When to worry: Ok so I have been weighing... - Anxiety Support

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When to worry

Ok so I have been weighing myself since January this year - I have till today lost about 3.3kg (eqiv to 8lbs) - my appetite has not changed, I have not starting anything new,.....I have given up alcohol during the week for the last few months...petrified this is cancer starting, so in 6 months its 8lbs......... thats bad - something is definitely wrong with me

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That's not a lot to lose in 6months time. Are you trying to lose weight and can't. I don't see the problem. I've been trying to lose and have been losing on average 3-5 pounds every 3 weeks that's with effort.

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Thanks for replying.

Not been trying to lose weight at all - I used to drink alcohol every week but stopped that now for about 8 weeks or so and only drink Fridays.

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Good for you that change might have made the difference in your weight. 😀

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Do you think so? I hope so - I am going to weigh myself again in a week and see

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If that's the only change you've made in your diet that's probably it. Do a Google search to see if alcohol causes weight gain. That may help answer your question.

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Google states - Alcohol can cause weight gain in four ways: it stops your body from burning fat, it's high in kilojoules, it can make you feel hungry , and it can lead to poor food choices

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Hey Kayanne1980,

This sounds like a horrible anxiety to experience. I have suffered with health anxiety for years and know how these type of worries can take over so I totally empathise with you.

With that in mind, I’d firstly say if you’re concerned you should go and see a doctor. I am definitely not saying because I think something is wrong with you, but because I know that ultimately that’s the only thing that will bring your anxiety about it down. Reassurance may help in the short term but long term, speaking to a doctor is what’s most likely to help your anxiety around this.

To try and reduce your anxiety in the meantime, I don’t actually think 8lbs is that much weight to lose in that time. So many factors influence weight loss, including the time of day! Stress can also have this effect on some people. I don’t weigh myself daily, but I have a range of around 6lbs and within that I consider my weight to have stayed the ‘same’ - I’m rarely the same weight every time I stand on the scales.

Alcohol is high in calories and can be hugely fattening in some people. I would not be surprised if your weight loss is mostly down to your reduction in alcohol. My brother (he wouldn’t thank me for posting this on here!) gained huge amounts of weight when he started going to the pub most evenings but has lost a lot of that weight again now he has stopped.

You don’t suggest any other symptoms that you’re experiencing. I think weight loss on its own is unlikely to be a sign of cancer. Even IF there is a cause to your weight loss that’s not as simple as stopping drinking alcohol and general day-to-day factors, that doesn’t mean it is something serious.

You have made a huge leap in your anxiety, something I am often guilty of and I know how easy it is to do but ... you have jumped from ‘losing weight’ to ‘there must be a serious cause’ to ‘this is cancer’ ... there are a lot of other possibilities and a lot of other steps you have missed out. There may not even be any particular cause, let alone a sinister one.

Go and see your doctor but try to focus on the less serious possibilities. Anxiety likes to draw us to the worst case scenario but sometimes we have to fight against that fear.

Take care of yourself,

Eleanor Rose

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Thanks so much for your lovely message - the thing that is worrying me now is that my stomach has been off for a few weeks and this is whats prompted me to get weighed again after 3 months - now im thinking bowel cancer.....sorry I just cant help it!

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There’s no need to apologise. I really feel for you as I know how awful health anxiety can be. Have you ever had any treatment for the anxiety? Perhaps go to the doctor, explain your current worries and when they have reassured you that there is nothing physically wrong you could ask about treatment for the anxiety?

The two things that have helped me most when I am panicking is firstly, recognising what I have jumped ‘from’ and ‘to’ and thinking about all of the steps I have missed out in the meantime.

You’ve gone from ‘Losing weight’ to ‘cancer’ without even contemplating that there might not be a cause. Or even if there is a cause, that it might not be serious.

The other thing that I sometimes find helpful is thinking about what I think is wrong, for instance ‘I think I have a brain tumour because I have a headache’ and thinking how likely my panicked self believes it is true - so I might say I am 95% sure it’s a tumour. Then I have to think about all of the other possibilities - I’m dehydrated (20% chance), I’ve forgotten my glasses (10% chance), I’ve been looking at screens all day (30% chance), I’m stressed (20% chance) and so on until I realise that actually, if all of these other things are possible, and they are, then there can’t be a 95% chance of a brain tumour.

It’s not about saying there’s no chance, I don’t find blind ‘you’re fine’ reassurance all that helpful because I know there is a possibility of it, but I find it helpful to put the fear into perspective and recognise the actual likelihood of it is much lower than I think it is when I am panicking.

I hope your anxiety lessens soon. You may find therapy, such as CBT really helpful for this if you haven’t tried already.

Eleanor

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I am currently on Citalopram for the last 2 years now and whilst it helps when I get the anxiety like now nothing else will stop me from worrying...... I havent tried CBT yet but been through so many siutations with something like this that I really think well this is it now - always freaking out about cancer symptoms and I have a ferw so what makes me think its not cancer, sorry thats just how my head thinks at the moment.

I have been through alot of stress for the past year now, but still maintained my appetite and always ate so this really is unintentional weight loss as far as i can see

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I’d definitely recommend CBT or some sort of talking therapy. It’s not an instant fix and it’s something you have to work at but it has made a big difference to me.

I have suffered from health anxiety for over a decade and had a particularly difficult experience with it last Summer, following which I started CBT. My health anxiety hasn’t gone away completely, far from it, but the severity has definitely decreased and I am finally able to see the other possibilities.

It’s horrible when you sort of know you’re not thinking rationally and everyone else seems unconcerned and you just can’t understand why. It’s so easy to get trapped in the cycle of it and once you’re there, everything just seems like ‘more evidence’ and you feel convinced something awful is going to happen. BUT you can get out of this and it will be ok.

I don’t want to go into the details of my own experience, unless you’d like me too, as I don’t want to put other ‘worries’ into your head but believe me, I’ve experienced very severe health anxiety, as you have, and I am finally seeing there is a way out of it. If you’d told me that at the time, I’d never have believed you but it’s true.

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I have been offered CBT but the waiting lists are so long I eventually with the help of the Citalopram found when I do get into a rut like this the feelings of death are decreased but the worry is intense - I fear dying, my biggest fear is cancer sadly, for the past 7 years I had convinced myself I have had about 8 different cancers, its horrible BUT then in my mind something tells me 'this is it now, your worst fear is here' its so horrible, I dread tonight as it will just be a constant thing on my mind all the time.....and I will be jumping on the scales every hour trying to convince myself that I have not lost anymore, crazy right, but to me its 'normal' when I get into the fixated health anxiety issue - I mean there could be something wrong with me, right?

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It’s not crazy.

You could jump on the scales continually BUT...

- our weight fluctuates throughout the day, so your weight won’t stay the same every time you get on the scales.

- even if there was something wrong, your weight won’t decrease that quickly.

Last summer, I was taking hundreds and hundreds of photos of, and looking at, a mole on my back in the mirror at least 25 times an hour, everyday for weeks. It was tiring, constant and anxiety inducing. It didn’t make it any better. If doing it once doesn’t help, then doing it multiple times won’t either. If it does change, what will you do about it? If it doesn’t, will you feel better? As hard as it is, you have to try and fight the urge to do that. Is there something you could do instead when you get the urge to stand on the scales?

The waiting list might be long, but if this is a long standing issue in your life, it might be worth staying on the waiting list for CBT.

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I know what you saying and it is making sense to me - I read that a Dr will worry about unintentional weight loss if you loose 10lbs in 6-12months, I have lost 8lbs in 6 months which is more or less there, I will go on the waiting list and I will try not jump on the scales....soooo hard!

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There are lots of reassuring things I could say about the weight loss but I’m not sure it will help, so I won’t.

Speak to your doctor and get put on the waiting list. You CAN get through this and you will get better.

It is hard. Really hard at times.

Think about it short term vs. long term - things that you think are helping you short term probably aren’t helping your anxiety long term. For example, stepping on the scales may make you feel better for an hour or two if your weight stays the same but if you keep doing that the anxiety about your weight will stay at the forefront of your mind for weeks and weeks if not longer.

Tell your doctor about the weight loss, let them reassure about it and then focus on your anxiety.

Good luck.

If I can help in anyway, feel free to message me anytime.

Eleanor

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Thanks you so much :

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That's only if there is no reason. In your case there is - you have stopped drinking so much and there is the reason. Alcohol is loaded with calories. x

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I still drink weekends but no during the week, that was about 8 weeks ago, surely it would have come to an even keel? I know its hard to answer me but just concerned!

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Great reply Eleanor. x

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Thanks :)

I hope you are doing well.

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Ha ha can't complain. Nobody would listen if I did anyway! :) Hope you are ok too. x

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I was 178 pounds i now weigh 132 I lost 40 pounds in 3 months

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Did you find out the cause of the weight loss then?

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No

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Oh no - hope you can get to the bottom of it though - does it not worry you?

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It use to but not so much now

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I’ve had cancer twice. On each occasion I had absolutely no weight loss before diagnosis or during the treatment.

Now, 7 years later, I have anxiety issues. I’ve lost 18 lb in six months. It’s strange, but I never give a second thought to the possibility that one of the cancers could have come back. I just put it down to anxiety.

We humans are complex beings 😂

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Thank you for the message and sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis but glad you are well. I will try and take your advice its hard though if you never loose weight and then all of a sudden its off!

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Scrambler, I to had thyroid cancer at the age of 30. I take thyroxine 100mg per day. I also had the radioactive iodine treatment. Take care Katherine. 💕

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Hope you’re doing well Katherine. Look after yourself xxx

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I think quitting alcohol would be why you’ve lost the weight. 😃

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I really hope so!

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I agree. I think it’s the alcohol. It’s amazing just how many calories are in alcohol

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Thank you - will have to monitor the weight & if it continues will have to see the GP I guess!

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How's your thyroid?

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I dont think I have tested my thyroid for a few years. I dont have the symptoms for thyroid issues to be fair other than weight loss I guess

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so i have weighed myself this morning and I am a further 2lbs down - I feel like crying! I am eating, was drinking alcohol this weekend - still losing - something MUST be wrong with me!

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OK so I really do not understand now..... converting stone to kg and lbs I get a difference of weight lost - if I work it from stone to stone its 7 lbs, if I work it lbs to lbs its 2.8lbs lost if I work it kg to kg its 3.3 which converted to lbs is 7lbs!! I am confused and feel slightly stupid! Can anyone help - I feel really stupid for asking but I have to

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