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Terrible Symptoms -- HELP!!!!

Old 01-18-2009, 02:32 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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25 years old! WOW, talk about an old head on young shoulders. I wish I hadn't had to wait 'till I was 40 to get your wisdom.

As for the physical damage, you've got youth on your side!
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:32 AM
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I was 35 when I quit. I had all the anxiety symptoms when I was still drinking. My first year, I was anxious and depressed in alternating waves. I still remember at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and a year still feeling like, "why am I not back to normal yet?"

I had read all about brain chemistry, and knew that brain cells take 90 days to grow, so there was something to that "two steps forward, one step back" thing that was going on with me. The way I figured it, my brain was recovering from an injury, much like a wound or scab. (Thus, it itches!)

If I had felt completely golden at 3 months, I probably would not have been motivated to go through the steps and have my thinking changed. And I would have felt so good I'm sure I would've drank again in short order.

The fact is, after almost a year and half, I feel well on my way to cultivating a way of living that will keep me grounded, no matter what is going on in my head or in my body.

Good luck to you.

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Old 01-18-2009, 07:48 AM
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Good thread and thank you CC. After reading and then rereading this thread I came to this conclusion; what an awesome opportunity you now have to live your life free from all of the insanity associated with active Alcoholism. Damaged, maybe, but so what; the resilience of the mind is extraordinary!

Before they became a fixture of the past some years ago, I was committed to three state mental hospitals as well as several psychiatric units for chronic Alcoholism and mental illness; dual diagnoses was the flavor of choice. The great internal debate I waged was whether I was first mentally ill and self medicating with Alcohol as a result of some mental impairment or a genetic Alcoholic who became progressively mentally ill as a result of the massive and prolonged ingestion of beverage Alcohol. In the end, it did not matter, I was dying. The only choices left to me were to continuing drinking and die, take my life and die or recover. So I finally grasped recovery. Whether or not I am damaged, no longer gives me as much pause as it used to. I look for solutions rather than stay stuck on issues. If for instance, I had lost one of my arms, I would be left with the choice to either regress into self pity or learn to live with a prosthetic arm. I am responsible for my life today and I am able to achieve if I so choose. I wish you well in your New Life and if I can help, please let me know.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:03 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Really good thread because I have felt all what you have felt. And it is all because of drink. You're not alone keep posting.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:49 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I to have experienced many of symptoms you are living.

Our battle with Alcholism is a marathon not a sprint. I say this to answer your question regarding "social" drinking down the road. In my experience, this is just not an option. I've tried on several occasions, including last night, to have a few drinks with my wife during dinner. EVERY time this leads to me sneaking downstairs to tab into the booze........and needless to say, after not drinking for a month then pounding a few down, you get to re-live those symptoms again the next morning.
Today has been horrible for me......which in an odd way should make others feel better as we are all stuggling to beat down the beast!

Day one, again
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:47 PM
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That seems very depressing to me that I can possibly never drink again. I never again want to get drunk or go on a multi-day drinking binge like i used to. I would be happy with 2-3 drinks once a week or every other week. It is nice on special occasions or when out to dinner for instance. I am only 25 years old. The rest of life is going to be very difficult for me if I am unable to drink EVER AGAIN. Does anyone else have any experience with:
1. Having the symptoms that I listed
2. Abstaining from alcohol for 6-8 weeks+ or whoever long it took for the symptoms to go away
3. Trying to drink again at some point down the road (NO MORE THAN 2-4 drinks once a week or every other week)

If so, what happened? Did all your symptoms come back? I have read online that you get higher chances of withdrawal if you drink 2 days in a row or more or drink heavy. Would I be able to drink 2-3 drinks once a week or once every week in the future if I made sure to limit myself? I really don't want all these symptoms coming back once I get rid of them...but I also don't want to remain sober for the rest of my life, given that i'm still very young.... :-(
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:10 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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It's my observation and experience that everyone is going to
do whatever they want...regardless of information and common sense.

Hope you can find your way into a healthy fture.
Best of luck
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:16 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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CC - I hear what you are saying, loud and clear.
Your words and feelings expressed indicate to me that the 2-4 drink / once per week goal will be hard to achieve. What starts out as best intentions, a couple of pints with the boys over wings, turns into 4 more the "biggie" sized brews and an unsafe trip home.....followed up by spending the day in bed wish you were dead.
With that said, I have scene posts here where people were able to revert to a life that included social drinking.

Rather than freting over not being able to drink for such a loooooong time, being that you are still you, focus on the fact that you are young and a sober life is 100% more productive, healthy, clear and fun!
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:52 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ChrisClark View Post
That seems very depressing to me that I can possibly never drink again. I never again want to get drunk or go on a multi-day drinking binge like i used to. I would be happy with 2-3 drinks once a week or every other week. It is nice on special occasions or when out to dinner for instance. I am only 25 years old. The rest of life is going to be very difficult for me if I am unable to drink EVER AGAIN. Does anyone else have any experience with:
1. Having the symptoms that I listed
2. Abstaining from alcohol for 6-8 weeks+ or whoever long it took for the symptoms to go away
3. Trying to drink again at some point down the road (NO MORE THAN 2-4 drinks once a week or every other week)

If so, what happened? Did all your symptoms come back? I have read online that you get higher chances of withdrawal if you drink 2 days in a row or more or drink heavy. Would I be able to drink 2-3 drinks once a week or once every week in the future if I made sure to limit myself? I really don't want all these symptoms coming back once I get rid of them...but I also don't want to remain sober for the rest of my life, given that i'm still very young.... :-(
This is my 6th withdrawal in 2 yrs. Like you I'm not an everyday drinker. I'm not one who walks by the beer cooler and feels drawn to it. I go months without drinking, however when I finally let my family or friends talk me into having a drink with them. I have 4-5 this time then I feel not problem so the next night I have a few more, next thing I know I've been drunk for 2 weeks and then decide to cut it off to go back to work. Trust me, we can't just drink sociably. It isn't really up to us. Our bodies are dependent and there is nothing we can do, but not drink. I even had my gall bladder out in November thinking that was what was making me so sick. So I drank for the holidays and here I am 2.5 weeks later with the worse withdrawals I've ever had. All the symptoms you've described. Sitting here wondering the same things you are, how long will it last.... Will it ever end... We'll the answer is yes, it ended the last 5 times I did it and it will end again.

This time I won't fall for the ole c'mon just have a couple, because I'll be crawling out of my skin like I am right now as I type. They will go on with life as normal.

Since we are in the same stages what do you say we partner up? I'll keep you informed day to day on the board here on how my symptoms are and you do the same. Each afternoon let's take the time.

I'm 18 days in and still suffering each evening.. Most of my anxiety and panic attacks take place after about 3 PM. The panic attacks are usually about 6-8 pm like clock work. I have muchos nausea but it could have alot to do with the lexapro I just started.

Let's just use the pain that we are going through as a reminder of why we don't want to drink that one drink.

What do you say???? I need help through this one myself.... This one is my worse yet, and I've had some duzzies!!

Maklay
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:46 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I actually was drinking 5-7 nights a week for years and usually really heavy every time. I basically used the principle that I had more fun being drunk than being sober to justify drinking on a daily or near-daily basis. And once I would get started, it was always more fun for me to get drunker and drunker than to just have a few.

Here's some questions for you:
1. How long did you have to wait the last 5 times for the symptoms to go away?
2. If I take a long period of time off drinking (3-6 months) and then just try 2-3 beers only once or twice a month, am I going to feel all the symptoms again and have to wait for my body to heal all over again? I know I can stop myself after 3 and limit the drinking to once every other week or once a month. However, I do not want all the withdrawal symptoms to return. Will they? Will i have to wait 2-3 months to heal again just from having 1 or 2 drinks?
3. I am still getting tingling (pins and needles) through my face and sometimes my arms and legs. Tomorrow will be day 21 of being sober. I am getting worried that these pins and needles will never go away? Did you have this symptom the other 5 times? How long before this went away?
4. I feel like things are getting slightly better from week to week but not much...and if I have a time of high stress...all symptoms get fully activated and it's almost unbearable.

Keep me posted about how you're doing and I will do the same.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:40 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Read the article on PAWS : Post Acute Withdrawl - Relapse Prevention Specialists - TLC The Living Center

Everyone is different but as your drinking progresses so will the withdrawal symptoms. It is not uncommon for an advanced drinker to experience symptoms for many months after quitting. There is no one size fits all answer to your questions as there are just too many variables.

As far as having a few drinks a day, well all I can say is that if you could pull that off then you wouldn't have a problem. I never heard of anyone going through withdrawal from 1 or 2 drinks, I doubt that it's possible so no withdrawal would not be an issue at that rate of consumption.
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:25 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ChrisClark View Post

I used to average 1/2 to 3/4 of a bottle of Jim Beam on the rocks per night. Sometimes with a few beers right after work with the guys. I did this for about 3 years straight. That was about from 2000-2003. I got a promotion and tried to start cleaning my act up abit. I would try to just keep the drinking to weekends that that was kinda iffy at times.

However, looks like once I got away from the everyday drinking and started binging every month or every couple of months I noticed hangovers etc. starting. I guess I wasn't in very good practice as some would say. Then I noticed I had one bad withdrawal after a binge. Things never were the same....
Here's some questions for you:
1. How long did you have to wait the last 5 times for the symptoms to go away? All of them were right about a week and a half.. Except for the last two lasted about 2 weeks. Of course this one has been since the begining of Jan. and I'm still having problems. I notice it's getting a little better but I still have a while to go. I'm hoping by this time next week the hard stuff will be about gone. (wishful thinking)
2. If I take a long period of time off drinking (3-6 months) and then just try 2-3 beers only once or twice a month, am I going to feel all the symptoms again and have to wait for my body to heal all over again? I know I can stop myself after 3 and limit the drinking to once every other week or once a month. However, I do not want all the withdrawal symptoms to return. Will they? Will i have to wait 2-3 months to heal again just from having 1 or 2 drinks? I wouldn't advise this but I've been able to get away with 3-5 a night for about 3 nights and didn't have any major troubles besides a little nervous and nausea. It's way better when I just don't drink. That way I don't have to worry about what tomorrow or next week will bring.

3. I am still getting tingling (pins and needles) through my face and sometimes my arms and legs. Tomorrow will be day 21 of being sober. I am getting worried that these pins and needles will never go away? Did you have this symptom the other 5 times? How long before this went away?

Usually by the second week they were gone. This time they have not left the building quite yet.... It's not doing it all day anymore just mostly in the evening.4. I feel like things are getting slightly better from week to week but not much...and if I have a time of high stress...all symptoms get fully activated and it's almost unbearable.

Mine always took it's sweet time but got better day to day. I publicly speak for my job, giving presentations etc. sometimes I want to jump off stage and run. I get confused with questions, and get very foggy. I'm a very good speaker who always has the right thing to say. However, the couple weeks during a withdrawal I sound like a studdering idiot.

Keep me posted about how you're doing and I will do the same.
Today I had some anxiety around noon, and had to take a xanax to finish teaching the class. This evening seems to be better. I'll know more after I work out. For some weird reason about 1-2 hours after I go work out my anxiety and BP climb. You would think it would get better not worse after a good sweat!
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:52 PM
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You claim that you only had to wait a week and a half for most of your symptoms to go away. However, I am at day 21 and I still have the tingling in my face and legs, some paranoia (about nothing in particular), a bunch of anxiety, jaw pain, dry mouth, and the lightning feeling running throughout my body. I am worried because I do not want this to continue indefinitely.

You also mentioned that by the 2nd week your pins and needles would be gone. I am worried that I am still experiencing these. They are not constant but rather on and off through the day. Has anyone else had pins and needles continue for 21 days of sobriety or longer? I am really worried about peripheral neuropathy and permanent nerve damage.

I am worried that since I ignored withdrawal symptoms for 15 months, I have compounded my symptoms and really strained my body's ability to recover. I have read online about shingles (repeated withdrawals causing the withdrawals to become worse and worse).

How long did it take for your anxiety levels to return to normal typically?
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:26 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Well I'm not out of the woods this time by no stretch. I'm 20 days in this time and still struggling but things are getting better by the day. I'm suffering but know that it will pass. Time is the ultimate teacher and healer...

First and foremost the worry and panic is really adding to your condition at the moment. The thing that you need to reassure yourself is that it is going to pass. The constant worry will drive your anxiety up the wall. I know the first 5 times I took a bath and dressed comfortable for the hospital trip just in case. I drove myself nuts. Go get a check up and it will do you wonders... The one thing that does scare me for you is, that you are suffering so very much and you are so very concerned with your health yet you are still interested in your future drinking. At this point I would think you would never want any part of that again. Not judging just a concern. Remember like Glenn Beck said Alcoholism is an allergy... It's just the way we are wired, we can't make the decision to just have a few drinks and everything will be alright. Our bodies have become dependent on it and we just need to stay away from it.

The anxiety came and went each time for a month or better each time. However I'm a little high strung to start with and feel I might have a touch of anxiety without the help of the poison. My Dr. has already told me I have a bit of anxiety.

Like I said I had one pretty strong anxiety attack today while teaching a class, probably because of all the pressure at the time.

Maklay
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisClark View Post
You claim that you only had to wait a week and a half for most of your symptoms to go away. However, I am at day 21 and I still have the tingling in my face and legs, some paranoia (about nothing in particular), a bunch of anxiety, jaw pain, dry mouth, and the lightning feeling running throughout my body. I am worried because I do not want this to continue indefinitely.

You also mentioned that by the 2nd week your pins and needles would be gone. I am worried that I am still experiencing these. They are not constant but rather on and off through the day. Has anyone else had pins and needles continue for 21 days of sobriety or longer? I am really worried about peripheral neuropathy and permanent nerve damage.

I am worried that since I ignored withdrawal symptoms for 15 months, I have compounded my symptoms and really strained my body's ability to recover. I have read online about shingles (repeated withdrawals causing the withdrawals to become worse and worse).

How long did it take for your anxiety levels to return to normal typically?
I didn't have panic disorder until I had stopped drinking for six months, so I can't really answer your question. One thing I do know is that repeated withdrawals have a "kindling effect" I have read about that screws up one's brain. And I have had plenty of repeated withdrawals.

Your posts really hit me. They remind me of me and that is painful. I've gone through so many horrible things and can imagine how you must be feeling right now. I too, just kept wondering if I would finally be able to drink normally. I stopped drinking many years ago and couldn't see a life without alcohol. Now I am 49 and look back and just see a life ruined and controlled by alcohol. I wish I would have just stayed quit back then and learned how to live life. I do hope your symptoms are not permanent and that once you are feeling better you won't want to chance going through them again. Of course, I am no one to talk, as I have kept making the same mistakes for 35 years (minus those two years in my early twenties and not drinking. The most I've been able to achieve since then is around 55 days) and have yet to learn. But maybe this time...
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:51 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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I have never experienced withdrawal as badly as you have/are. However, I have gone through many periods of withdrawal, sobriety, then binging again, followed by withdrawal, and so on. Thank God now I am presently sober (hope to stay that way!).

But to get to one of your questions, in my experience I have indeed found that even after periods of extended sobriety, one binge is all it takes to experience the same symptoms again. For me, one of the worst times was when I binged for about 3-4 days in a row. After the last day I was jittery, nauseous, bloating, diarrhea, experiencing hot flashes and sweating, "mind lock", insomnia, anxiety/paranoia, etc. After that, I was sober for about 6 weeks, and then started drinking again. Another 4 day binge, and basically the same symptoms came back. For me, the physical symptoms usually went away quickly, but the insomnia would linger for weeks. In fact, I'll probably always suffer from insomnia to an extent. I guess that is what happens when you've conditioned your brain to sleep on alcohol for so long.

I hope you get better, and like the others say, I really do encourage you to go see a medical doctor.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:43 AM
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exactly the same

Originally Posted by ChrisClark View Post
Hello,

I have been a very frequent and heavy binger for about 5 years now. I landed myself in the hospital about 15 months ago on my birthday by drinking for 6 days in a row. During that time, I did not sleep much, vomitted a bunch, and on the 6th day I drank heavy for 24 hours straight. After I finally stopped, my heartbeat became very weird, i was very shaky, i had trouble speaking, i had tingling and numbness going through my whole body, i had extreme anxiety and panic, and i felt dizzy and terrified. I had to call 911 and go to the hospital. They didn't really do anything for me except blood work which came back normal. This event changed my body completely.
Ever since this episode, I have felt completely messed up (for the past 15 months). I continued to drink heavy (stupidly) and my daily symptoms for the past 15 months have included severe anxiety, bad paranoia (not about anything specific, just with being around people in general..not being able to look at people..it is the worst at places like malls), tingling through face/arms/legs, and intense feeling of lightning or energy flowing through my body (very uncomfortable), shakiness, real bad nightmares, i wake up multiple times through the night, my vision seems off because my environment seems to be wavering slightly...almost like a vertigo or dizzy sensation, my heartbeat is frequently very fast, i get twitches in my eye, jaw pain, dry mouth, amongst others. The worst symptoms are the lightning feeling through my body, the tingling/numbness, the anxiety, and the paranoia (because they cause the most discomfort and inconvenience in my daily life). Stressful situations or getting behind on sleep intensely magnifies all these symptoms.
So as you can see, I have been suffering A LOT on a daily basis for 15 months. Usually the worst is 2-3 days after a bender. I finally have decided that I am done with feeling this way and have resolved to stop drinking completely. However, it has been 14 days since I last drank and I still have all the symptoms...I am going to persevere but at this point I am really worried about permanent damage and wondering if I am going to feel like this forever. If anyone can relate to these symptoms (please be specific about which symptoms you get) and can give me an estimate about when they will go away...if ever...I would greatly appreciate it.
I am terrified that I may have peripheral neuropathy since the tingling in my legs and face is fairly constant. I have read online that that is permanent, irreversible nerve damage that can be caused by the toxic effects of alcohol. So what I ask of you all:
1. Has anyone experienced this whole host of symptoms? I know a lot of these are common withdrawal symptoms but please be specific if you have gotten them all comprehensively (or at least close)
2. Will these symptoms go away if I stay abstinent? How long do I have to wait? Will they go away completely with continued abstience or am I stuck with some of these symptoms for life?
3. Does anyone have experience with the tingling/numbness, heavy anxiety and paranoia, and the lightning feeling...and also has experience with stopping drinking and those symptoms persisting for some time? If so, how long did it take for them to go away? Did they ever go away completely?
4. I am very worried that I did permanent damage from that one heavy bender. I feel very foolish for continuing to binge for 15 months after that event (having a few more close calls in the meantime) but it is easy to ignore the problem (as you all know too well).
5. Will I ever be able to drink in very strict moderation way down the road (say in about a year?).
6. Are there any supplements or other advice you can give to get over the symptoms quicker?

Any other comments or advice would be greatly appreciated. I do not want my life quality to stay terribly degraded. I can't stand feeling these things on a daily basis.

Thanks for your help!!!!!!
i have the exact same symptoms and got them the exact same way i was a drinker for 10 years and got the symptoms after a 2 week binger.i continued to drink a few months after he onset and quit 2 months later that was 3 years ago and the symptoms arent any better if anything there worse i have had so many tests done and all are normal let me know if a doctor finds anything with you or if you symptoms go away on their own k
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:42 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Chris -

I hope you went and got some support today.

Some of your posts, read like many new members I've seen come and go, both here - and in the Fellowship of AA. They think they are going to stop for a while, but only long enough the symptoms go away - then they'll start back drinking.

I hope you'll try to understand something.

At your age - you've already got a problem with alcohol.
That's never going to go away.
Understanding from the beginning that
getting sober and getting healthy
only lasts
as long as you do not drink.

There's no remedy
that will allow you to 'go back' to drinking like a 'normal' person
becdause binging
is NOT drinking like a normal person.
Normal people ... do not binge.

Alcoholism - is life long.
It's a treatable condition
but it is not curable.

That's the vibe Im getting from this -
I just want to touch on that point
both for you,
and for any lurker out there
who might be reading along
and thinking the same thing.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:34 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Nueropathy

Ralph I just wanted to check how you are doing? do you still have bfs and have all of your other symptoms alleviated.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:19 PM
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Iím 26 and yes coming off a three to four day binder I would have a lot of the same things you are, maybe not quite as extreme but severe yes. I was hospitalized twice and the first time my heart rate was 160! When I do 25min on an exercise bike at the gym it gets that high. Itís only been 6 months sober but things feel all around better these days. We can't give medical advice but I would just say to continue not drinking, eat healthy, take a multivitamin and go from there. Now and days I like spoiling my body with things that I feel will offer it nutrition. This entails taking vitamins, eating fruit, veggies and things of this nature. Congrats on making it 14 days, you are on your way to a better way of living.
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