Health anxiety and liver symptoms - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Health anxiety and liver symptoms

Eurotrash profile image

Hello everyone!

As some might know, I had some symptoms that I was really going crazy about.

After seeing a doctor, I calmed down and today basically I'm pain free.

I see many posts from people who are really worried and I think that this brings two issues:

Firstly, the importance of not giving any time to Dr Google and how psychogenic pain is a reality. A twinge mixed with anxiety makes our bodies go crazy and then we find things to explain symptoms. We move from a catastrophic diagnosis on, an imagined one. This is really negative for us as only a doctor can diagnose liver problems.

Secondly, there might be a slightly ethical point. We are all here to support each other but some vague symptoms (and because of the many functions the liver has) can make one think that they have a serious problem. I think we should think how this might affect people with serious life-altering symptoms. If o had ascites that was really difficult to deal with, I might find that someone claiming they have ascites because they're anxious and a bit bloated is a slight exaggeration.

Never the less, it's fair to seek reassurance and human nature.

I'm sure many people here will agree that jumping to conclusions is negative for oneself and maybe even for other people in the forum.

Just some food for thought and look after yourselves!

14 Replies

Hi Rikard, I think all posts are valid, whether symptoms are real or imagined. If people want support I think we should all try to offer from our experience what we can if appropriate. At the time you had these anxieties your pain was real,maybe by posting and getting results you were able to feel stronger about re evaluating your habits and improving your health.

I hope you are able to continue in this positive way, improve your diet and cut out the binge drinking, ( having the occasional drink won't hurt if you have no liver issues). Many people find this and even small amounts of physical activity can improve their mental health and reduce anxiety.

Good luck with everything, hope you continue to feel well.

E x

PS once you get to around 40 all of a sudden lifestyle seems to catch up with you, lots of people I know started getting hangovers etc when previously they were unaffected by a night out!! Sorry but age is a bummer like that!!

Faithfull profile image
Faithfull in reply to Wass71

I like that reply

Eurotrash profile image
Eurotrash in reply to Faithfull

Me too!

Faithfull profile image
Faithfull in reply to Wass71

On a light note as the when you put age is a bummer it made me laugh . Thanks for lighting up

my day ,and I switch my numbers around so in my head I'm 35 yrs old , believe me the outside of me looks 153.

Hope that made you laugh but it's tru .

All the best and have a wonderful Christmas.

I have to agree with Wass71. Liver disease can be very silent until it's too late. I thought I was having symptoms and everybody including doctors kept putting them down to nothing but anxiety from the medication regiment I was on prescribed by a doctor. I ended up in the hospital a few months later with a torn abdomen, and very sick with acute hepatitis and drug induced liver injury. It's good not to get too worked up, there are some who take it to the next level. If somebody is taking too many medications, OTCs or drinks alcohol on a daily basis. Chances are the symptoms are more so warning shots being fired than nothing at all. Everything, is a fine balance in life, but if somebody is consuming a substance that damages the liver, then normally any symptoms should be followed up with investigation.

Faithfull profile image
Faithfull in reply to kurtymac

Thanks I agree with u both as got very iller a/e doctor said I do not have any cirrhosis and I can say I have that diagnosis if I want shocked yes shocked like a nut case that I'm under that hospital and I have been diagnosed so if mental state worse I could have gone for a

Drink it could happen to some one else and that's the a/e I'm sick of there mix ups and need you lots help.

Again so glad you got great news and great advice for someone who will take notice of it but as your aware people will only take things serious when they have been diagnosed or not by a consultant all we can do is try and offer help and support from our own experiences as none of us are qualified to do anything else. I when seriously ill had the worst anxiety and nearly dying 3 times cured that because I couldn't possibly get any lower apart from dying and then I wouldn't know if there is a chance doctors can save you they will so all we get anxious about is dying but it's a given so why waste it worrying however it happens it will so make the most of every single day were here so enjoy it xxx

Eurotrash profile image
Eurotrash in reply to jojokarak


I'm sorry... I didn't mean to imply people who get anxious shouldn't post... and to be honest, I need to have more tests. I was just trying to think how it might feel to other people... no harm intended :)

I think everyone who's posted is right, this should be a safe place for everyone concerned.

I just think people should try not to be over alarmed or read symptoms too much and see a doctor first and have tests and push for them if needed.

Over the years, I've self diagnosed myself with a few serious conditions due to health anxiety and got myself in a state.

Take care!

jojokarak profile image
jojokarak in reply to Eurotrash

I wasn't criticizing I have seen a lot of people on here over the years and it was quite obvious they were suffering with anxiety which is awful but instead of them just biting the bullet and going to get help for a diagnosis they would constantly just be on here posting I have even had a few people who inboxed me with a list of issues they had lol but instead of taking our advice it's a case of winding themselves up into a frenzy. I was just saying I know you are right but most won't listen x

This site has been a lifeline for me. Given how difficult it is for me to even speak to a GP (not my" GP any more - any one of about 6 these days, so pot luck really), let alone my gastroenterologist, I would be climbing the walls and - of course - imagining the worst possible scenario.

I'm the same with everything. I try not to but it's hard. Do you ever feel that being anxious makes your symptoms worse?

Yes I under stand that but read my last posts I'm confused to f......

I get what your saying Euro, you're right. Anxiety can and will make things worse and symptoms will be magnified with the anxiety. Liver disease is probably one of those most tricky diseases out there. I worked as a health administrator in the Army for a hospital. We had one Soldier who had autoimmune hepatitis, but doctors kept giving him OTCs for pain and diagnosing chronic pancreatitis. He came to me concerned, I pushed the doctors to pursue further testing and AIH ended up being found with a liver biopsy. His liver enzymes were normal during the investigation, making it even more tricky. Every situation is different, but one thing is for sure. Nobody, knows your body or how you feel better than yourself. I had severe back pain and this is what ultimately took my career in the Army. Doctors accused me of being a drug addict because my x-rays were normal, "oh, you just want opioids". Have to love America, by the way, everybody is a druggy who goes to the E.R or a pain doctor... Anyway, finally, my second MRI, boom intradural spinal cord tumor at the L3. After, being told nothing was wrong from multiple doctors and hospitals.

Eurotrash profile image
Eurotrash in reply to kurtymac

I'm sorry to read some of the things that happened... I think doctors do find it easy to fob people off. Especially in the UK as the NHS struggles due to lack of funds. But as you say, one knows one's body. It's important to push if you don't feel right. It's quite sad that it takes people to push for these things as I feel some more vulnerable people or people who might not be savvy end up being fobbed off and you really don't want that with the liver. An early diagnosis seems to improve quality of life massively from what I read in this forum. Take care!

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