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Health anxiety - how do I fix this?(2 Posts)
I'm convinced there is something seriously wrong with me. I haven't felt myself since January and have been through a battery of tests. It started with palpitations, what felt like a panic attack and pain in my chest near my heart. I was out of breath and constantly exhausted. Then I had left sided shoulder and neck pain. I had blood tests and an ecg, a 24 heart monitor and an echocardiogram. I started to get a tingling sensation in my pinky finger in my left hand. I was convinced I had a pancoast tumour in my lung. I also found a lump in my breast. I had a breast ultrasound. I had chest X-rays and a shoulder X-ray and an ultrasound of my shoulder. I had an ultrasound on my neck after thinking I had an enlarged lymph node on the right side of my neck. I have been bleeding between periods so was sent for a transvaginal ultrasound, which showed a suspicious cyst. I had a blood test for ovarian cancer which was within normal range but have to reschedule a repeat ultrasound. With exception to the transvaginal ultrasound showing a cyst, every other test has been normal. I have had numerous blood tests, including those to check out my thyroid and these were all within normal range with exception to a few markers that were slightly raised or off but advised nothing to be concerned about. I have had floating mushy stools since May, ibd and gluten allergy was ruled out by blood test so was advised this was ibs and to follow fodmap diet but nothing has changed.
Since July I have had left sided flank pain (like a stitch feeling) at lowest rib which sometimes goes round to my back. Left shoulder pain is intermittent, pain around my left hip (it's sore to bend over and touch my toes) that comes and goes. Abdominal discomfort on my upper left ribcage that's tender to touch. Bowel movements have changed to every morning and sometimes more than that. Always loose (they are no longer firm), mushy and greasy, yellow on the toilet paper. They are always in large volume and I don't ever feel completely emptied. I have increased bowel sounds everyday- worse first thing in the morning/ they are really really loud. I have lost my appetite and feel like I'm losing weight. Weeks ago I also had cracks at the corner of my mouth which took ages to heal.
I'm convinced I have chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer and have been for months.
I smoke and have been drinking too much as I have been so down this year with being convinced I have something seriously wrong with me.
Reading over this I know I have health anxiety- i sound utterly ridiculous convinced there is something wrong with me and have had a ridiculous number of tests. I want to believe that this focus on my pancreas is just another plus one for health anxiety but my symptoms are all so accurate and I don't think stress can cause these (definitely not the greasy stool).
What do I do? I want to go to the doctor and admit to health anxiety because this isn't right but I also want to be taken seriously with my concerns about my pancreas. I'm terrified.
I'm so tired of worrying and feeling so alone and feeling like I'm going crazy. I'm tired of having such horrible dark thoughts like I won't be here next year. I feel like I'm harbouring this horrible secret because I don't want to tell anyone how I feel anymore because it sounds absurd. It's affecting everything. My work is suffering and my relationship too. I just want to feel normal again.
Can someone knock some sense into me please.
Sending hugs - I too suffer with health anxiety and have only just opened up to the GP about it all. For me I have always suffered with anxiety, but as I've got older it has been health issues that show physical symptoms and creates a huge problem.
I had similar issues with my tummy and heart palps with all the tests you have mentioned and everything was clear.
Anyway long story short, I have been referred to counselling ( Italk) which so far has only included an assessment by phone and will be either further sessions or CBT.
I think the worst part is that when physical symptoms flare up it's hard to ignore it and blame anxiety - maybe raise your concerns first and then look at the anxiety afterwards.
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