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Health anxiety and physical symptoms?

nick9912

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I am probably annoying everyone by posting every couple of days so im terribly sorry for that, but i've been dealing with health anxiety in regards of a few lymph nodes in my groin that got swollen after a skin infection (that is sadly still there after almost two months). I went to get a sonogram and the doctor found, other than the actually swollen lymph node, some other small, reactive lymph nodes in my cervical area. Now I did not have any swelling or pain in my neck before but since I started to prod around and dig my fingers into my skin to keep an eye on them they kinda got bigger and now the whole area hurts, can over touching these areas make the nodes swell up more? I was just getting better because my groin ones have reduced and now I cannot stop feeling around my neck because of these, anyone has any tips to feel better?
 

Iugrad91

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Yes, constant prodding and poking and make nodes react. If you go looking for your nodes, you will find them. Just because you can feel them when you palpate in places does not mean they are enlarged. Doctors feel for them when they examine you and they expect to find them, but they know what a normal
size is. Stop feeling your nodes and they will return to normal, but it might take a few days to weeks.
 

nick9912

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Yes, constant prodding and poking and make nodes react. If you go looking for your nodes, you will find them. Just because you can feel them when you palpate in places does not mean they are enlarged. Doctors feel for them when they examine you and they expect to find them, but they know what a normal
size is. Stop feeling your nodes and they will return to normal, but it might take a few days to weeks.
thank you for your reply, I didn’t know that touching them would make them swell up even more but it is weird that they started to hurt just after I started obsessively focusing on them right? I have spent the past few days researching lymph nodes positions and now every place I looked up hurt even though like a week ago I was perfectly fine and I only had a vague pain in my groin node, I feel like I’m going crazy but I don’t know if it is possible that my condition worsened in the course of a week and especially it is weird to me that I got new symptoms just after reading about them
 

Bobnnat

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Very common, Nick. Anxiety is a mind set and the mind is powerful. Thinking of an area of the body and wondering whether there’s any pain there, and sure enough, you’ll feel some pain come on.
 

nick9912

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Very common, Nick. Anxiety is a mind set and the mind is powerful. Thinking of an area of the body and wondering whether there’s any pain there, and sure enough, you’ll feel some pain come on.
Thank you for telling me that, I noticed that the more I worry the bigger they feel, and also I had never touched the ones on my neck before so I guess me feeling around for them made me freak out even though my doctor did not even bother worrying about them after giving me an ultrasound. Also the fact that they remained the same size and the lack of other symptoms like fevers and stuff like that is a good sign right?
 

northern

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You're definitely not the first person to be worried about lymph nodes. I try to think of it this way: if I notice my lymph node is swollen, it probably means it's just doing its job. Touching your lymph nodes will irritate them, and they can take a while to dissapear completely (sometimes several weeks). Some never disappear completely, but if they're not irritated, it's almost never anything to worry about.
 

nick9912

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You're definitely not the first person to be worried about lymph nodes. I try to think of it this way: if I notice my lymph node is swollen, it probably means it's just doing its job. Touching your lymph nodes will irritate them, and they can take a while to dissapear completely (sometimes several weeks). Some never disappear completely, but if they're not irritated, it's almost never anything to worry about.
Thank you, I went to see my doctor yesterday because I was worried about my neck lymph nodes and he said that there are some reactive ones but they are so small that you cannot even see a bump on the skin and you have to push your fingers in to feel them, I guess that is good right?
 

northern

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Thank you, I went to see my doctor yesterday because I was worried about my neck lymph nodes and he said that there are some reactive ones but they are so small that you cannot even see a bump on the skin and you have to push your fingers in to feel them, I guess that is good right?
Definitely. When lymph nodes become a 'problem' it's usually obvious (massive swelling, hardness, or pain). Even then, it's not always serious.
 

dogfacetunaman

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After my dad died of cancer in 2004 I became a carcinophobe, prodding around my entire body for lymph nodes. Then I found 2 on both sides of my neck and one in front of both of my ears. I would touch them every waking minute of every day for about 3 months. I really focused on one that was bigger than a pea and was harder than the others. Went to the doc who told me that some people have "shotty nodes" for a multitude of different reasons, possibly from a past illness. I had bad scalp psoriasis at the time and always worried about lymphoma because the two often-times go hand-in-hand. He told me that touching them DEFINITELY can cause them to get inflamed. Here's what he did, we "measured" (by estimating obviously) each one that I was concerned about and drew a picture on a piece of paper with the measurements. He made me promise not to touch them for 3 months and we scheduled another appointment. If they were the same size or smaller, obviously nothing was wrong. If they grew he would order a biopsy immediately.

3 months later the soreness was gone and they had not changed at all. He said if they were a problem they would be hard as a rock and some can get golf ball sized. I never thought about them again. I actually just checked them as I was reading your post and about 4 of the 8 of them I can't even find, and the one that really worried me was tiny. BTW, I still have the picture we drew of the nodes from 13 years ago...every time I see it I laugh about how silly I was. It is my go-to reminder when I need to laugh and calm down from another bout of HA.

Oh and another thing I remember him saying, sometimes the lymph nodes are "semi-embedded" in your muscle (in my case my neck), which can give the impression that they are harder and larger than they really are, because when you try to grab/prod it, you're actually grabbing muscle along with it.

Hope this helps...I can't tell you not to get it biopsied, but the doc might suggest against it because sometimes I believe the procedure is invasive depending on the location of the node. If that's what you need to calm down, maybe ask about it but I would try my method first and see how they feel in 3 months.
 

nick9912

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After my dad died of cancer in 2004 I became a carcinophobe, prodding around my entire body for lymph nodes. Then I found 2 on both sides of my neck and one in front of both of my ears. I would touch them every waking minute of every day for about 3 months. I really focused on one that was bigger than a pea and was harder than the others. Went to the doc who told me that some people have "shotty nodes" for a multitude of different reasons, possibly from a past illness. I had bad scalp psoriasis at the time and always worried about lymphoma because the two often-times go hand-in-hand. He told me that touching them DEFINITELY can cause them to get inflamed. Here's what he did, we "measured" (by estimating obviously) each one that I was concerned about and drew a picture on a piece of paper with the measurements. He made me promise not to touch them for 3 months and we scheduled another appointment. If they were the same size or smaller, obviously nothing was wrong. If they grew he would order a biopsy immediately.

3 months later the soreness was gone and they had not changed at all. He said if they were a problem they would be hard as a rock and some can get golf ball sized. I never thought about them again. I actually just checked them as I was reading your post and about 4 of the 8 of them I can't even find, and the one that really worried me was tiny. BTW, I still have the picture we drew of the nodes from 13 years ago...every time I see it I laugh about how silly I was. It is my go-to reminder when I need to laugh and calm down from another bout of HA.

Oh and another thing I remember him saying, sometimes the lymph nodes are "semi-embedded" in your muscle (in my case my neck), which can give the impression that they are harder and larger than they really are, because when you try to grab/prod it, you're actually grabbing muscle along with it.

Hope this helps...I can't tell you not to get it biopsied, but the doc might suggest against it because sometimes I believe the procedure is invasive depending on the location of the node. If that's what you need to calm down, maybe ask about it but I would try my method first and see how they feel in 3 months.
Thank you so much for your reply, your words really helped me calm down because I have been spending the past weeks obsessing over this, I will try and wait to see if anything changes but for now everything stayed the same, so I guess I can be happy about that.
 

dogfacetunaman

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Thank you so much for your reply, your words really helped me calm down because I have been spending the past weeks obsessing over this, I will try and wait to see if anything changes but for now everything stayed the same, so I guess I can be happy about that.
No problemo, I know how bad HA over lymph nodes can be. Glad I could help.
 

nick9912

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No problemo, I know how bad HA over lymph nodes can be. Glad I could help.
thank you again, I tried to take a couple of days off forums and google to get some peace of mind, I even decided to start seeing a therapist. In regards of my health I got basically any test I could get (blood tests, sonogram, a dermatology exam, many visits to my “normal” doctor) and I guess I just have to convince myself that I’m actually fine and not terribly ill.
 
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