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Can health anxiety cause painful stomach cramps?

(18 Posts)
Bringbacksummer Mon 06-Feb-17 12:23:57

I've had health anxiety for 6 months now and currently in need of reassurance. I'm having really quite painful stomach cramps with mild diarrhoea (sorry tmi). The pains are in my upper abdomen and I've had them all morning. Could this just be a side effect of my anxiety? Thank you.

Owllady Mon 06-Feb-17 12:26:18

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/anxiety-symptoms/#.WJhrOiOnwv4

Are you getting any support with your anxiety?

Bringbacksummer Mon 06-Feb-17 12:40:01

I've opened up to close family about how I've been feeling. I've been improving but I had a slight set back over the last few weeks and now these pains have got me worried. I'm hoping this is just another one of the many physical symptoms that anxiety can cause. Has anyone else experienced this?

Snugglepalace Mon 06-Feb-17 12:40:07

I can't offer any advice other than to say I have been experiencing similar symptoms. I have had anxiety for a long time but recently have been getting stomach pains, upper wind/burpy feeling, constant rumbly tum, a lump feeling in throat etc. Went to gp last week and she said it's dyspepsia?! . I've also had a blood test for coeliac, vitamin deficiencies and some other things(waiting for results) But my anxiety is bad at the mo so it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing.

Owllady Mon 06-Feb-17 12:56:09

You both need to go to the GP and tell them how you are feeling. Stomach/gastric problems are REALLY common with anxiety and anxiety related disorders. They can give you a course of proton pump inhibitors if they feel it necessary but will also encourage counselling/cbt and other drugs if necessary. It is not worth sitting at home worrying, go to the GP and talk to them about it. It's very common and you aren't alone by any stretch of the imagination.

AnxiousMunchkin Tue 07-Feb-17 02:24:16

Just want to say anxiety can definitely cause real physical symptoms. Cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, feeling dizzy, shaky, sweaty, heart racing, even muscular tension, aches and pains.

I have a diagnosis of IBS, I have identified some dietary triggers with exclusion diets but also over years noticed it is incredibly interlinked with my mental health. Acute stress/anxiety often sends me to the toilet in a hurry with intense abdo pain and urgency.

lovechocolate123 Wed 08-Feb-17 22:12:45

I had exactly the same symptoms last year . Had so many tests I can't even remember. The trouble is that it is a vicious cyle. Anxiety and stress cause the physical symptoms then I get anxious that the symptoms are something worse so they get worse... and then it starts all over again. Xx

hiccupgirl Thu 09-Feb-17 23:26:31

Def yes IME. I had a massive flare up of anxiety 2 years ago and lost 3 stone over 6 months because I couldn't eat - constant stomach pain, cramping, indigestion etc. I had lots of tests but was diagnosed with IBS and Dyspepsia as there was no physical cause for it.

It has improved and I am much more aware of when I'm tensing up and my stomach is going but I'm a long way off being over it.

lovechocolate123 Thu 16-Feb-17 22:35:18

Hiccupgirl- your symptoms are similar to mine. I get nausea with it too. That's really how all my health anxiety started. How are you now? I know that my symptoms def get worse when I get stressed or worried. Then the symptoms make me think I have a serious illness and I stress more....it's a vicious cycle. When it gets hold of me I feel completely out of control. Intact, I the past couple of days have been tough and I haven't been sleeping properly because of it. 😢

hiccupgirl Fri 17-Feb-17 08:21:01

Tbh it comes and goes depending on how stressed I am which I understand now.

My stomach will always go into spasm about 36 hours after I've been really stressed out, got very upset or been anxious. But when I didn't know this is what was happening, it would last for 4-6 weeks each time because I would get more and anxious about it. Now it is usually bad for a day or 2 but then calms back down again which is a massive improvement.

Have you had any investigations to check there is nothing physically wrong? I had an endoscopy and ultrasound in the end which showed there was no physical cause which helped me understand it was anxiety related.

OreoCat Fri 17-Feb-17 08:30:35

If you google "stomach pains no more panic" you will get lots of threads from the nomorepanic forums (a great place to frequent if you are struggling) describing exactly what you are going through.

In fact if you google "*insert any symptom you are feeling that you suspect is HA related here* no more panic" the same thing will happen.

I'm a HA sufferer, and it's taken me a long time to accept that your brain is insanely powerful and it is the reason to why/how you are feeling/respond to feelings.

You brain controls everything in your body, and it is currently caught in a cycle of disordered thinking, so you can experience any number of symptoms!

Have you seen a GP? They can run some physical tests for reassurance and also plan a treatment route for your HA also.

lovechocolate123 Fri 17-Feb-17 09:07:31

Thanks for the advice. I had an ultrasound of all my abdomen, an endoscopy , colonoscopy , so many blood tests i have lost count , numerous doctors & specialists do physical examination of my tummy. They did find that I had inflammation of my stomach lining so had to take meds for that. My gp thinks that the stress probably caused that. In my head I keep thinking they have missed something and i am really sick. I have good days and bad days. Recently, I have been having a few bad days. Talking to people on here really helps.. so thanks x

hiccupgirl Fri 17-Feb-17 10:12:54

My GP gave me amitripilene (anti depressant) when I was first unwell and it did really help for a while - literally I could feel my whole digestive system relax and I slept well as well. But I found I had bad panic attacks on it after a couple of months so stopped it and the symptoms came back within a day or two. I've not found a different AD that I've been able to get on with so far so I'm managing it myself together with seeing a counsellor which is helping with my general anxiety levels.

It is really hard to stop thinking there is something actually wrong that has been missed.

lovechocolate123 Fri 17-Feb-17 17:37:14

I have feeling that some of my symptoms are linked to my menstrual cycle. Think I have started perimenopause. I am 43 years old. How old are you all? X

Seagullslanding Fri 17-Feb-17 19:35:34

Hi, im new to this forum. So relieved to have found this thread.

I've just got back from my GPs,

Ii've been on lansaprazole for 2 months for stress related heart burn. I was bullied in work and OH is facing redundancy. Last time i spoke to my GP he also suggested stress counselling.

I started CBT a couple of weeks ago which highlighted how anxious i really am. This week i resigned from work but the stomach/chest pains have got worse and the lansaprazole isnt working.

Tonight the GP has ordered more blood tests in particular looking for Heliobactor Pylori and has changed the lansaprazole to ranitidine. He has alos given me Citalopram.

Love - I'm interested in your linkage to menopause, i'm 50

lovechocolate123 Fri 17-Feb-17 22:34:07

Seagull- it's just that I had so many tests and they couldn't find anything significant . It just seemed that over night I became this nervous as anxious wreck. It started with acid reflux then nausea. At the same time my period was getting lighter and shorter. When I started to ask around other women had said they had digestive problems who were my same age or a few years older xx

hiccupgirl Sat 18-Feb-17 08:02:31

Love I'm 44 and I reckon mine is partly premenopause related although I know I've got lots of difficult things in my past that I'm working through. But I'm def much more anxious when my period starts and much more up and down over my cycle than 5 years ago.

Seagull I take omeprazole. I tried lansaprazole and really didn't get on with it. It made the bloating much worse and I had chest pains on it.

lovechocolate123 Sat 18-Feb-17 08:28:11

I was the same with the meds to reduce acid! I tried them all omeprazole, lansaprazole, ranitidine. Had bad side effects with all of them. I ended up taking esomeprazole but it still gave me side effects but not so bad. I know when I am stressed my symptoms get worse x

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