything around me was fake, my vision was blurry and everything looked strange to me, etc. I read 'the power of positive thinking' and told myself that I would be ok once I went back to school (during 1 week school vacation it got much worse). When I went back to school, my depression gradually eased up. After lots and lots of research online, my panic disorder eased up as I learned that I wasn't really dying, and I learned and practiced different coping techniques. However, my general anxiety did not let up. It was awful, I lived in a state of constant anxiety. My panic attacks were less often (from several times a day to only a couple of times a week or so). At 18, I was in an awful relationship that fueled my anxiety to the N-th degree. Towards the end of the relationship my anxiety was so bad, I was having constant diarrhea. I was always in and out of the emergency room. One week, my diarrhea was worse than ever. I couldn't eat anything, and I didn't have the usual huge bloating and painful cramping right before I had to go- I was just going without any warning! I laid in bed for a week and couldn't stop leaking myself. I thought I was really dying. (again). I was having awful constant anxiety because I was so worried. AT 105LBS, 5'6", I LOST TEN POUNDS in that one week. I had a colonoscopy, and the doctor diagnosed me with Chronic Ulcerative Colitis throughout my ENTIRE colon. I had to take 3 pills 3 times a day =9 pills every day. I started seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist because I could not take living in so much mental and physical pain anymore. It was THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. My psychologist has helped me so much, I am so unbelievably grateful to her. My psychiatrist put me on Celexa as a long-term medication for my anxiety, and gave me Klonopin for the 'just-in-case' if I have a panic attack. I am not living in fear anymore. I stopped taking the medication for the ulcerative colitis, (although that is not recommended so don't stop taking meds without talking to your doctor first!) and I have not had another episode in several YEARS. It is absolutely amazing. Although the doctors say that anxiety doesn't cause colitis it only can aggravate it and make it worse; deep down inside I feel that my anxiety was at such a level that it really did wreak all that havoc on my body. I recently stopped taking the Celexa. It has been nearly a year, and I have beenfine until recently. I have been having some recurring anxiety and near-panic attacks this past week, although the panic attacks are nowhere near the same intensity they used to be. (I used to have my whole body go into shaking and shivering, my heart pounding, my mind racing, sweating and hot and cold flashes, the room spinning and everything looking like a high-contrast photograph.) Nowadays, my near-panic attacks are more of just my mind thinking that the world is collapsing and I am falling apart, and me feeling scared. However, I do worry about it causing diarrhea, and if I worry too much it is still possible. It really is a long, uphill battle. But I have improved so, so much. I have learned to live normally, I learned what it is like to live without worrying about anxiety, diarrhea, or without waking up in the morning thinking 'Oh no, not another day'. I am currently contemplating going back on Celexa. I was on it for 2 years, and considering I had anxiety for 5 years, maybe I should stay on it longer. I'm still seeing my psychologist, and I think ALL of you should too!!! ~
     
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    mssB28 responded:
    have major diarrhea when having anxiety i feel that its just something that happens with just having anxiety i seem to just drink lots and lots of water and that helps be it helps me by stopping it most of the time its just seems to be harder the worse the panic attak i have
     
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    elibrazil responded:
    Hi my name is Eli and i suffer with the exactly same things that you girls mention, but I am a man, and I'm wondering if there's any guys with the same problems.. Thank you.. God bless u all.
     
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    mjm80 replied to elibrazil's response:
    I am a guy and have had the exact same problems as all of you for the last 10 years. It got much worse about 5 years ago. I've been a 2 imodium at night and 2 in the morning person for almost a year now. I hate doing that, but it has helped dramatically. I know mine is anxiety related and I've been working on breathing. I just finished an antibiotic treatment for H. Pylori and I'm hoping to see some positive results in the next few weeks.
     
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    tourplyr replied to mjm80's response:
    I was treated for H Pylori back in Dec 2006 and unfortunately didn't drop the symptoms. I was tested for it again and the bacteria was no longer in my system however...so good news, bad news! I have situational diarrhea, sweating, light cramping and my hands turn extremely cold. Situational in that it seems to come on only during extremely stressful situations. The irony is everything I'm doing to cause the stress (ie getting on a plane, making a sales call, or attending an all day seminar) are required for my job, and has really hurt my performance. Not sure if anybody has any good ideas; I'm currently taking a daily anti-depressant, which helps the "easy day", but I'm still having the same symptoms from back in 2006 when I tested positive for H Pylori inflamation.
     
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    Easton_Mom replied to jessicaxx914's response:
    That is amazing... Sounds almost exactly like me.. first started on zoloft then moved to lexapro and I just got the Effexor today so I haven't had a chance to use it but I am excited now that you say it really helps you!
     
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    robunzo responded:
    not an md but that describes pretty close to what my sister had . she had been checked for everything and grew so thin that it was like hugging bones . it started with the panic attacks as a kid and grew into full fledged passing out on the bathroom floor . celiac disease was the answer for both . if she strays from her own cooking she can tell if gluten made it on her plate within about 2 hours . gastric holy war . as for panic attacks -she actually made a ferry boat turn back for shore and unload the cars to get her and her car back off. i did not know you could do that . some people have worse reactions then others . she is having surgery to repair the damage to her heart from over 25 years of wheat in her diet . she can react to cracker dust in the air . small child fighting with crackers next to her got her the last time we dined out. if you aviod anything with gluten in it and you have relief in a week or two that might be an easy test. if you are going in for the actual test thou eat wheat or the results would come back negative even if that was what the problem is. gluten is now listed on a lot of products in the allergy warnings , foods that you would not think had it . and as for the public explosions , most of us are just so grateful "it was not me". god bless
     
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    joi4life responded:
    Panic attacks are horrible. This horrible things plagued me for many years. Not only did I address it physically, but spiritually as well. Being that I had lived a very stressful life, I found suppliments to be of great help, for example choline anositol and cysteine. Next, was meditation and prayer. It was very necessary for me to assess and really differentiate between my gut level beliefs and dis-beliefs. It also became necessary for me to develop a good self image, come to grips with who I really am and not be moved regardless to circumstances. This did not happen for me overnight, although progress began, it seems to be a block-building process. Today, I am happy to say that panic attacks no longer control me, I am in control and the control is founded on a developed trust in my creator.
     
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    BostonMom14 responded:
    Thank you so much for posting this! I came on this board specifically looking for help dealing with this situation. I have the same fear and thought that I was alone. I am currently taking 15mg of Lexapro a day which has calmed down these panic feelings I have about going to the bathroom. I used to see a therapist once a week who taught me different breathing techniques that can help if I start to have a panic attack. My therapist also helped me to learn that my fear of losing control of my body contributed to this type of panic attacks and told me I had to learn that I am in control over what happens to my body and the thoughts I have, they do not control me.

    I work full time and go to night classes for my Master's degree, and I still get anxiety about having to go to the bathroom during class or work. I haven't had an accident in years but whenever I start to feel panic I take some Immodium AD. That may not be the best way to deal with it but it has been working for me.
     
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    tommydj responded:
    Hello Valerie ,I've suffered with Severe Anxiety and anxiety attack's sicnce I was a smallchild. As I got older (i'm 44) they have gotten much worse over the years. At about 24 years old , the diareah started and little by little got dratically worse. Quite often I would miss work. Finally I went to see my Dr. He told that I had something Called Iritale bowel syndrome. He precribed something called Librax. He said it calm's the bowel area / etc I also trird to wach what I ate. for years this did help me , I was also talking fioricer or Phernilin for my migraine headaches. The headaches either made the anxiety, diara worse , or the Anxiety caused these problems ...I feel the Anxiety caused them and the Dr agreed. About 3 years ago , the diara lasted for over 5 month's straight, I west to the hospital Now I do take other medication's but (I am disabled) All the Dr's at the Hospital told me that None of them could cause the diarea to get this bad. After Several days of very invasive test's of all kinds , they found nothing wrong with me at all except A Very Serious case od "Iritable Bowel Syndrome" caused my mt Cronic anxiety. I am not a Dr , but this is just what happened to me. When I was first told I had i b s , the Dr told me , in my case and in a lot of cases it is caused by anxiety. I also take my Xanax , and Lomodel , I only take the lomodel when the diarea gets bad and it does help . the others I have to take everyday. The anxiety is to out of control if I don't , and I just do not believe Anyone should suffer with , anxiety , pain / etc. Everyone is different , This is just what I go through. Go see your Dr and dicuss with him / her. you can look up "iritabil bowel asyndrome here on WEB MD. I hope you feel better , your not alone.
     
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    Janna56 responded:
    Hi horse_mom1 - I can't write much now as I am about to fall asleep at the computer.It is 4:00am and haven't gotten any sleep.
    I just ran across your post and was speechless (which most of the time people call me "chatty kathy"lol). I have never read of this, all I read is of people having trouble breathing, etc. I am 56 now and have had the worst diarrhea since I was 21!! I have so much to write. I thought I was the only one as I had posted something similar and Dr. Farrell responded, but that was it. I will sit down probably tomorrow night and write what I have experienced. I live on xanax and immodium. When my Father passed away, I of course was very upset and was afraid it was going to happen in the middle of his funeral. I took so many immodium (which I always buy the generic, can't afford the real stuff), then xanax to quiet myself down. God Bless You! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! and now I know I'm not either!!!! Take care and I will write more when I am awake. : ) Janna


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