Health Anxiety

My health anxiety at the moment is in overdrive,been having IBS symptoms on and off for a number of weeks now, and probably feeling sorry for myself. I am 67 and live alone,I don't have anyone to keep me 'grounded'. I've not been diagnosed with IBS so I visit Dr. Google..... which I know I shouldn't but keep looking for reassurance.At this moment I'm once again in tears because I'm scared.

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  • Welcome aboard the IBS train, I have that along with anxiety, panic disorder, and depression. I know how hard it can be at times! I have been suffering from Health Anxiety that relates to my heart! Which for someone who is 27 isn't any fun at all! I have had a myriad of tests done on my heart and they all come back fine and say my heart is good to go. However lately I have been experiencing "missed beats" is what I call them. Just know you are not alone and that anxiety can cause HAVOC on us. But at the end of the day, it is our mind playing tricks on us. Try to stay positive!

  • Thank you Loveydovey, I know I'm probably worrying for nothing, but I heard it was rare for an older person to be diagnosed with IBS, and I'm scared in case it's something far worse. I'm not making light of IBS but my symptoms at the moment could mean something far more sinister.For this reason I'm scared if my GP confirms my thoughts.I've paid quite a lot to have food intolerance test but even though the results were positive,I'm still getting symptoms even when I've eliminated said food. I see my GP on Monday and hope it's not what I'm thinking.I am sorry you seem to be having all sorts of probs too, I hope you stay positive too!

  • Yes the vicious worry cycle can most certainly get the best of us at any second of any day! I'm trying my best to stay positive, at the end of the day I always try to reason with myself and tell myself it could always be worse. What we go through is by NO means a walk in the park, however it could also be a lot more severe! Keep your head up and try not to worry about the appointment on Monday I'm sure all will be fine! Also listen to Agora1 FULL of great information!

  • Thank you so much Loveydovey, your advice, like Agoras has been so helpful,and I'm already feeling more able to cope.x

  • I'm 58 and just been diagnosed after a stressful year, age doesn't come into it

  • Loveyedovey, don't worry about them missed beats, they are classic anxiety symptoms, I had them for a while 10 years ago, then 5 years ago, then about 6 weeks ago. There was a big family event coming up and a long drive in a strange car, remember small problems are magnified 10 fold by anxiety. But I wasn't fearful of the missed beats, they stopped about 5 days after we returned home. I hope yours don't trouble you too long.

  • Thanks for the reply Jeff. Last weekend I actually sold a house then closed on a new house and moved into the new house lol. So with the missed beats coming during that time I have a feeling I was extremely stressed and anxious. Even though I did not really feel it on the surface per say!

  • H asenath, I know how scary physical symptoms can be and "yes" you are right in not wanting to go to Dr Google. When anxiety goes into overdrive, it puts out adrenaline throughout the body including the intestines. Some people may experience IBS type problems or even constipation. It doesn't mean that it's a serious health issue but more of a result of the intense fear. Being alone certainly can make your thoughts go wild but coming on to the forum was a wise choice. Everyone here has experienced many of the same symptoms. We comfort and understand each other's emotional pain. Have you given your doctor a call regarding what you have been feeling the last several weeks. They may be able to give you something (for a short time) that will calm your fears and in turn calm the IBS symptoms. We hold each other's hands in times of need. You are never alone. We are behind you. Smile, you will be okay.

  • Thank for your words of comfort Agora, you've set my tears off again but in a nicer way than earlier thank you. I'm seeing my GP on Monday, but I have a fear of being sent for tests etc. and I'm assuming that's what will happen. I had afriend who used to tell me "Don't borrow sorrow from tomorrow". He was my best friend but no longer with us. I am trying to smile.x

  • asenath, your friend was very wise with his choice of words. After all, life will bring us pain all by itself, our responsibility is to create joy. A smile can bring you a long way when feeling scared. Good Luck with your appointment Monday. It will be okay. We will be right there with you in thought. x

  • This is the first time I've had to seek support,what lovely people! Thank you.x

  • I'm glad it is a positive experience. There are so many great people on this forum. I've never seen one quite like this. x

  • Asenath, you're doing the right thing seeing your doctor and make sure you go for any tests they suggest, it will bring you reassurance. If you suffer from anxiety and get IBS symptoms then the odds are stacked heavily in favour of it being anxiety and not anything serious, of course you won't be relaxed until you get the o.k. from your doctor but we all go through the unsettling period of waiting for test results, just remember the odds are stacked in your favour. I get a bit of IBS occasionally hut it doesn't bother me because I know it's anxiety inspired, I remember I first had it when a close family friend died quite quickly. It's been said that probiotics can be useful in countering IBS, you know, those littke yogurty drinks. Worth a try for a couple of weeks.

    It's been said that the stomach is the most sympathetic organ to respong to anxiety and by stomach I'm sure that extends to the bowel too. Goodluck on Monday and remember: the brave man dies once, the coward a thousand times☺☺

  • Hi Jeff, Thanks for replying, I'm overwhelmed with the response I've had. It's reassured me....what you said..about IBS symptoms and anxiety.Having had anxiety for most of my adult life I recognise my usual symptoms but fail to recognise new/different ones (as I age probably),that is when the panic sets in. At the moment my usual everyday diet is out the window because of trying to determine the cause of my gut stuff.Normally I eat live natural yogurt on a daily basis,but I don't have much appetite at the moment.I will take on board what you say about the probiotic drinks,but I don't want to consume any sugar....are they sugar/sweetener free?

  • Yes, asenath, I think there are sugar free versions. Good luck.

  • Hi Agora,Loveydovey0519 and Jeff1943, Thank you so much for your support the other evening when I needed it. It honestly made me feel loads better and I was able to have a good nights sleep. Just to let you know I saw my GP this afternoon,he has given me some tablets to take to combat tummy spasms etc. and I've to start eating gluten,as normal for a week,then a blood test in a weeks time. He wants to test me for coeliac disease,and for that I need to ingest some gluten. Naturally I'm scared, but I don't know of what! With people like you on this site I've no need to be and again I thank you! .....(on the bright side I can have a choccy biccy yaaaay!)

  • I think we're all guilty of using ask google. Usually b coming worse than before. I'm with you I live alone and spend the greater majority of my time alone in my room thinking, and thinking, and thinking some more. Try and find something that makes you happy and focus on that. Watch a good movie, meditate, just allow yourself to keep moving through the process

  • Hi Christory77, If only we could stop all this thinking, easier said than done though! I love to do crafts of all types,and recently qualified to take a chair-based exercise class for the over 50s.The training course for this I found very stressful,(out of my comfort zone) and this was also about the onset of my tummy troubles. I am finding the support that people like your good self have given me, soooo helpful! So glad I joined this site,thank you for your advice. Hope you get to have more peaceful times!

  • Hi there your first step is a visit to your gp so they can support you to treat the IBS if necessary. Meds and diet changes can help have a look at FODMAP but I wouldn't make any drastic changes unless you have been diagnosed. Keep a food diet and avoid anything that triggers it off. I suffer with both IBS and anxiety too so know how you feel it's a vicious cycle and would really recommend counselling the doc can refer you for this too. X

  • Thank you Nicki,my GP is going to test me for Coeliacs disease, I just have to eat normal for a week (including gluten)prior to having the blood test. I know how anxiety can affect the physical health,so this is a vicious circle isn't it? Is the anxiety causing the gut problems or is the gut causing my anxiety? Either way it's best if I don't overthink it too much. I have been eating healthy food for 4-5 years, low sugar with no processed/junk food. Even though I have had the occasional treat,it's a bit of a nuisance at present! Was keeping a food diary (gluten free), so now I have to start again. My GP is a good and dedicated man and I put my trust in him.

  • Don't be scared... what are your symptoms???

  • Hi Lynnetod, I get a painful tummy,that I think is caused by trapped wind,my other symptoms are not so severe ,urges to empty my bowels at times about 6 times from getting up in the morning until mid afternoon. Then the next day even though I get an urge to go nothing happens much,just belly-ache.My main problem is thinking it may be something life threatening (health anxiety)mainly in the night I get scared,but trying to think logically takes some doing!

    I just had test for Coeliacs and think it's negative as my Dr. has booked in with the nurse.

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