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Had food poisoning. Tongue turned in to white color. Have anxiety attack. Is there any treatment?

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Practicing since : 2003
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In March 2011 after getting out of the hospital, my tongue kept turning whitish, I started having trouble keeping food and drinks down. I thought maybe I just need to eat healthier so I was doing that and thought things were getting better until a couple months ago I forgot my lunch, went out to eat and think I had food poisoning. I ate a XXXXXXX sub sandwich, then immediately threw it up after the first couple bites. A couple hours later XXXXXXX number 2 came out. My stomach or something started to feel like I could feel the walls, as though it was a balloon or something... then a couple days later when I decided to attempt to eat again, my stomach felt alive. It was the creepiest most horrific feeling ever. That feeling went away, and I barely ate for a couple of months because there were weird vibrations all over my body, and creepy digestion noises, skin crawling sensations yet I wouldn't see anything. I was afraid to know what it was, and I have horrible social anxiety, so like an idiot, instead of seeking help I tried googling home remedies and took some herbal stuff thinking they wouldn't work but hoping. I think something called pau d'arco may have killed whatever it was. But I can't get whatever it is out of my mind, I can't go out to eat, my roomates think I've gone insane, and I was wondering if there's anyway I can get a whole bunch of prescriptions that kill all sorts of things.
Posted Sun, 10 Feb 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Most of the symptoms you are experiencing currently appear to be anxiety-related. Often an acute health problem, like a severe episode of food poisoning, can trigger off a stress reaction and anxiety symptoms, which, in some cases, can keep persisting even after the problem has resolved. You have mentioned that you were experiencing strange sensations in your body, which got you even more scared and you were not even able to eat properly. You also seem to have developed a fear or anxiety about going out to eat. You have also mentioned that you have an existing anxiety problem (social anxiety) already. So, I think that the recent acute illness plus the following stressful period has probably worsened you underlying social anxiety, and you have ended up developing persistent anxiety and a phobia for going out.

Since these symptoms are causing you significant distress and dysfunction, I would suggest that you get professional help. Once your stress, anxiety and worries are freed, then all your other problems will automatically get better. There are effective treatment options -in the form of medication or psychological therapies which can help you overcome your problems.

I would also suggest that you try relaxation methods like XXXXXXX breathing, yoga / meditation, etc. which will be beneficial. It is better not to avoid going out and withdrawing to yourself becuase by doing this you will only inadvertently be reinforcing the anxiety and worries. So, even if you find it diffiult initially, try to maintain your ususl routine and keep going out as usual. Whenever you get any anxious or worrying thoughts, you can practise relaxation techniques like XXXXXXX breathing or try distract your mind by keeping yourself constantly engaged. If you learn to counter the anxiety using these techniques, without avoiding or escaping from such situations, then soon the fear and anxious thoughts will subside.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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