It’s been two months since I’ve stopped drinking.  It’s alright, I’m not looking for a round of applause; no standing ovations. It hasn’t been difficult, but I wonder how much of that is psychological.  You see, I didn’t really quit of my own volition.  I found out that it now gives me incredibly, painful migraines.  It never did before.  If this didn’t occur, I would still be self-medicating by drinking.  I may need to be a bit repetitive here, and with other Posts, as I’m picking up new readers.  So, for some of you, I hope you can bear with that.

I do feel kind of bad about it–needing it get to the point of actually causing me such physical distress.  However, I suppose the end result is all that matters.  As above, because continuing to drink ended up causing me such intense, bodily pain, has it been easier? Of course I have always known it was bad for me! Again, probably not worth pondering.

Since quitting, I’ve noticed some changes that have been happening regarding my body.  I’ve been feeling kind of…”off?” Yes, rather “sick?” I’m not dreadfully ill, but some things are making me feel unwell at times.  Such irony? But before we get to that, some history for those that do not know (or can’t remember some things.)

I have a massive self-medication history with alcohol.  It started in my early to mid-20s.  This was prior to even knowing I had Bipolar, prior to being mis-dx’d, prior to even being properly dx’d! And let us dispense with all of my other dx’s! I was so wingy with my moods, my life, everything! Although, earlier in my life, I never partied or imbibed to such an extent.  Hell, to any extent?

I also have a huge family history of alcoholism.  Not that any genetic links have been proven yet, but boy is there information out there heading in that direction!

This continued for so many years.  One would think that between all of my drinking and all of the meds I have taken as well, I wouldn’t have a single tissue of my liver left! Or even a single cell? I may have the strongest liver known to mankind! I recently had bloodwork done and it’s great! Well, just slightly below normal, but because I am on so many meds, it is no doubt due to that fact.

So, with quitting drinking, what is happening these days? First, my sleep patterns have changed entirely! This would make sense as combining alcohol with my sleep meds would knock me out for a longer period.  I can not remember when I have habitually slept for app. only eight hours a night! However, as a result of this, it’s screwing up my energy levels! At least to some degree? I think? I’m up, I’m down…blech.  Not that this change isn’t good.  It’s preparing me for a more “regular” schedule with the world.  What I need for getting a job? Still! It’s making me feel like crap at times!

Next? My Gastronomy (NOTE: used out of context.)  G”Astronomy,” indeed! You could very well look up at the sky, and compare it to my stomach issues! I have had them all my life, but several years ago something happened that became utterly inexplicable! My symptoms ran the gamut from: IBS, IBD, Coeliac, Malabsorption, Ileitis, Crohn’s, Colitis, Cancer.  I am not joking about the Cancer.  What may have tipped the scales in favour (or not so much a favour), of that one, was losing 15lbs. in two weeks!

People, I am already very tiny.  Chopping 15lbs. off me is extreme! Not to mention, I had already lost 15lbs.!!! And yes, that much in two weeks kind of got everyone’s attention.  Tests were done all over the place and no answers.  Other than “something” was wrong with my lower intestine.

I still haven’t gained all of that last 15lbs. back, by the way.  I probably never will! Thanks a lot, gastro problems.

Now, back to stopping drinking! Some of my sx. have returned!!! I need to call Gastro Man.  Plus, with my recent bloods, my anaemia is a bit dodgy again.  Yes, I became anaemic for the first time ever, even though I felt just fine.  My energy levels were great (not so much as they are now.)  That may be more than just the changes in sleep? Also, we wanted to constantly monitor my Ferritin, anyway.  If I’m at a potential risk of dropping back down, maybe we should just shoot me back up now and not worry about it?

One odd thing that I could never understand as well, was that drinking beer alleviated my stomach pain! Why? Sure, drinking for “medicinal purposes,” right? *laughing*

I was having a conversation some time ago with someone (yes, about alcohol and our favourite drinks), and this person said they liked a beverage I had never heard of.  It contained “bitter hops.”  They also told me it was good for stomach ailments.  I see…  It made me wonder if the hops in beer would work the same way.  I could never find anything via research, but it did make me wonder.

Great.  If that’s true: “Bye bye beer, hello tummy pain! Welcome back!”

Ah, well.  Kicking the booze is good, of course.  Irony? That one’s always debatable… *smirks*

Advertisements

  1. 2 glasses of wine a week cures so many things and has so many benefits for the body I can’t list them all here, especially stomach issues. I guess that’s why it’s the main drink in the bible, oh yeah, yummy blessings ;)

    I have always had a hard time believing that alcoholism is a “gene” issue. Alcoholism runs in my family as well, I had a taste for it until I was 26 and now can drink socially with out dependance. Everyone around me was drinking so why not me? Perhaps an addictive personality comes from out parents? Who knows, for sure. Science doesn’t really prove much, and what you don’t hear advertised often enough is how wrong they get it and how often that happens. Scientic “facts” change all of time, make me laugh. Just read a school text book for 20 years ago, compared to one published today.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon, I am sure you have quite the adjustment ahead of you. Man, that sure has been the theme for us lately, huh? Adjustments… xoxo

    Like

  2. RealJIMMY

    Hi sweetie!
    I can relate to you on the drinking-till-something-hurts front. Admittedly my liver problems weren’t >caused< by alcohol, but still it took serious problems and physical pain for me to finally realise I need to control my alcohol intake. I don't drink overly often, but like many Brits I have a problem with 'binge drinking'.

    One thing I would say is I believe the sudden weight loss can be as bad for your liver as the alcohol damage (docs certaintly seemed to think it was a contributing factor for me, and I have considerably more 'spare' weight than you!). What caused the sudden weight loss?

    It certainly sounds like you need a better doctor, someone who is determined to get to the bottom of your stomach problems. Again I can totally relate, three doctors in four years made absolutely,no progress dx'ing my liver problems, but the new doc has been truly brilliant – for the first time I feel like I've got a doctor who genuinely wants to solve the mystery of my liver!

    Do you mind me asking, what are your eating habits like? It's a long shot but if you're not eating enough then beer, being so calorific, might have been making up a deficit in your diet. Like I say this is just speculation, but maybe beer was chasing away stomach pains (aside from the obvious pain-killing properties of alcohol) because without it your body was dangerously under your RDA for calories? Without knowing more about your eating habits this is all just guesses, but considering you say you are pretty small…? Also would kinda make sense in the context of sudden weight loss when you stopped drinking. Not that, aside from pure calories, there's much in beer for the body to hold on to!

    -JiMMY

    Like

  3. arifaery

    Look! I’m back so soon!

    I totally get the whole alcohol thing. (Wow, that gave me so much trouble to spell). I too drink medicinally, though not habitually. I like a glass of wine to wind down every now and then, or to numb the pain when I’m depressed. And alcoholism is strong in my family to, both parental lines! So growing up my dad made me think alcohol was the devil! (Perhaps why I imbibed so much in college?) I see nothing wrong with a drink here and there, but yeah, I know with all the various medical things I have I shouldn’t drink at all!

    Like

  4. Hi Fabulous Frenzy. *laughing* Yes, “medicinal purposes,” right?

    Genetics is a very interesting and complicated part of medicine (well, aren’t they all), but true, there are no absolutes anywhere–including science. That is why people are still hammering away at things. There are some people who may or may not inherit gene expression for anything, be it any form of addiction, or anything else that fits on a wee codon.

    And exactly as you say about your book from 20 years ago, science changes all the time. That’s why the advances are made? *smirks*

    Sorry, you know I’m a science geek. But as I said above, there are no absolutes.

    Also, “addictive personalities” can come into play, as well. You can be addicted to all sorts of things; not simply substances.

    I’ll be alright. Well, relatively? There aren’t any “absolutes” with my health, either! *rolls eyes* And yes, correct you are with that theme: adjustments!

    xo

    Hi RealJIMMY. Yes, I hear you too, on the physical aspect. Funny about your comment with the Brits, but I disagree. Binge Drinkers are everywhere!

    As long as you can handle your drinking in moderation so you don’t get sick, that’s good. However, it’s totally out of my life, now!

    The sudden weight loss (and all of the other insane sx. on the list), had no basis, no explanation. I just became violently ill (like an onset of a really, bad, viral infection–throwing up, shitting like crazy etc…), and then went downhill from there.

    Again, I have had stomach problems all my life and I have gone through prior tests with no results. It’s just that a few years ago…wow! Totally off the charts.

    My Gastro is ace. All of my Med. Team is. I wouldn’t trade a single one of them. From what we gathered in the end (even though it wasn’t much), we treated with a “natural” solution. It did clear everything up, bar just about one thing. It’s hormonally related (period, ovulation), and I may have a solution for that, which I want to propose to him.

    My eating habits totally suck! I am awful in the self-care dept. I need someone to feed me! Alcohol content really doesn’t do much for you, as it consists of “empty calories.” There isn’t any nutrient value in it. By the time everything ends up going through the manufacturing process, any of the original carbs are basically pure sugar.

    However, people did always tease me about being anaemic, and that I should drink Guinness! Too bad I can’t stand the stuff! Again, though, not enough iron content in that!

    Also, I looked into any “pain killing properties” of alcohol. Hey, you should know me by now, right? Research? Medicine? Sure, but not internally. Not to mention, even prior to doing any research, what’s in your stomach? HCl. Do you think drinking beer can eradicate that? There’s other stuff in beer, as well, so it might actually upset your stomach? Maybe if you have problems?

    Huh. There’s one to ponder…

    Oh, yes. One more thing about the weight loss at the time. I was living with ex-partner then. She’s a chef, although not working as one when we were living together. So, I had food in front me all the time! Only problem? One of my sx. was a huge loss of appetite. I tried to eat as much as I could but…?

    I have gained some weight back after seeing Gastro Man, so that is good but still. I think destined to be 100lbs. forever.

    Hi arifaery. Hey…good to see you back, “so soon.” *laughing* Thanks for your input here, as well. Yes, I think it’s so easy to understand why a lot of us with Mental Illnesses, and other Disorders, tend to self-medicate.

    You seem to be able to handle it in moderation, and that may not be a bad thing at all. However, a lot of us may not be able to do that! That’s when things might get a little hairy.

    Like

  5. For what it’s worth, 95% of the time I get reflux it’s the night after drinking, happens even if I only have one drink. The only thing I know of to help it is drink at least three glasses of milk between my last drink of the night and bedtime.

    These days booze really hates me more then it likes me. :/ So I really don’t drink much, especially as my anxiety is well controlled now. If I do get stressed out now and drink, it’s guaranteed to kick off a 1-3 day funk, it’s pretty much out now. Especially now that I take a stim, too. Apparently stims+drinking is a no-no.

    Like

  6. Hi Asdquefty. Yes. Exactly. That’s why I wanted to toss in the pain re: drinking. It definitely can affect those of us with sensitive stomachs, even people who don’t have tummy problems. Again, how odd that it didn’t affect me that way?

    Granted, I take a PPI for GERD, too. A Proton Pump Inhibitor folks–it basically reduces the production of HCl. But no. Don’t think that was it. The pain was eventually reduced by Gastro Man.

    And Righty-O! Milk rocks for me, as well, for GERD!

    I suppose it is a good thing that you’re not drinking anymore. It really isn’t good for all of us nutsos. We all know that it’s a depressant, so that really doesn’t do us any favours and, yes, there is the potential for med interactions.

    I received a separate email as opposed to a comment regarding this Post. The person was amazed that I could actually continue drinking for so long, and while on so many meds–and still not get sick.

    I do not know. I know that there were many times I did suffer the mood altering effects. However, there were many times when my moods were were just fine. That may have been due to the nature of Bipolar.

    Meds? I’ve been on so damn many, I have no clue there, either! With my latest cocktail, since it’s so damn huge, I probably wouldn’t have any way of knowing–lest the combination of the sleep meds.

    However, alcohol is contraindicated with every psych med, and so many others (non-psych), anyway!

    Also, thanks for stopping by and sharing, too!

    Like




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: