What is wrong with my GI system?
Over the past month, I've been experiencing discomfort when I eat. What's more upsetting is that it's happening more frequently, including when I'm home, on weekends & am otherwise relaxed.
I sit down to eat when I'm properly hungry (not eating b/c I'm bored), I take a few bites, then I feel full, bloated and/or like I'm going to be sick. Sometimes while eating, I'm struck with this bizarre impulse/fear that I can't swallow (although, after I panic, I swallow my food just fine.)
This happens regardless of what kind of food I'm eating. When it first started happening, I thought, maybe I had become too rigid & 'obsessed' with being primal, that I needed to eat more 'conventional' foods," so I began re-introducing bread, pasta, beans, etc. At first, it seemed to help, but over the past few weeks, the disconcerting sensations I get when eating have gotten worse, to the point where I can't finish a meal, even if I'm truly hungry when I first begin eating. The uncomfortable fullness kicks in, then the panic that I'll be ill ~ it's to the point now where I'm 'conditioned' and actually dread mealtimes.
Other than when I try to eat, I fell fine. I exercise daily (walking is my favorite), sleep fine, and otherwise have no issues. I've always been a "good eater," never been overweight, and have no history of health problems, eating disorders, etc. This phenomenon is upsetting & it's making me feel like I'm nuts ~ as you can imagine, feeling that I can't or won't be able to eat is truly taking its toll on my quality of life.
I went to the dr. a few weeks ago (my 1st visit in over 4 years) ~ he examined my tummy and abdomen and said he didn't feel anything unusual, and my blood pressure was also normal. He drew blood (still haven't gotten the results back.) He also ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen & pelvic region (again, still waiting for the results ~ this one of the many reasons I HATE going to the dr. and also why I rarely go.) He also wanted me to do a fluoroscopy, but I declined. (Not wanting to drink that nasty stuff & expose myself to radiation for 30 minutes - I know, crazy, right?)
I've scoured the internet searching for answers, clues, as to why this is happening. Today I'm fasting, hoping my body will "reset" itself and that tomorrow when I go to eat my boiled eggs and my BAS, I won't feel sick or be panic stricken. Anyone with ANY insight on this whatsoever, please, put in your two cents. Usually I can figure out & solve problems that arise, but I've been scratching my head for weeks & can't sort this out.
I am guessing that your instincts were correct when you thought you had become too obsessed, but you handled it dangerously by re-introducing grains and sugars. Have you dealt with eating disorders in the past?
Originally Posted by Pheebie
Nope. No eating disorders.
The 'nervous eats' first began during totally primal meals, otherwise I'd have thought I was having an adverse reaction to grains. The first few meals when I had grains, I had no issues. Then the nervousness began to strike at just about every meal, primal or not. I even cut out coffee for a week to see if that would help, but it didn't make a difference.
Last night when feeling particularly wound up & anxious, I decided it was time to go full-on, 100% primal again & see if it helps.
I'm fasting today & for the past hour I've felt really light-headed and my stomach is growling like mad. Should I have some fruit, or just tough it out? I've got fresh pineapple here with me at work.
Honestly, I would have some protein and fats. I can't really handle fasting.
Originally Posted by Pheebie
Something about the original post just makes me think this is psychological. Anxiety can do really strange things to people. Have you been particularly stressed out lately?
My "gut" instinct (pun intended) is that this IS anxiety-related. I had my first panic attack when I was 17. Then I went for years (throughout my 20's and beyond) without having a single anxiety attack. But over the past 7 years or so, they've begun to creep up on me, even more so in this past year.
Yes, I have been under a lot of stress lately (work), but the odd thing is when work was at its craziest, I was able to eat. Things have begun to level out at the office, yet my anxiety (and trouble eating) are now through the roof. I've begun doing a bit of yoga again, but so far I'm at a stand still at getting this under control.
I so desperately want to be able to sit down & enjoy a good steak and buttered broccoli!
I can't tell you how much this site did for me: Anxiety Tips, Information, Symptoms and Self Help
My best advice is to just chill about it for a while. If you feel like you are choking or going to be sick, don't get upset, just say something akin to, "I am experiencing anxiety and don't really feel like eating right now. I won't force myself, I'll just eat later when I get hungry." If it means that you are eating a lot of smaller meals for a while, that's okay. The key is not to fight it and to just acknowledge that it is anxiety. That kind of self-talk feels like a bunch of new-agey silliness at first, but you'll be surprised how quickly it will start to work.
I suspect that when you went to see your doctor you only talked about the GI "symptoms". I think you should really have been talking to the doctor about your anxiety & panic attacks. You're certainly not mad but it does sound like your anxiety is manifesting itself in this way.
I can't offer specific advice on dealing with the anxiety but I think that if you sort that out, then the GI symptoms could well resolve themselves. Maybe talk to your doctor about this when you go back for your results?
Yvonne - thank you SO much for that link! I've saved it to my favorites so I can read over the info at my leisure & keep it handy when I feel those anxious feelings kick in. Thanks for the advice, too. I've been "making" myself finish at least part of a meal, I guess to prove to myself that I could do it, but that tactic hasn't been working. I believe your suggestion and approach are the way to go.
LolaLola ~ I tried discussing the anxiety / panicky feelings with my dr., but he just ordered the tests. It didn't lead to a discussion. I've found the name of an MD who is also a naturopath & holistic healer and I'm going to see her if things don't improve or (God forbid!) get worse.
I appreciate the responses. This has been a very rattling experience for me and I just want to get back to feeling like my good ol', normal, primal self.
I know exactly how you feel. Everything is going to be fine, and you'll be enjoying an entire rib-eye before you know it!
Originally Posted by Pheebie
I used to get nauseated, bloated and feel panicky and unwell....until I stopped eating eggs and dairy (raw milk products work okay for me). Just keep in mind that while eggs, nuts and dairy are primal, they are also some of the most allergenic foods out there.
Taking digestive enzymes and probiotics may help with any digestive issues.
As to the anxiety, yoga & acupuncture can be enormously helpful. Good luck sorting this out!!!