Health Anxiety!

Its been many days since I’ve been worried about one thing or the other. These worries are not related to personal emotions.

In 2012, I had a sore throat. I was not too careful about it and it lasted for a month. After several days of antibiotics, the sore throat was gone. But it became re-current for a year which required taking antibiotics every 3 month or 6 months. So A and I were worried about my sore throat so we went to an ENT specialist. She thoroughly checked and prescribed medicines. A week later, the sore throat was gone but I inquired that I have itchy throat in the morning and sometimes in the evening. After that she gave me some antacids for a week. I felt my stomach was feeling relieved but the itchy throat remained and it was neither persistent nor could be totally ignored. So the next time we visited the ENT, she told us the problem could be gastrointestinal. On hearing this, I told her that my Mom had stomach cancer and if I should be worried. At this point the doctor literally panicked and referred me to a Gastro doctor. At this point, she prescribed a really expensive medicine which I didn’t want to buy as she was a ENT specialist who gave me meds for Gastro related problem. So A and I decided to go to the hospital which was covered by our Social Security. We went to the doctor there and explained the situation. After listening to this, he said I had GERD and gave me some PPIs and asked if I wanted to take an endoscopic examination. I agreed to endoscopy. Upon endoscopy, nothing unusual was discovered except that I had mild chronic gastritis. The doctor took several samples for biopsy and the reports turned out normal. Satisfied with the examination, we decided to discontinue the PPIs and eat a balanced diet avoiding spicy food.

Everything was going fine but one day I had difficulty to swallow for few days which went away naturally after few more days. But I was still scared thinking what if something was wrong. So we went to the doctor again and explained that I had pain swallowing and some lower abdominal pain as well. On hearing my story, the doctor said I could take another endoscopy and a colonoscopy if I wanted but the medicine would be the same. I decided not to take another endoscopy since my reports were fine just a few months back. But by then I was starting to have mild sensation of pain on my lower abdomen as well. I was very stressed and worried about my heath at this point. I became anxious and all the bad thoughts started disturbing me like What if something bad happens? Could my stomach pain be more than gastritis? I felt weak and scared. At this point, AĀ  asked me to get hold of myself and not be so scared as there is nothing wrong with me. When he explained me the whole situation, it made sense that I was being over anxious. I talked with my brother and sister-in-law and they advised me not to worry as well. As days went by, I realized that I was over-analyzing the situation and being anxious for nothing.

Today, I feel fine but the mild pain in the abdominal area still persists. It is not unbearable. I am not taking antacids but having a balanced diet avoiding spicy, oily and sour food. We regularly eat fruits and green leafy vegetables. But I cannot help worrying about the small problems that I didn’t realize I even had in the beginning. So my question is, have any of you experienced similar health related anxiety? Is it normal to feel anxious about small health issues like this? Have any one of you felt that the doctors of our generation are being safe in terms of diagnosis and asking us to take all the tests and decisions at the stake of patients’ anxiety of the results? I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Health Anxiety!

  1. Umm.. yeah..have gone through the same in last couple of months. I am thinking of writing that but just to give you idea, my blood tests results show that there is something wrong with my liver!! Doc said either because of alcohol or medicines before taking blood samples. I have not had alcohol in months before going for tests, I do not take ANY medicines and now I have to go for another test next week to check if every thing is Ok and I am scared to death!! Don’t know what I did wrong. And i have never had any issues with my body before, not even small fever. touchwood.
    cannot say on what docs are doing is correct or not but we have to keep faith in them.
    I hope everything will be okie with you, don’t worry MM.

  2. Anxiety attacks happen every often, it is confusing sometimes, to listen to your intuition or just relax about it. If I am online, I immediately diagnose myself of having a serious illness by checking the symptoms I have šŸ™„ šŸ™„

    I hope you are well now R šŸ™‚

  3. Hi, I know exactly what you mean. I have health anxiety all the time because my conditions mimic so many other problems. I have Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Arthritus Gastritis annoying cataracts in both eyes, and agoraphobia. I was diagnosed with gerd in 2003. I am only 140 lbs, so I am not overweight; I have been very health conscious for many, many years. I am into the herbs, only white meat, no red meats, no spicy foods, small portions, detoxing, vitamins and supplements, etc, yet — i still have gerd. I exercise at least twice a week, and I am active. I do not eat pizzas, or all that fat food high calorie stuff, yet I still have gerd. Last week it felt like I had swallowed a boiled egg and it was stuck in my throat. It hurt terribly to swallow water, food or anything. When I did swallow, it felt like spasms that radiated all through my chest, which caused pains that mimic heart attack. Of course, I was afraid because this has not happened to me before with gerd. I would have my usual discomforts, but nothing like this. I called a friend of mine who has gerd and explained to them what happened. She stated that I was having a flareup of gerd. Suggested that if I still have PPIs to take them now. So, I began taking my PPIs again. I have not taken them in about a month or so. Nonetheless, each day my throat got better. Today I still have pain when I swallow, but not the spasms that go through my chest. I was worried sick, hoping that my esophagus is not ruptured and that I have that Barrette’s disease, or anything worse. It is normal to have anxiety about our heath, after all – we are only human. We do not want to think of not being able to take care of ourselves, which is why we try to stay as healthy as we can. I have lots of belching, and what feels like heart flutters in the area of my adam’s apple. The doctor say these are spasms from the esophagus. I had an endoscopy about 7 months ago. This week I will call the doc to see if I should come in and see her again. It is good to have someone to talk to, and to share our feelings and concerns. This is what blogging is all about. Take care, and be well.

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