Xanax and Being Able to Eat: A Mystery

Jodee Chabot Jodee_Chabot at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 21 03:58:57 EST 2004

Hi, I have question for you folks. Don't know if you'll have any
answers, but I thought I'd give it a try. I'll be as brief as

I'm 39, female, with no history of anorexia. Ten years ago, after
having my gallbladder removed, I began to have difficulty eating.
First I had difficulty with fats, then it extended to every kind of
food. At one point, 10 years ago (about a year after my surgery), the
only food that didn't come back up was French bread -- essentially
water and flower with zero fat. I lived on bread and Gatorade for many
months. I was 20lbs underweight. My doctors couldn't figure out what
was wrong with me -- all GI tests, blood tests, sonograms, etc., came
back negative. At one point one of the docs prescribed Xanax; she
thought it might be an anxiety thing. Well, Xanax did the trick, even
though I'd swear on six Bibles I have no anxiety about my weight. I
have always been naturally slender and I'm not unhappy with my
appearance. But for some reason, with Xanax I could eat again,
provided the foods were low to nonfat (carbs don't bother me a bit).
Also, Xanax completely eradicated the worst of my post-food
consumption symptom -- HORRENDOUS vertigo. Okay, all that was ten
years ago.

After about four years I decided to taper off Xanax and see if I could
eat without it. It took six months, but I did it, and yes, I could eat
low/nonfat foods just fine. Over time I found I could actually eat
some fairly high-fat foods without a reaction. Late last year I began
dating a man who is a chef. I ate everything he cooked, no problem,
and he wasn't one to spare the olive oil, butter, and cream. I thought
my fat issue was a thing of the past.

Not so! Oh, no, no, no! It all came back with a vengeance two months
ago. The vertigo came back, too, plus diarhea, severe palsy, headache,
racing pulse, and mental confusion -- all within 20-40 minutes after
eating. I went to see a doctor again. I explained about my experience
ten years ago and how Xanax helped, but he wouldn't prescribe it for
me. (The Buspar he did prescribe didn't have any effect.) I went home
to starve. I couldn't even eat bread this time. I could only drink
Gatorade. It was like I'd "blown out" my system with my boyfriend's
high fat cuisine.

In desperation I bought Xanax online, and just like the last time I
was able to eat again almost right away, and the horrible vertigo went
away instantly. I still can't eat anything high in fat (or I'll
experience "breakthrough" vertigo and vomiting), but if I keep it low-
to nonfat (broiled chicken w/out skin, plain rice, plain baked potato,
etc.), I'm fine. But Xanax is definitely key: I need to take .5 mg
before each meal if I want it to stay down. If I take Xanax and keep
the fat content down, I am able to live with this problem and function
normally. Without it I'm sick as a dog. I tried eating nonfat and
going without the Xanax for a day, but nothing would stay down and the
terrible vertigo came back. There are no words to describe the
ghastliness of the vertigo; I feel like I'm flying around upsidedown
in space. Foods that cause the worst vertigo (and thus, vomiting):
cheese, eggs, cream, avacado, ice cream, butter, mayo. I never touch
these anymore.

I don't have a reliable source of Xanax, so I really need to be
pro-active about this and get to the bottom of my problem -- find a
way to live without my curious digestive aid. What in the world do you
think is going on with me? Why does eating cause vertigo and vomiting
-- and why do you suppose Xanax makes it stop? My docs have repeatedly
said that I shouldn't be having fat intolerance problems ten years
post-op (it can be a problem in the weeks or months after surgery, but
never years). Have any of you ever heard of a GI problem causing
vertigo? Have you ever heard of Xanax being a treatment for vertigo?

Any ideas at all will be so immeasurably welcome, I can't begin to
tell you. Thanks,

Jodee C.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list