Blood - really scared

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/15/2014 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
To make a long story short: Two weeks ago I developed severe anxiety and hypochondria, which caused several physical discimforts including acid reflux (something that hasn't really bothered me before although I have had some indigestion from time to time). Last Wednesday I felt a clear taste of blood after regurgitating (although no blood was visible when I spat), I panicked and was driven to the local hospital by a colleague of mine. At the hospital a doctor prescribed omeprazole and comissioned a blood test which was normal.

Although the omeprazole has since supressed most of the acid reflux, my anxiety worsened and last weekend I coughed up mucous with tiny streaks of blood in it. Last sunday I got a mounting heartburn after having a pizza, which "exploded" into an excruciating pain in my chest, which I feared was a rupture on my esophagus. My fiancee drove me to the ER where they told me I had had a panic attac. The day after the pain still made it difficult to take deep breaths, but it has then subsided and can now be felt occasionally as a dull soreness in my throat.
I have spoken to four doctors since, but they don't seem to be alarmed. My main doctor offered me an endoscopy in order to calm me down, which I accepted after thinking it through, although I'll have to wait at least a couple of weeks.

In the meantime I'm extremely worried that my condition might be caused by something really serious like cancer, and the fear is currently ruining my life. I haven't really seen any streaks of blood since Monday and my acid reflux is under control at the moment, but I keep obsessing over the fad taste of blood that I can feel, especially in the morning, and the large amount of mucous I keep coughing up. I haven't had any problems swallowing food or liquid so far, and yesterday I had two large meals without discomfort.

I asked the doctors about the cancer fear but they have assured me that the risk is virtually non-existent at my age (29) and given lack of other symptoms. Nevertheless, my worries are taking over my life (and regrettably my fiancee's life). I realize that my fear is fuelled by health anxiety and I have just started seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist for that, but my symptoms are still real. Is there anyone else here with the same experience?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 3/15/2014 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   

The endoscopy should reveal quite a bit. Until you get the results, I would take the following precautions:

1. Avoid acidic or acid forming foods (coffee, soda, chocolate, tomato based foods like pizza and pasta with sauce, and most citrus fruits.

2. Reduce carbohydrate intake to a bare minimum.(sweets, grain products, starches)

2. Eat small meals only.

3. Chew your food more thoroughly before you swallow.

4. Don't eat or drink within 3 hours of going to bed (or lying down for any other reason)

All of what you describe can be caused by heartburn/indigestion/acid reflux, even the spots of blood. Sometimes when the acid get up that high, small amounts of it can get into your lungs on the way back down, which might cause you to cough up mucous with a little blood in it.

The omeprazole can take a full week or more to become fully effective, and your dose may need to be increased, but I would not tempt fate with pizza even while on it. And you should not be on it any longer than necessary. Doctors routinely prescribe it for long term use, but you should learn about the possible consequences of doing so. If it turns out you are going to be on it for more than a few week, I highly recommend you supplement your diet with calcium citrate, magnesium, Vitamin D3 and B12.

And of course, you should look into the cause of your anxiety, as that seems to be the starting point for all this.
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