What should i do with my condition?

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snakebit
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/20/2012 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
 
Approx 3-4 years ago I went to my GP and complained of pressure/gurgling/discomfort in the top of my stomach. This was generally felt before eating and often felt better after. He told me it was dyspepsia and prescribed my 20mg omeprazole. I also take 100mg Zoloft.
 
The omeprazole did not completely cure me however, I do feel it improved the situation somewhat. Around two months ago, I ran out of Omeprazole and thought I would see how I go. Unfortunately I have a severe anxiety disorder (I am terrified of developing a serious disease such as cancer).
 
I have recently had a bad run with my stomach, regular discomfort, occasional burning, minor feeling of a lump in my throat, belching. This has absolutely terrified me, even though my GP at the time stated it was dyspepsia. Obviously, my anxiety increases to such a state where I become teary and petrified (I am a 39 yr old male, healthy weight, physically active with a sensible diet). None of these problem causes me to wake at night.
 
My question is: What do I do? I've got an appointment with the same GP soon, however I really don't know if my condition is anxiety related or caused by something else. I am absolutely terrified of endoscopys and barium meals, but I really want to know if i have cancer or not. It seems the more symptoms I read about, the more I get (or is this in my head?)
 
If anyone has any advice I would be so grateful as I don't know where to turn.
 
Somedays, I can be completely symptom free, however I am so nervous about the symptoms returning, I can't relax and therefore my stomach feels like jelly.
 
Please any guidance would help me so mcuh.
 

x
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/21/2012 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
With an endoscopy they put you out and you don't feel anything, at least that's how it was for me. Then when I saw my GI dr afterward they gave me a lab report and summary of what they found on the endoscopy.

ericapeace2000
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 11/21/2012 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
First of all, the anxiety is making your condition worse. Stress and anxiety cause the stomach to produce more stomach acid. You need to find ways to manage your anxiety along with the zoloft. Deep breathing, journal writing...whatever you need to do. You most likely do not have cancer. It is rare. The endoscopy is very easy...I too have anxiety and I had myself all worked up for no reason. You should also research a good GI doctor in your area. Please continue to use this forum (you could also benefit from the Anxiety and Panic Forum) as it will help you feel less anxious and supported. I know it is hard. But you have to think more positive and less about the worst case scenario.
GERD Moderator; Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 11/21/2012 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi snakebit,
Welcome to Healing Well!  It sounds as if you're in the right place.  The symptoms you're describing are totally normal with GERD.  I understand your anxiety issue.  Many here have anxiety issues, so you're not alone.  Do you know about the Anxiety Forum here at Healing Well?  There are members here who visit both forums.
 
Anxiety can definitely increase your sensitivity to symptoms, but your symptoms are real.  I've been on this forum for nearly four years, and you're not the first to be concerned about cancer, but cancer risks are EXTREMELY small.  The symptoms you're describing are typical GERD symptoms, so try to relax.  You can get treatment and improve your condition.
 
You probably will need testing, but really they're not bad.   The barium swallow is nothing...very non-invasive. You swallow some chalky liquid that really doesn't even taste as bad as you'd expect.  Sometimes they vary whatever it is you eat/drink, but it's a "nothing" test that provides very good information.
 
As x said, they can put you right out for the endoscopy, so you won't even know you're having it.  No need to fear that!  They'll make you sign a release that looks mighty scary, but like side effects of prescription medications, the odds of you having whatever thing they mention is extremely, extremely low.  I've had 3 without a problem, and there are some here who've had even more.  Don't worry.
 
There are several other tests they might want to do at some point, but cross that bridge when you come to it.  We'll walk you through whatever it is you're planning on doing.
 
Sometimes we get to the point when we need to take PPIs always.  When you went off the omeprazole, your symptoms returned, which means you should have stayed on them.  Also, there are many other PPI options that your doctor can try, if the omeprazole isn't doing the trick.
 
This is the thing.  The symptoms you're experiencing are upper GI related.  I don't have anxiety, and I've experienced them.  This is what I'd suggest.  Write down the symptoms you're experiencing.  The more specific (times, dates, symptom experienced, perhaps trigger foods that bother you) the better.  I'm sure your GP is aware of your anxiety, and you don't want that to cover the very real discomforts you're experiencing.  When you see your doctor, try very hard to stay calm and rational. The journal of your symptoms will help you with this.  You need to take your symptoms seriously before your doctor can. 
 
Your anxiety and your GI issues are two distinct problems.  Try to separate them for your appointment with your GP.  Calm, rational discussion of the stomach problems will ensure that your GP doesn't get the two issues mixed up, and can focus fully on the one you're visiting for.
 
That said, once you're done discussing the stomach problems, it would be wise to calmly state the way the health issues you're suffering with are affecting your anxiety.  Hopefully he/she can adjust your medications at least until you get yourself feeling better.  It is true that anxiety and stress can exacerbate your stomach problem, so I suspect your GP will want to help you with that as well.
 
Good luck with your appointment!  Glad you've joined us.  I'm sure others will be by soon to offer their own ideas and support.
Very best wishes,
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

snakebit
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/21/2012 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW!
 
I should have joined this forum years ago. I would like to say a massive thankyou for your assistance, I feel better already. It is such a relief to know there are still people in the world such as yourselves who genuinely want to help others. Thank you so much for taking the time out to provide me with sensible and very sage advice, I will definately start keeping a symptom journal and will keep you updated on my progress.
 
What a fantastic way to start my day. Once again, I really appreciate your support!
 
Jamie

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 11/21/2012 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jamie,
We're glad to help!  We all benefit from the forum, and are happy to provide support and information.  It sounds as if you've got a good plan.  We'll look forward to hearing how your visit to the doctor goes.
Hang in there!
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 11/23/2012 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I sympathise regarding the tests anxiety - the mere mention of the scope sends me into a spin (mostly because I wasn't sedated enough for the first one I had). Are you in the UK - if so, before they send the request for the endoscopy tell them that you have anxiety issues and you would like either GA or what they call "heavy sedation". Make sure you have it done in a main hospital not just a day unit where they want you to get up and walk away half an hour later! Make sure it's somewhere where they are happy for you to linger and sleep off the sedation!

Hopefully things will settle with the medication and you'll begin to feel reassured as your symptoms behave in a standard GERD type manner!

MMM
New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma
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