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Digestive problems: nausea, diarrhoea, bloating, GERD

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dekiru

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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SickandTired

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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GiaK

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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UnfoldingSky

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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GiaK

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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UnfoldingSky

 

 

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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Meimeiquest

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

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GiaK

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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alexjuice

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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SickandTired

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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Meimeiquest

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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UnfoldingSky

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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SickandTired

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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alexjuice

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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GiaK

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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alexjuice

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

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ruby

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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Spencer

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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Finn

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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Meimeiquest

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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Finn

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

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SickandTired

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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AnxietyOnly

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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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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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AnxietyOnly

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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Rhiannon

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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GiaK

I had severe nausea associated with lamictal withdrawal for well over a year...it was one of the (many) worst symptoms I had...awful...and nausea is often associated with lamictal in any case, yes

 

I couldn't eat among other things...

 

I lived on ginger tincture...I used gaia brand and would do two shots in a bit of water and down it...around the clock...it helped somewhat...and was the only thing that did...

 

I hope you don't have to deal with it to the extent I did...ginger really did ease it a bit, but not as much as would have allowed me to be functional (if that were the only symptom I was dealing with)

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GiaK

much later when I could stand and cook etc I started making my own ginger concentrate with fresh ginger root boiled in water

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Rhiannon

I can cook, haven't tried ginger. Do you think if I just boil some in water, like making ginger tea, that would work?

 

Thanks for the reassurance about the nausea. There's just not a ton of information about Lamictal withdrawal out there and every time it happens I think the tiny cut I made surely couldn't be causing it.  (Actually I always think that about withdrawal symptoms...)

 

I'm only cutting about 0.5 mg to 1 mg at a time, but I'm probably not holding long enough. I get the feeling Lamictal withdrawal unfolds over a long period of time. Seems like it takes 4-5 days before I even feel a cut, then gets worse for a few days, then as it starts to get better I cut again even though I should probably hold a little longer. It's just so derned frustrating, this is the drug I'm on the highest dose of and it's the hardest to reduce! Plus frustrating because supposedly Lamictal's not hard to get off of for a lot of people. 

 

I also get intense reflux that sometimes leads to vomiting.

 

I think for sure the night shift is a factor, maybe the major one, but the Lamictal cuts show a definite pattern with the nausea.  If I were a patient woman I would hold it for a while and see if I still had the nausea just from the night shift alone. But I'm not very patient. I want off the stuff.

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GiaK

yes...ginger tea is good too...just play with it and see what is helpful to you.

 

 

I used to get bouts of weird reflux too, but I can't remember when specifically (like whether it was associated in particular to lamictal in any way)

 

in any case I no longer ever have any reflux at all...

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Zoe

HI- One of my biggest issues with withdrawl from Lexapro and Wellbutrin is nausea. The family doc switched me from lexapro to zoloft without weaning me, plus before I knew that was causing me issues I started weaning from the wellbutrin. I have had anxiety issues, but the major one has been severe nausea. Does anyone have anything that helped for them with this symptom?

 

Thanks so much!!!!

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dalsaan

Sorry to hear things haven't been going so well for you. You could try some ginger. I use either fresh ginger in hot water or natural ginger tablets (usually used for motion sickness)

 

Dalsaan

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Zoe

Thank you so much!!! I will get some tomorrow.

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Athena

Sunny I know exactly how you feel, especially with the severe acid reflux. I you found something that helped, please share with me. I take Toms and Zantac, but they're barely half effective... And I don't want to take that for weeks and weeks...

 

I have been taking probiotics for many months now but that doesn't seem to help either.

 

Looking forward to some input on this! :)

 

Thanks!!

 

Athena

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GiaK

DGL is great for acid reflux...

 

also I you'd like to learn to go drug free for acid reflux issues Chris Kresser has done extensive writing on how to manage that...I can speak to it having helped me...AND it healed my mother who was being told she needed surgery for GERD

 

http://chriskresser.com/heartburn

 

if you scroll down there is a collection of all his posts on the topic...I highly recommend it! 

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catw66

Ever since I started to cut down on Cymbalta and had a failed CT after a fast taper, I've been severely constipated. I finally had a laproscopic surgery to look for endometriosis due to the increasingly severe menstrual cramps the last three + years, but the doctor found nothing. Instead, he felt my issue was more possibly due to IBS as he said my bowl was really full. I didn't even realize I was that constipated. This has really been an issue since quitting Adderall after a while and then even more so after cutting down on Cymbalta. My guess is that it's a nervous system effect.

 

My really bad menstrual issues also didn't get this awful until I started Adderall and Cymbalta within months or one another a few or so years ago. I never put two and two together until I started thinking about how long things have been this bad with my cramps. I seem to get more constipated past ovulation and then have looser stools after my period starts.

 

So I will be going to see a GI doc and will get tested for celiac and lactose intolerance. I mostly eat gluten free but slip up here and there (especially living at my mom's for now who bakes a lot) and am keeping track of my symptoms when I do.

 

I also have had bad acid relux and heartburn since stopping Adderall and cutting down on Cymbalta.

 

I think I am going to get some good probiotics instead of just relying on greek yogurt in my smoothie. But there is definitely now more of a constipation issue with this withdrawal business, including nausea.

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