3

votes

Crazy stress---Please help

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 07, 2013 at 10:40 PM

So, I have been following a PHD/Paleo diet for more than two years. I am not super strict.. by which I mean I allow a little dash of Ray Peat now and then which of course strict Paleo would never allow. I am never, ever sick. I can be in a house full of sniffly coughing people and nothing ever gets me. However, I am always stressed... or more accurately, don't have a good stress response and will go thru periods of extreme stress.

My symptoms are (and these all come and go.. none are really permanent or lasting): Acid reflux Tingling hands and feet and sometimes entire body Racing heart Insomnia Random skin itching.. redness.. dots all over the face ... and other things that have happened that I just can't seem to think of right now.

My doctor thinks that I am stressed and suggested Prozac. Her theory is that I have a form of PTSD after I spent 6 months as the only caretaker for a loved one with late stage cancer. She says it is common in caretakers.. and that essentially my fight or flight response is broken. My chiropractor thinks I my back is all out of whack and therefore has me all misaligned and feeling crappy. I don't know what to think.

I have tried the Matt Stone sort of overeat to reduce stress thing along with exercising very little.. I have tried the high sugar Danny Roddy/Ray Peat sort of thing. I have tried exercising a lot, I have tried relaxation techniques, I have tried many calming herbs, etc.

My issue is that the Paleo authorities seems to think that if you tweak your diet juuuusttt right and you are well nourished and avoiding toxins then you should be a perfect person, but this just inst the case for me. I'm really at my wits end here. Any thoughts? Take the Prozac? Keep tweaking? Anything?

I should mention, I am a 30 yr old female. No health conditions that I know of..

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 11, 2013
at 04:29 PM

He ran a blood panel and is going to get back with me on a method of action.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 11, 2013
at 04:29 PM

Just a little update.. I went to see a Chiro/Functional Medicine doc. His initial theory is that I have a functional B12 deficiency which would be causing the neuropathy and mood disorder. I had my B12 tested by my regular doc a few weeks ago and it actually came back a little high. Ref range 900 pg/ml and I came in at 1257. My doctor just told me to stop taking B12 supplements.. which I hadn't really done. So, anyway, the new practitioner thinks that I am unable to convert B12 properly and so it is showing high storage, but it is very possible that I am functionally low.

79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

(785)

on January 08, 2013
at 10:17 PM

I was unable to cope with life in general - unable to focus, had extreme periods of rage. totally unable to control the rage. Unreasonable thoughts of aloneness. Just a really dark period in general. Generally unhappy. Once my marriage failed (my decision) I sought counselling and through talk therapy/cognitive behaviour therapy, along with meds (lose dose Paxil) I am now able to handle most anything that happens to come my way. I still have to recognize my triggers but it's getting better :)I'm afraid, actually, to go off meds because I've tried it a couple of times and it hasnt' worked

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:53 AM

Another RP suggestion for stress is having a raw carrot salad on an empty stomach daily. It is made by grating a carrot and adding salt, and things like coconut oil, olive oil, and/or, vinegar.

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:42 AM

At least on the TSH front, it doesn't seem there is a problem.

513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:41 AM

Zoe mentions Autoimmune issues in a different post. The Erythema Multiforme I referred to is also an autoimmune disease. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythema_multiforme

513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:36 AM

It's anecdotal only, but I developed Erythema Multiforme around the same time as being diagnosed with an ulcer. This (for me) causes sores on my hands or feet a couple times a year (sort of a cross between a blister and a callus...odd, I know). My stress incidents, ulcer flare ups and skin issues all seem to happen together.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:27 AM

I should also mention that I had a blood test done recently.. my doctor was looking for signs of inflammation (which would be indicative of MS) and everything came back normal.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:16 AM

Yah, thanks for your thoughts. What symptoms did you experience before going on meds?

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:15 AM

Which symptoms aside from acid reflux are related to ulcer? Thanks.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:14 AM

I actually have had a 23 & me done, but don't remember seeing anything about being genetically prone to nutritional deficiencies. I will have another look. And you know, everything that comes up on google with these symptoms points to either stress/anxiety or MS. The only thing is that my symptoms are so fleeting. I can go weeks with one symptom and when that one leaves another one will start. So.. that leads me to believe it wouldn't be something like MS would should be much more consistent. Also, I don't experience any fatigue. Thanks for your thoughts.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:11 AM

Yes, my TSH is 1.02.. checked as recently as August. I have been avoiding PUFA has much as possible (obviously when traveling its pretty difficult) for more than 2 years.

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7 Answers

3
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:56 AM

I went through something very similar almost two years ago. It came after insane amounts of stress in every aspect of life for about 3-4 months. It was like stress on steroids. I thought I could handle it all, and continued to take on more, and I just broke down. I didn't even realize that stress could be causing it (because my symptoms came kind of randomly at first, then I started getting the shakes, nausea, adrenalin rush, heart palpitations, but only after eating. I never thought that this could be panic or anxiety, because of the food connection. So I freaked out, saw every GI doc in NYC, got every test imaginable, nothing came up, other than some mild gastritis and a small sliding hiatal hernia. This led to a period of several months where I just gave up on eating (they tried giving me PPIs, didn't work at all). For weeks I was just chewing up apples, sucking the juice out, and spiting out the pulp. I lost like 60 lbs in 2 months. The malnutrition caused a host of other issues, was hypothyroid for some time, and I was starting to show antibodies for several autoimmune disorders (thankfully, all back to 0 now). Also saw endos, chiros, rheumatologists, immunologists and internists.

It wasn't until 6-7 months into it when a doctor would give me Zofran, an anti-emetic that blocks serotonin from 5ht3 receptors in the vagus nerve, which allowed me to start to eat solid foods again, slowly but surely. At this time, the doc also recommended citalopram, or Celexa, 10 mg a day. I tried it for a few weeks at half dosage, and it made me feel more anxious. Maybe I should have stuck to it. I also then tried the same with Paxil and then Lexapro. There were small periods where each of them felt like they were helping other aspects of my life (I felt like the whole experience gave me massive brain fog, made me feel helpless and hopeless, and I learned a fear of eating out, or eating without Zofran due to the trauma).

One thing that I did like, that I felt helped (and I didn't need to take it every day) was tiny doses of Klonapin, or clonazepam. The dose was a baby oral disintegrating tablet, .125 mg in the am and pm, and then up to a .25 mg dose twice a day. It is in the valium family, and this teeny tiny dose really helped me out, especially if I felt panicky for no reason.

I have also done EFT, talk therapy, and even, hypnosis (waste!). I am now looking into cognitive behavioral therapy because I think, though all of my stresses have been dealt with and no longer exist, but I think the effects of being traumatized from everything else, not being able to eat, have caused me more lasting effects that I want to get rid of.

I do Ray Peat style eating now too, and I think that did help get my thyroid back to normal, though I am sure just plain old eating helped with that.

If you do try an SSRI or prozac, try a baby baby dose, see if the doc is ok with that, but maybe see if a valium type thing will help. I still don't know what triggered most of my stress events. Maybe one day I would be super stressed, and 2 days later I would have all of my symptoms, even if that day itself had been fine, or even good. I always had sources of joy and laughter in my life, so I didn't really see how the stress affected me.

Good luck with whatever you end up doing.

1
0b6993f7e02a1fca4ce266a71fa924a7

(80)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:39 AM

I can't really comment on the relationship between your symptoms and food. I would like to mention that while the symptoms that you describe can certainly be caused by anxiety or depression, autoimmune diseases also often present with these multi-system issues that come and go. The previous poster mentioned Multiple Sclerosis. Autoimmune thyroid disease and the connective tissue diseases can also present this way and are frequently misdiagnosed initially as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, or depression. Anxiety and depression are far more common in the general population, but autoimmune disease is prevalent among young to middle-aged women. Before pursuing treatment for anxiety (or perhaps concurrently), could you ask your doctor to run some blood work to test for autoimmune disease, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid imbalance?

Are the "dots" on your face there all the time or do they come and go (like acne)? The reason I ask is because some of the connective tissue diseases like lupus and especially scleroderma have skin manifestations. People with scleroderma often have small red dots like tiny freckles on their skin. Acid reflux/heartburn is also almost always present in people with scleroderma. Skin itching and redness, tingling/numbness and other neurological symptoms that come and go are frequent features too. Some of the most common early symptoms of scleroderma are heartburn, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and Raynaud's (an overreaction to cold temperatures or stress which results in cold, tingly extremities and discolouration of the hands and/or feet which turn white, blue, or blotchy when chilly).

I'm not a doctor and am certainly not suggesting that you have one of these diseases, but I am one of the young women who was misdiagnosed with a variety of things (including anxiety attacks and fibromyalgia) for several years before finding out that I had an autoimmune disease. The screening tests aren't perfect - there can be false negatives, though rarely false positives. If I were in your position, I would want to have the Anti-Nuclear Antibody blood test run. A positive result (especially at high titers) indicates autoimmune disease and would lead to more specific testing based on your symptoms and history.

1
83d041cb9e6c6bc472ac5f2d291b4e8b

on January 08, 2013
at 12:40 AM

Not to alarm you, but your symptoms are often experienced by those of us who have Multiple Sclerosis. That said, there are nutritional deficiencies associated with genetic errors that doctors are just becoming aware of, to find out more you might benefit from genetic testing available at 23&me.com. There are so many vitamins and minerals that we simply cannot get enough of in the food that is available to us now, and many of us cannot extract them from the food for various reasons.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:14 AM

I actually have had a 23 & me done, but don't remember seeing anything about being genetically prone to nutritional deficiencies. I will have another look. And you know, everything that comes up on google with these symptoms points to either stress/anxiety or MS. The only thing is that my symptoms are so fleeting. I can go weeks with one symptom and when that one leaves another one will start. So.. that leads me to believe it wouldn't be something like MS would should be much more consistent. Also, I don't experience any fatigue. Thanks for your thoughts.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:27 AM

I should also mention that I had a blood test done recently.. my doctor was looking for signs of inflammation (which would be indicative of MS) and everything came back normal.

1
513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on January 08, 2013
at 12:29 AM

Have you had an upper GI scope to check for a true ulcer? I have an ulcer and a lot of those symptoms are familiar to me.

513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:41 AM

Zoe mentions Autoimmune issues in a different post. The Erythema Multiforme I referred to is also an autoimmune disease. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythema_multiforme

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:15 AM

Which symptoms aside from acid reflux are related to ulcer? Thanks.

513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:36 AM

It's anecdotal only, but I developed Erythema Multiforme around the same time as being diagnosed with an ulcer. This (for me) causes sores on my hands or feet a couple times a year (sort of a cross between a blister and a callus...odd, I know). My stress incidents, ulcer flare ups and skin issues all seem to happen together.

1
79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

on January 08, 2013
at 12:27 AM

I've dealt with anxiety and depression for over a decade. I've tried therapy, medication, excercise, etc. Everyone is different. I truly don't think that my diet will allow me to eliminate my medication. I have a high stress job and am a single parent. It doesn't hurt to try meds knowing that you can eliminate them if they don't make you feel better. Have you tried talk therapy? It helped me alot! Good luck :)

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:16 AM

Yah, thanks for your thoughts. What symptoms did you experience before going on meds?

79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

(785)

on January 08, 2013
at 10:17 PM

I was unable to cope with life in general - unable to focus, had extreme periods of rage. totally unable to control the rage. Unreasonable thoughts of aloneness. Just a really dark period in general. Generally unhappy. Once my marriage failed (my decision) I sought counselling and through talk therapy/cognitive behaviour therapy, along with meds (lose dose Paxil) I am now able to handle most anything that happens to come my way. I still have to recognize my triggers but it's getting better :)I'm afraid, actually, to go off meds because I've tried it a couple of times and it hasnt' worked

1
4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on January 07, 2013
at 11:34 PM

You say you did a bit of Ray Peat. How long have you stopped consuming significant sources of PUFA? Have you had any labs done, say TSH?

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:42 AM

At least on the TSH front, it doesn't seem there is a problem.

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:53 AM

Another RP suggestion for stress is having a raw carrot salad on an empty stomach daily. It is made by grating a carrot and adding salt, and things like coconut oil, olive oil, and/or, vinegar.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:11 AM

Yes, my TSH is 1.02.. checked as recently as August. I have been avoiding PUFA has much as possible (obviously when traveling its pretty difficult) for more than 2 years.

0
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:49 AM

I think that that isn't the case for a lot of people and diet only gets you so far whether your eating to raise the body temp or gorging on fat. As a fellow diet vet I sympathize with you, the first diet I tried was Shwarzbein about seven years ago and damn I should of just stayed there. Anyways that's a bummer about your symptoms I hope they clear up.

http://www.amazon.com/Joyful-Cooking-Pursuit-Good-Health/dp/0615433073/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357614950&sr=8-1&keywords=joyful+cooking+in+the+pursuit+of+good+health

It's not for everyone, but the program in this book has been helpful to me.

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