Need reassurance please!

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Junebug05
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   Posted 2/25/2007 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I just really need some reassurance right now.  I've been having stomach issues for about 6 months now and since I've never experienced this type of problem in 17 years of dealing with panic/anxiety, it's really throwing me.  There are days that I can look at it realistically and be okay and then others that I get so scared of how I feel.  I'm hoping that if I get some feedback on this it will help me to get over the obsession. 
 
Usually, my stomach feels kind of upset, like the churning feeling that others have described, but what really gets to me is the bloated feeling, it goes from my stomach, right below my ribs all the way down and feels like this tremendous pressure...I look 9 months pregnant and the skin can sometimes feel tight.  Other times it feels like there is a steel band around my stomach and back, I wonder if this is muscle tension as it kind of feels like that. 
 
I really don't understand why this symptom in particular is making me so upset, but it is.  I understand that this is not life threatening and that it is most likely not serious since it comes and goes and has not gotten worse over time, just stayed the same.   I would really appreciate hearing from anyone else who has these symptoms as well and how you deal with it.  I'm dealing with agoraphobia too, so going to the doctor right now is not possible, though I did go to urgent care a couple of months ago, was poked and prodded and had blood tests done...all seemed fine, so why can't I just let this go!!!!! 

normalsnofun
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   Posted 2/25/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not sure what to tell you but if this is what you had checked out i guess its prolly nothing but if its bothering you that much you should make the effort to get checked out again...
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Howlyncat
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   Posted 2/25/2007 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
HI hun have you seen a Gastro doc or had a colonoscopy done there are tests out there
Sometimes the A/P will cause you to have the Irritable Bowel and problems with bloating I get the bloating and look preggars as well but I know it is my crohns
I ma sure it has to do with a/p but I would be talking more to doc about it just to make sure k
Luvs
Lyn
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freezinginAK
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   Posted 2/25/2007 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   

  I get that same feeling with my a/p feels like I have so much pressure on my heart when I get bloated like that and I talked it over with my pdoc as it was causing me p/a's as Lyn said it Irritable Bowel Syndrome was the cause of it and the doc gave me Nexium 40mgs for it and now I haven't had that much of a problem, so you may talk it over with your pdoc.

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harry4
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 2/25/2007 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   

alfalfa tablets are worth trying they can make the digestive system work properly, due to having lots of enzymes

anxiety can cause a slow down with food rotting in the intestines, producing large amounts of gas


recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
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GFK
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 2/25/2007 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I get bloated too the past several months. darn uncomfortable! Thanks for the medical explanation Harry.

Karen

btflnvy
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 2/25/2007 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Stomache problems are a BIG part of anxiety. I also change symptoms with my anxiety so maybe thats the case with you too. I hope you feel better soon and if it help to calm you down to go to the Dr. to hear it is nothing then make yourself an appt.

"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas B. Macaulay


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
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   Posted 2/26/2007 12:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Junebug, I know exactly how you feel, and it's not very good. I've had all the tests and there seems to be no explanation for it. Perhaps mine is caused by anxiety, but I don't think so. I think this stomach problem has lasted so long it has resulted in an anxiety problem.

I've had such a bad day today, in fact, that I think I'm going to start seeing doctors again. This has been going on for two years, and if I don't get some relief soon (permanent relief) I don't know what I'm going to do. It's wrecking my whole life.

Another thing that's so difficult is that nobody seems to take it seriously. If I tell people I'm simply bloated, they act like it's nothing. The doctors know it's nothing serious so they don't treat it like a real problem. But it is. It feels so bad it's debilitating. On bad days I can't work, can't sleep, can't think clearly, and can't eat.

I really thought I was making some progress with it over the last couple months, but it's been so bad the past week and especially the last two days that I'm not sure anymore. I haven't had a day as bad as today since last November. If I go to the hospital again, I don't know whether it'll be a mental institution or for GI problems.

Chris711
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 2/26/2007 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
If in doubt speak to a doctor, but I have (briefly) experienced stomach problems based on anxiety and I've seen it mentioned many times on websites, such as this one http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditions/mental_health/disorders_anxiety.shtml

Hope this helps.

andwes
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Date Joined Oct 2006
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   Posted 2/26/2007 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I have experienced the exact same symptoms as you have for the past 10 years (on and off).  I actually have had stomach problems ever since I was in my twenties but this extreme bloating has only started about 6 years ago.  I've gone through it for months on end, only to have it let up for six months, then start up again.  And  I know what you mean about looking like you're nine months pregnant and feeling like you're going to explode.  My bloat starts right below my diaghram so puts alot of pressure on my heart and actually makes me feel breathless if I exercise much while being this bloated.  I feel like someone has a belt around my upper waist and has pulled it much too tight!  It seems as though the food I am eating just isn't "moving down the track" as quickly as it should but I've been told this is all due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome which in turn is oftentimes due to anxiety (which I've had all my life too).  I agree that it's VERY uncomfortable and makes you feel like there's really something seriously wrong, but I tend to doubt it if you've been seen by your doc.  The problem with people like you and I is that health issues are always a part of this darn anxiety thing and once we have some physical symptom we're SURE it's something serious.  With me it's either I'm obsessing over something physical and the mental anxiety symptoms aren't so bad or visa versa....there's always something I'm freaking out over....I either think I'm going to die or going to go crazy - what fun.  I hope you can conquer this by realizing that it's not uncommon and experienced by many of us who also live with anxiety/panic/depression.  Good luck.

LondonGirl22
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   Posted 2/26/2007 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Stomach probs are very common in a person that suffers from anxious. Our guts work over time when we are anxious causing peristalsis (when the colon contracts) to be faster which can cause colic/griping pain and sometimes diahhorea.
I take anti-spasmodic drugs to help with the pain I get with my bowel and anti - depressants have helped to reduce my anxiety.

A lot of people who suffer with anxiety also suffer with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This can cause a lot of bloating, constipation/diahhorea, nausea, pain etc.

If you are still worried , go back and see your doctor for a second opinion.

Take care

Victoria x

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Contact me at: victoria@healingwell.net

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Junebug05
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Date Joined Sep 2006
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   Posted 2/26/2007 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all so much for your replies.  I feel better about it now and hope that I can hold onto this feeling.  I'm trying to just accept that this is anxiety, which deep down I know it is and just relax...easier said than done.  Thanks again!

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 2/27/2007 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I had mentioned the Irritable Bowel it is very common with A/P peeps
Please do get checked and I would see a gastro btflnvy
Good luck to all
I have the crohns happening so I do know what this Bloating is all about I get it when in a flare or I have eaten something I know I should not have
Lyn
** If bloating is arounrd top or ribcage and goes hard do get checked sometimes it could be a hernai or gallballder problems**
Just a thought
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Junebug05
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Date Joined Sep 2006
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   Posted 3/3/2007 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to make a quick update on this topic.  Since I posted this and got all the responses from others who have the same symptoms, I've accepted that this is just another part of anxiety and have completely calmed down about it and guess what...no stomach symptoms at all...hmmm...connection here?  All my anxiety has been gone, which confirms my theory that my stomach problems have been causing the majority of my anxiety...viscious cycle kind of thing.  Hopefully if I continue to accept it as anxiety it will continue to get better.  I'll let everyone know what happens.  Thank you again for all your replies, they were so comforting and made a huge difference!!!

sunshinegrl55
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/3/2007 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, i just started taking Lexapro 5 mg a day for GAD, i've had a few sise effects , will they subside asfter awhile as i keep taking the Lexapro. and will Lexapro eventidently help my GAD. mad

LondonGirl22
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Date Joined Jan 2006
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   Posted 3/4/2007 6:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sunshine,

Any side effects that you have should dissappear within a couple of weeks or so once your body has got used to the med. Lexapro is a good med and should help with your anxiety. You and your doc may need to increase the dose later but go with your doc's advise on that one.

Take care

Victoria x

Moderator ~ Depression and Anxiety Forum

Contact me at: victoria@healingwell.net

Xx Sometimes we all have to go a little crazy just to stay sane xX

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debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
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   Posted 3/4/2007 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Just to follow up, about a week ago I wrote, "Junebug, I know exactly how you feel, and it's not very good. I've had all the tests and there seems to be no explanation for it. Perhaps mine is caused by anxiety, but I don't think so. I think this stomach problem has lasted so long it has resulted in an anxiety problem."

Sometime my symptoms throw me off. That is, I'll be feeling calm in the head (or so I think) and then, quite suddenly, my stomach issues appear. In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to make the connection between anxiety and the stomach trouble if there was nothing obvious going on in my head first, but at the same time I know that panic attacks can present themselves in odd ways. My GI called them "modified panic attacks", but I went to my PCP last week and he called them "atypical panic attacks." Looking up the latter term on the internet was quite useful. Read this paper: http://www.postgradmed.com/issues/1999/05_01_99/vanin.htm

I'll post some relevant quotes:

"But some, possibly because of dysfunction in various biologic systems, get caught in a vicious circle of increasing anxiety that ends in terrifying physical and cognitive symptoms." For me, I was really sick a couple of years ago, twice. Once I had food poisoning WHILE moving 300 miles on short notice to start a new job. Several months later, a small but benign tumor in my gallbladder blocked my bile duct, making me sick for several months as the doctors struggled to make a diagnosis. I eventually had surgery to correct that, but it took more than six months to get there. And I still present similar symptoms, I suppose because of the health anxiety I developed during that time.

"Patients often have a sense of impending doom or imminent danger and feel an urge to flee."..."Panic attacks usually last from a few minutes to an hour." 'Doom' and 'imminent danger' are perhaps a little strong in my case, but I live in constant fear of impending illness, and wherever I go I usually feel a strange compulsion to get back home. This is probably a mild case of agoraphobia, I suppose. I do not fear leaving, exactly, but I do tend to stay at home when I shouldn't and when I do get out it seems like I'm thinking about going home. Many, many times it will become an 'urge' to do so.

"Panic disorder is present when unexpected panic attacks recur and at least one of them is followed by the presence of any of the following features for 1 month or more (3):

* Persistent concern about having another attack (ie, anticipatory anxiety)
* Worry about implications or consequences of the attack
* Significant related changes in behavior "

And there's more interesting things to read in there, as well, so I highly recommend checking it out. Basically, with me, I think I really was sick and then just got freaked out to the point that it caused what I'm going through now. I wonder how many of us started out this way? I already had something of a depression problem before any of this began. It was diagnosed a couple of times in the past but ultimately left untreated. That's probably a pretty big factor, too.

Junebug05
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 3/4/2007 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   

debaser,

Very interesting article, thank you for sharing it!  I totally agree with you about how your symptoms can throw you off.  The same thing happens to me, I'll be perfectly calm, no negative thoughts and all of a sudden the symptoms will show up...always throws me for a bit.  And then once I get calmed again, I always go back and try to figure out what caused it to start...guess it doesn't really matter as long as I know how to handle it once it does, but it just always seems important to know why.   Hope things are going well for you!


Avie
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/5/2007 6:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow! It's been really good to read all of your posts. I have crohn's disease and over the last year have also started suffering with panic and anxiety. I hate it. I hate how it can take over and how I often live in fear of having another panic attack. I see a kinesiologist who has helped me SO much!
I too suffer with severe bloating which really gets me down - I know what you mean about the viscious cycle. I wonder if my bloating has something to do with my anxiety, aswell as my crohn's. I have a narrowing in my small intestine and will be having another colonoscopy in a few weeks to determine wheter I need to have surgery to rectify it.
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