Sunny1008

Digestive problems: Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, GERD

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ADMIN NOTE Overview of some diets and treatments for digestive problems http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3413-digestive-problems-nausea-diarrhea-bloating-gerd/?p=195843
 
Also see:
Food sensitivities
 
Gluten Sensitivity Vs. Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Intolerance...
 
Histamine food intolerance
 
SCD/GAPS/Paleo Diets
 
Probiotics and gut health

That acid reflux pill may be causing your health problems



 
Hi everyone, It is just over a year now since I have been completely off drugs. I have gone through a very severe withdrawal. About three months ago, I developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms, seemingly overnight. I was fine one day, sick the next. I have gone through thousands of dollars worth of tests, only to have them all come back normal. I am wondering if my stomach problems could be linked to the withdrawal?? What do you all think? My symptoms, which came out of the blue are: Nausea Queasiness Severe acid reflux (never had before in my life) Bloating/full feeling Loss of appetite Significant weight loss (have lost 20 lbs. and am now considered underweight) I have just started a gluten-free diet to see if this helps my symptoms, but I just don't know anymore. My digestive system just does not feel normal. Do you think it is related to withdrawal, and if so, will it get better on its own??? Thanks, Sunny Edited by Altostrata
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hi Sunny,

I shared a post in another section here today on gut health.

 

A lot of people in withdrawal find that complete healing means tending to the gut. For me it's been and continues to be key.

 

I've done a lot of research and study and experimentation on this.

 

you can see today's post here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2326-irritable-bowel-syndrome-clearly-linked-to-gut-bacteria-and-how-i-cured-my-ibs-by-knowing-this/page__pid__23016#entry23016

 

it talks about irritable bowel syndrome...but that's just a garbage pail term for all sorts of gut and stomach issues...

 

anyway...within that post are links to more info on healing the gut too...

 

for me it's been a journey of discovery and I'm still learning...and changing food and diet etc as I learn more and more.

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I've gone gluten free and dairy free too...I've also discovered a lot of food sensitivities...it's a process I'm still figuring out...

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I am experirncing lots of GI issues...mostly bloating and a feeling like my stomach isnt digesting food properly.

 

I've gone gluten-free and that helped the bloating a lot, and also helped me feel better mentally.

 

Still struggle to digest heavy foods like protein though.

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Phil...

I've been playing with my diet for several years now and it's an ongoing evolution of lessons...

 

I can make two suggestions enzymes and probiotics...both may help the issues you're experiencing...

 

and diet may also need to continue to be tweaked...

 

good luck...my gut is largely healed now but I'm still learning about food sensitivities etc...

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Thanks Gia :) I keep meaning to try probiotics and enzymes, they're definitely next on my list of things to explore.

I also eat pro-biotic yogurts but am not sure they do a lot..

 

I know what you mean about it being an evolution of lessons..I feel like I'm constantly learning new things when it comes to diet.

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Hello all,

 

I have had an extremely severe withdrawal from Zoloft. I have been completely off drugs for about a year and a half, but I don't consider myself recovered yet. About nine months ago, I started having a lot of digestive problems. I had lots of tests done, but the doctors said there is nothing wrong with me. I was diagnosed with "dyspepsia" and "irritable bowel syndrome". I am now wondering if all of my digestive problems are related to the withdrawal from Zoloft. I know that the gut contains the same neurons and chemicals as the brain, so it would make sense that the gut would be just as affected by withdrawal as the brain.

 

Anyone else experience digestive problems during withdrawal? Will they resolve on their own??? I have been told by doctors that I just have to "live with" the symptoms, but that is easier said than done.

 

Thanks!

Sunny

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Hi Sunny...digestive problems are common among anyone who has been on psych drugs at all -- on and off of them both.

 

I've done extensive research and personal healing in this area. I had severe IBS with chronic explosive diarrhea for about 3 decades...I've healed my gut completely...it's the one way I've had total recovery...I'm very sick in other ways still...but I trust having a sound gut will allow the other healing I need. I've had normal healthy bowel movements for several years because the IBS was the first thing I tended to when I started coming off drugs...

 

I will share what I've done about this...at this point I have tons of info...see what speaks to you...it might be overwhelming at first...but the fact is you can heal your gut and most regular doctors don't have a clue about how to do it.

 

Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

http://beyondmeds.com/gut-health/

 

there are threads on this board where people talk about healing protocols too...here is one: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/890-scdgapspaleo-diets/

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Hello all,

 

I have had an extremely severe withdrawal from Zoloft. I have been completely off drugs for about a year and a half, but I don't consider myself recovered yet. About nine months ago, I started having a lot of digestive problems. I had lots of tests done, but the doctors said there is nothing wrong with me. I was diagnosed with "dyspepsia" and "irritable bowel syndrome". I am now wondering if all of my digestive problems are related to the withdrawal from Zoloft. I know that the gut contains the same neurons and chemicals as the brain, so it would make sense that the gut would be just as affected by withdrawal as the brain.

 

Anyone else experience digestive problems during withdrawal? Will they resolve on their own??? I have been told by doctors that I just have to "live with" the symptoms, but that is easier said than done.

 

Thanks!

Sunny

 

seems like we have some similarities. I too was on drugs for 7.5 years and am now almost a year and a half off. Actually more like 14 months. I never had digestive problems before drugs and dont have anything severe now, but I do have some issues with my colon that developed while on paxil. I would get horrible spasms every once in a while and also blood down there. Over time things sort of leveled out but this past 8 months the spasms are worse and it sounds like colitis or something. Thankfully I dont have diarrhea, but get a little constipated which I am not sure is from the colon issues or the vice versa. One thing that I believe helped a lot is probiotics. I drink raw kefir and sauerkraut. I also drink home made bone stock. Perhaps you can look into the GAPS diet as a way to heal any issues. I also started taking citracel which helps with the pain. My best relief comes from the citracel and probiotics. Both help and just taking one does not help much.

 

I hope things resolve on their own. This past few months have been hard on me, but mostly likely some stressful life events are making things MUCH worse. I recently developed constant muscle twitching and pain. Something I never had until now. While on drugs I did get the jerks and stuff, but during withdrawal they were minimal and now suddenly twitching. The twicthing has dies down thankfully.

 

I would think that since the digestive system has muscles, and these drugs do something to our muscles, then they can easily disturb the digestive system.

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We have similaries too. I was on and off Zoloft for 7 years, am almost a year off. I started having digestive issues before Chistmas. I'm not sure if it's withdrawal or the fact that I was eating oats which were gluten free and so I thought ok and then worked out they were causing problems. I've stopped eating them now, but think they'll have inflamed my gut so need it to stop being inflamed.

 

I know I'm intolerant to gluten and diary, so avoiding that. Recently stomach been very crampy and painful. I've started taking probiotics daily and eating only non-processed foods so am avoiding all the chemical additives that are in foods that probably don't help things. I make my own chicken soup, and try and take regular exercise. I've lost loads of weight though so no energy to play the sports I used to.

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I took a month to get off my low dose of Nortriptyline. Almost immediately after starting to wean myself, I got diarrhea. I've been off the med completely for over two months now and am still having problems. I called my dr's office but they didn't believe it had to do with the medication. I'm going to attempt to get in for an appointment soon. I haven't been able to find a whole lot of information on withdrawal of this medication with my specific issue. As much as I don't want to, I'm thinking about getting back on the medication. Any advice for coping with this or for when I get to the doctor?

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gut issues are very very often associate with psych drug use. Doctors on the other hand seem clueless about this...it's really incredible, but true...so it's unlikely unless you see someone relatively enlightened about such things that you'll get help there.

 

I have written extensively about healing my gut issues and referenced what I've seen in the population of those on psych drugs.

 

People who have taken psychiatric drugs often have gut issues. Sometimes these issues predate the psych drug use (as it did for me) and sometimes the psych drugs destabilize the gut and body in general and so the drugs are the cause of such issues. In either case it’s common that the use of psych drugs in time will further exacerbate the problem.

 

I suggest you work on healing your gut...meds will not do that, though it might mask the problem for a time

 

here is a place to start looking at info:

 

Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

http://beyondmeds.com/gut-health/

 

that page leads to other posts with lots of links to news articles etc. This stuff is scientifically supported...just hasn't hit medical schools yet, though complimentary and integrative doctors are definitely starting to catch on.

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Hi Sick and Tired, and welcome! Sorry to read you are having problems. Are you having any other issues besides this one? The reason I ask is, I had severe exhaustion and some hair loss in combination with diarrhea after a drug reaction that led to a c/t withdrawal and then other meds, and it turned out the culprit for both this group of symptoms as well as a prior diagnosis of "depression" was low iron.

 

The really tricky thing about it was though, I actually test in the normal range. I am at the low end. Apparently if your iron levels get to be low enough you can wind up with chronic diarrhea, which can become a self-perpetuating problem, as obviously you won't be absorbing all the nutrients you need from food under such a circumstance. Even though I am in range, that was the case for me. Iron also depends on other vitamins, like vit. C, so not consuming enough or not absorbing enough can be detrimental as well.

 

In my case, I am sure that the drugs made things exponentially worse, as at one point I had mild hyperthyroidism from the reaction, which was another cause and would have exacerbated the problems greatly. In your case though it could be something totally different--there are tons of causes for your symptom so that, if it were me, I would extremely hesitant to restart, as easily it could be explained by some other issue, including a bug.

 

Also, if you feel it could be related to iron, please make sure to get your iron levels tested and talk to a doctor before taking any supplements as too much iron can also be dangerous. In other words, this isn't medical advice!

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the thing with diarrhea is that there can be many many things associated with it...part of gut healing is finding nutritional deficiencies of all kinds...iron being just one of them.

 

it's also important to know that one should NOT supplement with iron if one doesn't need it especially if one is a menstruating woman, so testing is a good idea if you want to go that route.

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it's also important to know that one should NOT supplement with iron if one doesn't need it especially if one is a menstruating woman, so testing is a good idea if you want to go that route.

 

Oh, I know that, I hope that was clear in my post? The point I was trying to make wasn't to supplement randomly, just that if you feel you have the symptoms but still are in the normal range but near the bottom it might be advisable to ask the doctor why and if you can benefit from a supplement. I don't advise doing your own supplementing with iron, you definitely need to get your levels tested and have a doctor on board.

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I've heard using cast iron cookware can give a gentle boost?

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I've heard that about cast iron too...and it's probably gentle enough to be safe for anyone.

 

Sorry if I was reiterating something you said UnfoldingSky...more than anything I wanted to underscore that there are dozens of possible issues and more often than not with the gut it's a combination of issues...and it's often like finding a needle in a haystack...or several needles in several haystacks...a systemic approach can be helpful for that reason.

 

that said, I've seen many many people figure out their gut issues...it's by no means impossible but it can be a bit of a journey...for me it's been a fascinating one that's led to many understandings about my entire mind and body systems.

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gut issues are very very often associate with psych drug use. Doctors on the other hand seem clueless about this...it's really incredible, but true...so it's unlikely unless you see someone relatively enlightened about such things that you'll get help there.

 

....

 

I suggest you work on healing your gut...meds will not do that, though it might mask the problem for a time

 

here is a place to start looking at info:

 

Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

http://beyondmeds.com/gut-health/

 

I second what Gia has recommended. Gut health definitely factors into my recovery and is undoubtably important. I've read up on the subject on Gia's blog anf think she has compiled information that can help you, SickandTired.

 

Alex

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I appreciate the responses! This diarrhea is a complete 180 for me. I've have digestive issues most of my life--IBS-C and have had to be very careful with my diet. My iron has been on the low side for over a decade. I've tried to improve my numbers with various iron supplements, but they always made me ill and the constipation worse. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get off the Nortriptyline. That made my constipation worse and I was hoping that by getting of the medication, I could at least on occasion take a chewable vitamin with iron (most gentle for me).

 

I called my gp's office and the nurse didn't seem to have much knowledge of the subject, so I called my psych's office. She told me to get back on the med, starting with 10mg. Out of desperation, that is what I'm doing. It's only been a couple days, but I've only noticed a slight improvement, along with a couple side effects. I've been taking probiotics and digestive enzymes for a few years now as well as Vitamin D, Omega/Flax Seed oil, and a couple antioxidants. I'm also pretty much gluten free.

 

I can't remember now if I mentioned that I also take 20mg of Lexapro. I've been on both medications for several years. I'm hoping that the low dosage will help and that I can then taper off again extremely slowly. I really don't know what else to do.

 

Again, thank you for your input!

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Glad you're feeling better! Sounds like you've done a lot. I've been in GI Hades on day 3 now....I think now it is a WD thing...I feel totally calm but develop a "shell" of low-grade panic, and then the GI symptoms start. I hope re-instating helps us both!

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I've heard that about cast iron too...and it's probably gentle enough to be safe for anyone.

 

Sorry if I was reiterating something you said UnfoldingSky...more than anything I wanted to underscore that there are dozens of possible issues and more often than not with the gut it's a combination of issues...and it's often like finding a needle in a haystack...or several needles in several haystacks...a systemic approach can be helpful for that reason.

 

that said, I've seen many many people figure out their gut issues...it's by no means impossible but it can be a bit of a journey...for me it's been a fascinating one that's led to many understandings about my entire mind and body systems.

 

No biggie, I was just worried it wasn't clear as I get foggy a lot. And your info is really good by the way, it is quite an accomplishment too given withdrawal...Good job!

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Ruby, please keep us/me posted on what you find out and how you're doing. I'm up to about half my original dosage of medication and still no change for me (besides the unwanted addition of side effects). I am so scared that this medication has permanently damaged my digestive system.

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I think the chances are slim that the medication has caused irreversible damage. Sometimes when I have diarrhea I take a handful of probiotic capsules -- like a dozen+ -- and that sometimes helps. Constipation is a far worse problem for me. I find fiberous foods -- nuts, salads -- make my constipation worse.

 

I also discovered I had a gut infection and after taking some Rx medication for gut parasites, GI function improved ... for awhile anyway.

 

good luck.

Alex

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just a word of caution...probiotics, I agree can be very helpful but someone who has not taken lots of them before SHOULD NOT take a mega dose...one needs to slowly build up as they can make people sick otherwise...especially when the gut is unhealthy...they will cause bad bacteria die-off and the result can be feeling very ill...

 

start VERY slowly when adding probiotics for the first time.

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Gia's advice is more appropriate, on second thought. Better to be safe than sorry.

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Hi Sickandtired, my gut felt a bit better this week. I think the homemade goat yogurt that is rich in probiotics is helping. I eat 4-5 tablespoons in the morning on an empty stomach. Also, I have to be strict with not eating any sugar and grains otherwise my digestive system feels worse. Having a very limited diet and chronic G.I. upset is so frustrating as you know; it's totally imparing my life. I don't think it's permanent since all my other withdrawal symptoms have lessened a lot. The gut is just very hypersensitive as it's a major part of the nervous system. I had tests done for parasites and H.pylori that turned out negative. The SCD diet is helpful as long as I stick to it, but it's all about listening to the body and see how it reacts to each food ingested. My skin also flares up with rashes and I feel moody if I eat sugar and processed foods. I'm also cutting out all GMO foods as much as I can - no soy or corn based products that are not organic. The food eaten is related to everything on how the body and mind functions. Exercise helps too and it keeps my mind off of focusing on this problem. Even if my gut doesn't heal or ever function normally again, there is no way I would ever go back on SSRIs.

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Hi Sick and Tired

I hope this post finds you better than previous ... I too am having withdrawal symptoms from stopping cold turkey nortriptyline

My symptom is nausea .. Non stop . It's been 12 weeks or so . I reinstated for ten days and felt no particular relief and had bad headaches got scarred and stopped again

I just wonder if you have stayed with the reinstatement and has it helped? The fear is the same will it ever end .

Just curious and again sending you wellness wishes

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The pain is kind of like someone is drilling into my stomach. It may not the Effexor, but I noticed since I've had the withdrawal.

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Yes, pain and nausea are extremely common. But some people have had physical problems revealed with endoscopy. Recently someone on this site, and my niece.

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Is there anything that helps the pain? Or should I just wait it out?

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To make a long story short, I got back on the medication, 2/3 of my original dosage and am very slowly getting off of it again. I've been weaning myself off for a month now and am only down 2 mgs. I'm still have some bouts of diarrhea. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get off of this medication without having symptoms. My doctor, although skeptical that the med could cause this, doesn't seem to think so either. I am frustrated beyond words that I wasn't aware how this med could affect me in the long run. I never would've taken it in the first place.

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For everyone here I recommend you visit this word press blog.

I think this guy has put together a well thought out site that is highly relevant to everyony who has used a pshyc or mood altering drug.

 

There are many peoples experiences and alot of information. I will follow up later with my comments but i would first like to spread the word that this guy's site relieived my anxiety through the supply of information it contains.

 

I beleive the boudary of any mood altering drug and gut health is breached when you take the meds. The consequence of the meds is relatively undefined interms of your digestive system. For anyone adusting the level of a medication wether up or down there will be an effect.

 

For those wishing to taper or for those reinstating due to a bad taper this blog is good to read.

 

It's a start and i wish you all well.

 

http://npanth.wordpress.com/

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Thanks, AO, for mentioning this.

 

This is an excellent blog. npanth is a member here, too.

 

This is also referenced in this topic:

 

James Heaney's Blog

 

This blog makes at least a sensible attempt at explaining that miserable "I'll be in withdrawal forever" state of mind.The author also points out that prolonged withdrawal can teach us mindfulness, a tool which not only helps us through withdrawal but continues to help us as we handle whatever problems caused us to take medication without resorting to drugs.

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Hello all,I have had an extremely severe withdrawal from Zoloft. I have been completely off drugs for about a year and a half, but I don't consider myself recovered yet. About nine months ago, I started having a lot of digestive problems. I had lots of tests done, but the doctors said there is nothing wrong with me. I was diagnosed with "dyspepsia" and "irritable bowel syndrome". I am now wondering if all of my digestive problems are related to the withdrawal from Zoloft. I know that the gut contains the same neurons and chemicals as the brain, so it would make sense that the gut would be just as affected by withdrawal as the brain.Anyone else experience digestive problems during withdrawal? Will they resolve on their own??? I have been told by doctors that I just have to "live with" the symptoms, but that is easier said than done.Thanks!Sunny

 

I would say yes to your question, I tapered in april too quickly and had to reinstate. the side effects happened exactly in reverse as when first getting on zoloft. the jaw clenching the brain zaps and the vivid dreams, the lower i went the more prevalent they became.

 

However 6 weeks after cessation I bloated and began hurting nothing but diarrea, food began to run straight through me. There was nothing i could take or eat to change this. Pro biotics vitamins digestive enzymes all the nutritious food, high fiber, lean meats, no fat, no processed food. Nothing worked.  Ive reinstated and in my fourth week at 100mg zoloft the pain and bloating have almost magically dissapeared. My intestinal track time is back to normal and things are "firming up".

 

I perceive this as my mind may no longer require the Zoloft but my Gastrointestinal System does because without the Zoloft there is not enough Seretonin to go around.

It really was my major symptom it was late occuring and really it started after i had bled dry of sertraline and my seretonin became low.

 

I could easily live with everything in my head that happened after the taper knowing that time, Introspection and mental training would ultimately see me through.

The brain things were almost "Zap ...where am I"... humerous, The cloudy fog would have passed had I continued

My digestive system however, would have been sensless suffering  

 

 

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I've been having intermittent problems with nausea and queasiness. I think I posted about it before. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions to help cope with it.

 

I think it's due to a combination of Lamictal tapering and my night-shift schedule; my digestive system seems to have more trouble switching between nights and days than my sleep/wake cycle. It's got to be the Lamictal too though, because it seems to come on 4-5 days after I make a reduction and then gets gradually better as I hold.

 

Anyway, maybe I just need to whine, but if anyone's been through this and has suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.

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