I'd like to start off by saying that I am a 21 year old male with no past medical history. I am 6'2 and weigh around 220 pounds. I am only slightly overweight but not to the point where it would affect my health.
My journey begins 4 months ago on June 6th. I'm having a tough time pin pointing the cause of my problem, but I can express to you some patterns/habits that were occurring before it started. My diet was not great, but it was not as bad as a lot of people I know. I did start drinking more than I used to (wine every other night or so) from March up until this problem.
Before all this happened, I had been drinking hard liquor to cope with stress over a specific event. I went through a couple bottles of brandy in a couple weeks and had a pretty hard drinking session before this happened (half a bottle of brandy the night of June 5th, and 5 shots on the morning of June 6th with half a bottle of gin the night of June 6th, when this started).
Let me make it clear that this was not my regular drinking pattern, but I am not even sure if drinking is a factor as I also had sushi/Japanese food that day. So here's where the fun starts. I had never tried gin before so I bought some Seagram's extra dry gin. After about a few drinks I was doing ok, but further into my drinking I started feeling like I needed to catch my breath (keep in mind I have a high alcohol tolerance and this was not just another 'too much to drink' sensation).
It was more like a feeling that I needed to take in more air or was losing air and I would "sigh". Even though I was drunk, I was very shocked by this. I drank a little more and then stopped. Upon awaking the next day (June 6th), I experienced my main symptom that I still feel as I write this very post, a tickle in the throat.
It's not high up like a sore throat, but more in the air ways, like a teasing tickle. I went to the doctor who did an EKG and told me to come back for a lung x-ray if things didn't get better. At this point I had extreme anxiety, something I don't usually have, because I didn't know what was wrong with me. I would have to manually take a deep breath every 30 seconds, but it is much less now and the only symptom that has improved.
I returned for a chest x-ray which turned out to be negative and to my surprise, the doctor told me I must have some type of "GERD", and put me on prilosec. Now keep in mind I'm a collector of hot sauces, everything from cayenne to habanero and a big eater, I've never felt heartburn in my entire life. I took the prilosec, double dose as they recommended, with no results.
At this point my stomach was starting to shake/pulse, I had difficulty swallowing, a white/yellow coated tongue, constant tickle in the throat and diarrhea. I experienced, a lump in my throat, and still do. I started having strange sensations like I wasn't myself anymore. I started having panic attacks and break downs for the first time in my life, I was confused. When I told my GP this, she put me on Ativan, which did nothing but make me feel high.
I was sent to a pulmonologist for a lung workup, spirometer, and flow meter test, all came back negative. I was put on a short trial of clarinex for presumed allergies, which did nothing. I had an immunoglobin blood test for allergies which was negative and various other blood tests. I had a liver/gallbladder ultrasound which was negative.
At this point, I was sent on over to the gastroenterologist who ordered a barium swallow, it was negative. He told me that some of my symptoms sounded like "acid reflux", but others did not. I was feeling extremely fatigued and had brain fog. I developed little white particles like dust or flour in my stools which I still have consistently. I cycled through constipation and diarrhea, which still occurs. Or sometimes I'd have constipated diarrhea (a loose stool that is hard to pass).
I was told that I needed an endoscopy to rule out reflux or anything serious. The endoscopy was negative, but they found a super small sliding hiatal hernia about 3-4 cm that they said was too small to cause any problems (I even went to a naturopathic chiropracter who moves hernias and he could not feel it). They found no irritation or inflammation at all even though I was feeling it 24/7. I was put on Protonix twice a day with Zegerid at night, this did nothing but give me stomach aches.
I started reading up on LPR/GERD/Acid reflux etc and how people keep saying it's a "lifelong" condition. I educated myself about the fact that said allegation is a pharmaceutical hoax and that there are ways to permanently correct it without surgery, but as I researched I started to realize that I was dealing with something far different. Keep in mind throughout this time I was relatively abstinent from alcohol and cleaned up my diet considerably.
Around July 28th I started burping and still do, along with excessive flatulence. The gas is insane. The flatulence is very odorous and shoots out aggressively. If I'm with my gf, I'll end up holding it in and literally passing about 15-20 seconds of gas on the toilet when I can get to one. The burping occurs a lot after meals but it's pretty consistent throughout the day. I developed a trickling sound in my throat, like gas escaping upwards.
I started getting nasal congestion, especially in the mornings and around April 14th, I developed a sore throat that occurs usually when I lie down. This sore throat is more like a "scratchy/rough" throat and usually goes away almost completely when I sit up. I experience taste distortions such as extreme sour, salty, and spicy tastes.
All of these symptoms, including the shortness of breath (which has lessened a bit) are still here. I started experiencing self-perceived bad breath. I can smell an odor coming out of my mouth but my gf, family members, and doctors cannot. I've tried acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, diet changes, supplements, etc. to no avail.
After I eat I get very tired/dizzy/intoxicated and often feel detached or high, even when I haven't even eaten that much. I often feel fatigued now with little to no energy. I experience mood swings as well with this and uncharacteristic behaviors/emotions. I feel like someone took my life and turned it upside down, I haven't been the same since June 6th and I'd really like my life back.
I've gone to an ENT a month or so back who performed a laryngoscope and said he saw nothing at all. He put it down to either a psychological factor or a thyroid problem, that's when I had my thyroid ultrasound, which turned out negative aside from a note saying I had "a lot of blood vessels" in my thyroid, which is supposedly nothing.
Over these past few weeks my symptoms have flared up extremely bad. My throat is raw all the time and extremely sore. I was sent to another ENT for a second opinion who did a second laryngoscope (this was 4 days ago) and I was told I had "extreme thrush with extreme irritation/redness/swelling". Even my tonsils are inflamed and have little white pieces of something on them (they called this "necrotic"). I also have some pretty heavy salivation with a lot of phlegm.
I really hate big pharma, but I am now on diflucan (an anti-fungal) and cefadroxil (an anti-biotic). Throat cultures were taken which I haven't gotten back yet. I've been extremely tired all the time. My gf who I've been talking to for 5-6 years online has finally come down to go to college nearby and although I try to act like nothing is wrong around here, I really do feel like my problem is ruining my time.
I don't feel like myself anymore, and I've even called some "prevention hotlines". This is so unlike me, as I never go to doctors nor do I obsess or think about my health at all when it comes to problems, but this has really affected me.
Keep in mind all the meds I listed (aside from the two I just mentioned that I started today) were only used for a short time and stopped. I know the dangers of taking too many pills from doctors and these symptoms of fatigue, tiredness, etc. are coming solely from my problem, I've never felt like this before.
I've tried taking Candidase and doing the alkaline diet, etc. nothing seems to work.
I'm not interested in buying a book or spending $70 for a bottle of pills or doing a detox/liver cleanse that costs money. I'm just looking for advice as to what you think this may be.
My current symptoms as they stand: constant tickle in the throat, white/yellow furry thick coated tongue, sour taste in mouth/taste distortion, fatigue, drowsiness, brain fog, depression, anxiety, constant burping/gas, sore throats when I lie down, shortness of breath, post-nasal drip, excess phlegm, excess salivation, extremely odorous gas and bowel movements, particles/powder in bowel movement, bowel irregularities such as diarrhea/constipation, a burning throat sometimes that can spread all the way up to the back of my neck near my head that is not heartburn and is unresponsive to antacids/h2 blockers/PPI's or traditional cures, bloating, lack of interest in doing what I used to do (played an online game called WoW for 5 years every day since its been out, haven't signed into it in 2 months due to my problem, that's saying a lot), depersonalization/derealization or a 'fuzzy' feeling, lack of libido/sex drive, nasal congestion, white material on tonsils (right tonsil is very swollen), lump in throat after swallowing food, sensation of 'food sticking' when I swallow it, and headaches (started a couple days ago and have stayed). I also experience a pressure valve/squeezing bubbles that rise when I lie down or sometimes when not lieing down. My stomach will expel gas without a burp and this is very audible, sometimes it will gurgle as well.
I know I'm forgetting a few probably but that's the most I can think of. This all kicked off around June 6th after trying gin for the first time which I thought may have been an allergic reaction, but how could it last this long and develop into all of this? I also want to add that after taking the anti-fungal, I feel completely sapped and drained.
I feel like my old self is dead, I want my life back and I'm too young to feel like this. I feel like an old man and nothing really seems to cheer me up anymore. Even when I do decide to drink, it's not as fun anymore and nothing seems to make me happy.
I dropped out of 2 college classes because I was too sick to go. I'm holding on to the two others but have missed many days due to my illness. I don't do the work and simply don't care anymore, all my focus is centered around my illness now and it's making me very apathetic and indifferent to everything else. Keep in mind that I am a straight A student that went from befriending his professors after class to not even caring enough to show up.
If you've read this far, I thank you. This is a plea for help, and I don't think this problem can last forever, it's just too miserable to be a permanent thing. My GP literally told me that she has "cancer patients" with less symptoms than I describe, and that I either need to go to a research clinic or seek therapy. The ENT whose supposed to be a "big shot" basically said "I'll take a shot at this but your best bet is Scrips at this point".