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Feeling cold, hot flashes, shaky, diarrhea and increased heart rate. What am I suffering from?

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Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1778 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 in General Health
Question: Gastrointestinal problems or nervous stomach? Hi, I am a 27 y/o female. 5' 5" approx. 140 lbs. Been smoking for about 12 yrs.
I'm concerned about my health and am unsure of what to do.
Last year I went into a depression and started binge drinking, to the point I went into rehab for 10 days. after getting clean and leaving rehab, that very night I left I went into my first anxiety attack and went to the hospital.
The nature of the attack was I was laying in bed when I felt something was wrong, I started to panic, get flushed, shake uncontrollably, my stomach was in knots and I had to go sit in the bathroom where my body expelled everything. No vomit, but watery diarrhea. This lasted about an hour, and I was so scared I took myself to the emergency room, where of course, they said I was perfectly fine.
The episode passed.
I do not drink anymore, now over a year I haven't drank. But I am still experiencing these bouts on the toilet.
Cold and hot flashes
uncontrollably shaking
diarrhea
increased heart rate

they are not as severe as the first time. and usually happen at night.
Although I did have an MRI on my foot during the day and had a very severe panic attack in that and had to stop it. After that attack I lost about 15 lbs or more during a two week span .
I'm concerned its something more than just nervous stomach, what I've read about people with the same issues have anxiety problems.
what should I do? I don't want to undergo test after test, but I'm also afraid after my drinking problem last year, I've done real damage.
please help! ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 8 hours later
Hi,

Every problem has a solution and if you do not go out trying to seek perfect solution then you will have fears and anxiety attacks like above. Of course there should be a good system in place to deliver the right service to you till the cure.

Unfortunately you did not come across that right therapy. Your problems as I understand are these:
1) Alcohol detoxification
2) Anxiety neurosis
3) Panic attacks including claustrophobia

You need Psychotherapy and you need continous mental monitoring.

You probably would not have damaged the anything. I just suggest you to XXXXXXX a Psychotherapist (clinical Psychologist ) after a Psychiatrist. All I can strongly say is you need to strongly believe in them, unless then you would not be able to get back your life which you led few years back. Since the problem is for so long you should follow with them for at least 6 to 9 months. I do not think they test you with machines or blood.

Let me know if you need any clairifications.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 16 hours later
ok.
so ultimately you think there's nothing wrong with my digestive system because of the alcohol. and I'm experiencing mostly anxiety problems and see a psychiatrist. I agree with that if that's what you're saying.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 12 hours later
Hi,

My opinion is most of your problem (60 to 70%) is related to anxiety neurosis. The other is attributed to alcohol. I would not ask you to stop alcohol completely but you should try to give a break and then later moderate its consumption, not more than 6gm per day (you can titrate the peg depending on the alcohol content in each drink).

You should XXXXXXX Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist both for justified therapy. They will also help you with ways to cut down the drink. Over this I assure I am always here available for you to elevate your confidence and timely recommendations.

All the best, and close the discussion if you do not have any more queries for me.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 8 hours later
I stopped drinking January 2012. I do think my body got accustomed to purging itself of the copious amounts of alcohol I was drinking in 2011. And the after effects have been this horrible anxiety. thanks for your help!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 11 hours later
Ok I have not heard of withdrawal effects of alcohol bothering a person for so long. But still it is imperative to XXXXXXX the doctor.

There is specified therapy for anxiety and I still believe that helps you.

Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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