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Fatigue and does anyone get health anxiety?

(20 Posts)
ThatBintAgain Tue 06-Nov-12 14:47:23

I've been feeling ridiculously tired for over a month, to the point where I fall asleep at about 9pm and wake up still knackered. It doesn't seem to be shifting.

I've booked a Drs appointment but it's been going on so long that it's started to make me anxious. There was a feature on lung cancer killing more women than anything else (?) last week and they were saying that no one knows the symptoms. So I googled against my better judgement and have been bricking it ever since as fatigue is one of them. And I've had a sore throat and tickly cough for weeks now. I took up smoking over the summer but stopped a month ago and am paranoid that I've given myself cancer.

I'm aware that this probably sounds a bit barmy, but I'm really stressed at the moment and wondering if it's really the stress that's the problem. There is a lot going on and it would explain a lot, but I really don't want to be put back onto anti depressants as they actually give me panic attacks.

Sorry, I realise that this is more of a stream of consciousness than an actual question - just wondering if anyone else can relate to the health anxiety part and how do you get past it?

kenanddreary Tue 06-Nov-12 15:16:07

I'm not a medical expert but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. Have you thought that you may have a virus? They are really difficult to shake off at this time of year. I have been struggling myself for a while now and just seem to be getting one thing after another and sometimes feel absolutely drained. Fatigue is the symptom of so many things so please don't go convincing yourself you have something sinister!

As for the health anxiety - I have suffered from this too a lot over the years. When it became particularly bad my GP put me on anti-depressants and I have to say that this has helped a lot. I'm a lot calmer about things now - plus the older I have got I just can't be bothered to get in a state about things like I used to. So you can get it under control. How about counselling? That helped me a lot too. Relaxation CDs? They can be useful too.

But please start with your GP. Make a list and take it with you. Discuss all the things that are worrying you. Good luck smile.

ThatBintAgain Tue 06-Nov-12 19:03:27

Thank you- really appreciate the reply, especially as I don't know anyone else who gets the health anxiety thing! I'm hoping, logically that it is just a virus. I've been kicking myself for googling as I really try not to. Or maybe I'm low on iron or something. I had terrible palpitations on Friday and felt really weird and antsy yesterday. I'm really hoping if it is down to stre

ThatBintAgain Tue 06-Nov-12 19:06:49

Ooops! Not sure what happened there! Was just saying if stress I really hope I can manage without the drugs as getting on them makes me incredibly anxious and I swear they gave me OCD like thoughts last time.

Wow. I sound slightly messed up when you see this written down.

kenanddreary Tue 06-Nov-12 19:33:35

When is your appointment? Palpitations can also be a sign of iron deficiency and solved with some iron tablets. The sooner you see the doctor the better. Trouble is it can be a vicious circle. The more you worry then the more the stress increases which also adds to the symptoms. It's horrible! I totally understand because I have been through this so many times.

Please don't use Dr Google! I know it's tempting but you can convince yourself of anything when you use it!

Perhaps there are some different anti-depressants you could try? Do you have an understanding GP?

kenanddreary Tue 06-Nov-12 19:34:56

P.S. Oh and you are most definitely not 'messed up'!!

gerbilsarefun Tue 06-Nov-12 20:33:56

A thyroid disorder can cause tiredness and fatigue. I was told (by a doctor on holiday) that I had a virus, when I went to my doctor she immediately said she thought it was an overactive thyroid. Other symptoms I had were anxiety (normally laid back), weight loss, stiff muscles, insomnia and a goitre (lump on the front of my throat where the thyroid gland is. It can also cause tummy upsets but one symptom I didn't have. A simple blood test will diagnose any problem.

If you google any symptoms it will come up with some sort of cancer, in fact I was quite relieved it was my thyroid.

gerbilsarefun Tue 06-Nov-12 20:34:53

Just to add I had palpitations and the shakes.

ThatBintAgain Wed 07-Nov-12 15:55:35

Hello again. My appointment is tomorrow so I'm hoping this will sort my head out slightly. I'm really hoping it is just iron deficiency as the symptoms seem to fit, down to the weird tinnitus one which I had briefly yesterday. (I only looked on NHS direct and didn't do any bad googling!) I have previously wondered if it was anything to do with my thyroid but I seem to be putting on weight rather than losing it! Really appreciate the replies. I'm hoping that tomorrow will put my mind at rest. I've been trying to avoid going off sick from work but there's been days where I've wondered if I should just give in as I get quite stressed by it. (Ridiculously because I work from home and sometimes there isn't much to do, so I find myself under pressure to find things, which can be quite stressful as you're constantly wondering if someone will notice!)

gerbilsarefun Wed 07-Nov-12 16:13:27

Hi again ThatBint unexplained weight gain could be a symptom of an underactive thyroid. Some symptoms are similar to that of an overactive thyroid. Hope you get your diagnosis tomorrow smile . I found the patientuk website useful.

ThatBintAgain Wed 07-Nov-12 16:36:45

I can't say it's that unexplainable. grin Lot of birthday cake been eaten in recent weeks. However, in the last year I have put on a stone, and whilst I've put this down to starting a desk job, it seems a lot and it doesn't seem keen to come off. Thanks for the tip - I'll have a look at that site.

kenanddreary Wed 07-Nov-12 17:56:27

Good luck with your appointment tomorrow. Let us know how you get on.

ThatBintAgain Thu 08-Nov-12 11:47:29

Morning. Just back from the Drs. She was lovely and said that there is no cancer that makes a person put on weight. I need to have some blood tests (she mentioned thyroid and anaemia) and when they're back I guess she'll reassess. She said that I'm clearly stressed (I ended up in tears) and that it's not uncommon for people to worry after relatives have been diagnosed with cancer. (My dad has had cancer this year.) So basically I think that I need to sort myself out and do some work on getting myself mentally to a healthier place. I'm hoping that the doctor isn't going to suggest ADs but we'll see.

Thanks for the support. It means a lot. I feel in a bit of a bleak place right now. I'm debating taking a couple of days off work to try to get myself straight as I'm really struggling to keep up and concentrate, but I'm also anxious what they might think if I do...

kenanddreary Thu 08-Nov-12 12:15:18

I'm so glad you had an understanding doctor. I'm not surprised you have had a tough time with your Dad being ill.

Now please do take a couple of days off. You have been strugging on and not feeling well. Who cares what people think if you have time off? They won't be thinking anything anyway - you won't be the first person to have time off. Your health comes first.

Have a little time to rest and look after yourself. Is there anyone in RL you can chat to as well?

ThatBintAgain Thu 08-Nov-12 12:29:52

Thank you. thanks I don't really have anyone I can talk to in RL. I can talk to DH but things have been tough lately. We moved a couple of years back and there's no one here that I'm close enough to let it all out to, and while I do have some good friends I sometimes worry that I've used up my rant quota this year, as it seems to have been one thing after another!

Things are fairly quiet here today so I think I'll take the rest of the day and maybe tomorrow, then see how I feel after the weekend.

kenanddreary Thu 08-Nov-12 12:37:38

Definitely give yourself the rest of the week and then see if you can plan something relaxing to do over the weekend. Something to look forward to. Perhaps you and your DH could do something nice together? And remember - if you still don't feel any better by Monday go back to your GP. I wouldn't just put up with feeling so stressed.

I'm sure your friends have talked to you as well when they needed to. That's what friends are for. I really think that as soon as you start to feel better physically then you will also feel better mentally. I often find that the two are linked. If I am worried about my health then it affects my whole life. Look after yourself.

ThatBintAgain Fri 09-Nov-12 10:18:42

Thank you. I had my blood tests this morning, should have the results on Tuesday (ish.) I couldn't take yesterday off but I have taken today and I think I'm going to have a total break from my phone/internet etc and try to de-stress. I'm really worried about the amount of sick days I've had now since June (I think this is the fourth?) and I don't know what their policy on this is. I feel rubbish though and like I'm drowning under the stress of deadlines at work and I can't keep up. I'm just going to try and put it all out of my mind and hope for the best, but sounds like I have all the physical symptoms of stress, anxiety and also possibly lack of iron. Hopefully if I take it easy, look after myself and try to get back into my meditation I can drag myself out of this.

abitcoldupnorth Fri 09-Nov-12 10:24:38

I went to the docs for very similar symptoms and was iron deficient. But I also have a history of anxiety, which has been getting worse again recently, and it's only recently properly dawned on me that the constant stress and adrenalin is exhausting and therefore just as likely to have caused my constant tiredness as anaemia.

So I've been on iron supplements but also gone back onto low dose of citalopram. Now, my iron hasn't gone back up much cos I also have v heavy periods (joy), but I am feeling much better so tbh I think the ADs have had more effect than the iron...

ThatBintAgain Sat 10-Nov-12 12:24:00

Hi abitcold - that's really interesting. I never thought I'd say that I really hope I'm anaemic but it would make me feel better to know if that's what it is! How low is your low dose of citalopram if you don't mind me asking? I found 10mg made me very anxious and twitchy and I'm quite scared about the thought of having to go back on them! Mind you I'm not crazy about being like this either...

abitcoldupnorth Sat 10-Nov-12 14:50:05

I'm on 10mg and it seems to suit me. But you must ask to try something else if it doesn't work for you.

It is such a relief, and therefore so restful, not to wake up with my stomach churning and that feeling of dread.

However I and my GP are still keeping an open mind, in case long-term anaemia has in fact also caused this exhaustion and perhaps anxiety [head explodes!] ...

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