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Newly Acquired Health Anxiety

hatboxghost

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Hi everyone!

I’ve been reading other stories on here while trying to find a place to chat with others who suffer like myself pretty regularly. My dad recently had a heart attack (53) and since then I have been obsessing over my own personal health. My dad smokes and has smoked pretty much his whole life and does not have a great diet or eating habits. However, I can’t stop thinking about “what if this happens to me?”

Now, a little about me. I do have GERD/IBS/Gilbert’s Syndrome. But recently my epigastric pains/discomfort have caused me some scary moments.

One night I woke up from a sleep with terrible pains around my upper abdomen and chest. First thing I did: went to Google (big mistake)
I couldn’t go back to sleep and the pains kept getting worse. I woke my boyfriend up and told him to take me to the ER.
Meanwhile, two weeks before this event, I had an EKG because I told my GP that I was having heart palpitations (it came back normal) I also had blood work done (all perfect except bilirubin because of Gilbert’s Syndrome)
I was also schedule to start wearing a cardiac event monitor later that week.
Anyway, I get to the ER, they check my blood pressure (141/91) it’s NEVER that high. Within 5 minutes I’m getting connected to another EKG. Nurse comes back and says doctor has given it the “a-okay”
I get taken back and they start talking to me about my symptoms give me a chest x-ray... low and behold. Anxiety and acid reflux.

I have since worn the cardiac event monitor, no abnormalities, all good.

I saw a GI and scheduled an endoscopy for my epigastric pain and acid reflux.
I had that on Monday of this past week, and they said I have a Hiatal Hernia and signs of Gastritis. Which could be making my epigastric pains more intense.

But I’m still finding myself going back to “what IF it’s my heart” when I have these symptoms.

I also have pretty bad TMJ and will get shooting pains in my jaws randomly and of course that sends me spiraling. I’m going to a dentist in 2 weeks so hopefully they can help me with my teeth grinding and TMJ.

I know a lot of you have similar symptoms it seems and I’m just trying to help myself stop thinking about “what if”

I’m so afraid of dying or really not being able to stop myself FROM dying. I’m only 28. I used to never think about this stuff. But after my dads heart attack, I just can’t get away from the reoccurring thoughts. I get a symptom and it’s to Google I go. And I KNOW better! I talk to my boyfriend about it and I’m so scared of it interfering with our relationship. Consciously I know everything I can possibly know about my health and that is I’m pretty dang healthy. But I have these subconscious ideas and thoughts that just won’t stop.

I’m going to see a therapist the end of this month as well and I’m really hoping he can help get me on the road to stop thinking catastrophically. I’m really looking for any kind of relief I can get at this point!

Sorry for the long post but thanks for reading anyway!
 

Mandyhiero

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Man! Do I understand running to google. I hate myself for it EVERY TIME! Everything points to cancer, heart attack, or stroke. I’m getting ready to go to a therapist again myself and just started on Wellbutrin. Praying you get some answers seeing the therapist. This anxiety stuff is no fun at all.
 

hatboxghost

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Man! Do I understand running to google. I hate myself for it EVERY TIME! Everything points to cancer, heart attack, or stroke. I’m getting ready to go to a therapist again myself and just started on Wellbutrin. Praying you get some answers seeing the therapist. This anxiety stuff is no fun at all.
Thanks for your response. I wish you well on your journey with your therapist. I’m stubborn and don’t want to start on anti-anxiety meds. Although I did have my ENT prescribe me Lexapro. Haven’t even picked up the prescription. I want to fight this on my own and with the help of a therapist. If my therapist recommends I start the anti-anxiety meds I will. Otherwise, I’ll take it one day at a time.

Of course today I woke up with some tingling in my fingers and soreness in my left arm. I’m telling myself I slept wrong and so is my boyfriend but my mind is like “HEART ATTACK!”
Darn Google.
 

Cuchculan

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Oddly enough after my father died from a heart attack my way to look at the whole situation was to look at his lifestyle. He was told to stop smoking a few years before he died. At times when you just stop ( at his age ) it is worse for you. He was a heavy drinker. Talking drunk every day. He ate crap foods. Had a pace maker. Was on a lot medication. Go back to the drinking part. All that medication and a pace maker and still he drank. My point here is to look at your own lifestyle. Most heart attacks are brought on by things people do. Only other people that seem to get them have existing heart conditions that are not known about until after the heart attack. Medical check up would be one way to show you that your heart is just fine. Plus how your lifestyle is. I am sure you don't lead an over the top lifestyle. My father did to the point were it did take his life. He was always one for saying ' we have to die some way '. His way of telling us he knew what he was doing and he was never going to change. Loved him lots. Miss him every day. But I know it was his lifestyle mixed with already existing medical problems that finally got him. These are the things you should take in to your own head. To show you that you are not in danger. Every pain does not have to be your heart.
 

hatboxghost

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Oddly enough after my father died from a heart attack my way to look at the whole situation was to look at his lifestyle. He was told to stop smoking a few years before he died. At times when you just stop ( at his age ) it is worse for you. He was a heavy drinker. Talking drunk every day. He ate crap foods. Had a pace maker. Was on a lot medication. Go back to the drinking part. All that medication and a pace maker and still he drank. My point here is to look at your own lifestyle. Most heart attacks are brought on by things people do. Only other people that seem to get them have existing heart conditions that are not known about until after the heart attack. Medical check up would be one way to show you that your heart is just fine. Plus how your lifestyle is. I am sure you don't lead an over the top lifestyle. My father did to the point were it did take his life. He was always one for saying ' we have to die some way '. His way of telling us he knew what he was doing and he was never going to change. Loved him lots. Miss him every day. But I know it was his lifestyle mixed with already existing medical problems that finally got him. These are the things you should take in to your own head. To show you that you are not in danger. Every pain does not have to be your heart.
I’m sorry to hear about your father. And you’re absolutely right. The ironic thing is I’ve talked to my dad about how much his heart attack scared me. He tells me “you don’t do ANY of the things I do! You’ve had tests, you have a good heart.”
If only I could tell my subconscious to just listen to that. I don’t smoke, I drink occasionally. I used to drink pretty often but not “HEAVILY”. I’ve had numerous EKGs since I was about 20. All come back a-ok. I’m just hypersensitive to my palpitations and with the recent onset of acid reflux, the pains in my upper stomach make me spiral into the “it’s your heart. It’s your heart!”

I just have to listen to my doctors and stop listening so much to my body and let it take care of itself (within reason)
Trust. It’s hard.
 

Megs

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I have the same problems as you! My health anxiety started a several months ago and has taken over my life. I have to keep telling myself I’m fine all these things happen bc of the anxiety! They can be so debilitating! And even an md saying your all good isn’t enough! I have started Prozac and hopefully headed to a therapist soon! I’m ready to be a wife, mom, child and all again!
Praying for you! You can overcome this also!!! We are more than the health anxiety!
 

hatboxghost

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I have the same problems as you! My health anxiety started a several months ago and has taken over my life. I have to keep telling myself I’m fine all these things happen bc of the anxiety! They can be so debilitating! And even an md saying your all good isn’t enough! I have started Prozac and hopefully headed to a therapist soon! I’m ready to be a wife, mom, child and all again!
Praying for you! You can overcome this also!!! We are more than the health anxiety!
It’s crazy how people with anxiety have the same symptoms as life threatening emergencies. Why can’t anxiety come in a different flavor? Like, finger nail pain or something! Google of course makes it worse because based on algorithms it’s all pre-determined to bring up MOST common to what symptoms you have. All mostly indicating it “could be” anxiety or something you are already aware of. Why do we dismiss the things we already know we have and go straight to a “oh gosh, but what if I have this too?”
The mind is so amazing and so frustrating at the same time.

We will overcome this. We have anxiety. We are not anxiety.
 

hatboxghost

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Update:
The last few days I’ve had some tingling in my left arm. That comes and goes. Doesn’t stay and doesn’t feel “numb”
Now, my upper back is hurting and it feels like it travels to my chest, but I can’t tell if it’s related to my GERD or back pain.
I pushed four wheelers on a trailer yesterday and did some other strenuous activities and I’m sure I slept wrong.
Why am I still focused on it possibly being a heart attack...!!!
 

RobbyH

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Update:
The last few days I’ve had some tingling in my left arm. That comes and goes. Doesn’t stay and doesn’t feel “numb”
Now, my upper back is hurting and it feels like it travels to my chest, but I can’t tell if it’s related to my GERD or back pain.
I pushed four wheelers on a trailer yesterday and did some other strenuous activities and I’m sure I slept wrong.
Why am I still focused on it possibly being a heart attack...!!!
Because that is how HA works. Logically you know that the symptoms you have (such as the tingling in your arm after pushing four wheelers) can be easily explained; however, HA won't let you accept it. Here is something you need to ask yourself - did you have any of the symptoms before your dad had his heart attack or did they start after you starting worrying about it? If they all started afterwards - and after you started worrying - then you can rest assured that it is a 99.9% probability it is all HA and not really your heart.
 

hatboxghost

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Because that is how HA works. Logically you know that the symptoms you have (such as the tingling in your arm after pushing four wheelers) can be easily explained; however, HA won't let you accept it. Here is something you need to ask yourself - did you have any of the symptoms before your dad had his heart attack or did they start after you starting worrying about it? If they all started afterwards - and after you started worrying - then you can rest assured that it is a 99.9% probability it is all HA and not really your heart.
You’re right! And that’s what’s the crazy thing is. I would have similar symptoms that have all been explained but I never really paid attention to them until after my dads heart attack. Just have to keep telling myself that.
 

Cuchculan

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You should ask your GP about a stress test, explaining the whole heart thing. What they do is make you do something that will have your heart pumping. Not every GP would do these sort of things. May be asked to visit somebody else who does do them. It is a way to monitor you as, say for example, you cycle. On an exercise bike. Is more to show you that the heart can take a lot and then calm back down again. Plus by monitoring you they will be able to show you there is nothing wrong with your heart at all. Not sure how many GP's do these sort of tests. Do know a few people who have had one done. Heart beating out of their chests only to hear ' All is fine '. What you think is bad, to a doctor would be considered normal. We do heavy work, our heart pumps big time. It is meant to. But then it calms back down again. That is all normal.
 

RobbyH

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I don't know of any GPs who do stress tests - that is a specialized test done by heart specialist; hwoever, a GP can provide a referral to a cardiologist if he/she feels you need one. I do think talking wtih your GP would be helpful if you are really concerned - he/she can probably ask you a load of questions and determine whether they think you need more tests of not. Having said that - according to your intiial post - you have had all teh heart tests so not sure they would recommend any more.

based on the tests you have had, the confirmed GERD and the tingling on your arm AFTER pushing the four wheelers, I don't think you have ANYTHING to be concerned about.

I would suggest seeing if you can get something mild for your anxiety from you GP or if you don't want ot do that - try some Ashwagandha (a herb you can get at a vitamin store) as it seems to do well with anixety. I use it and it helps with my HA
 

hatboxghost

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I don't know of any GPs who do stress tests - that is a specialized test done by heart specialist; hwoever, a GP can provide a referral to a cardiologist if he/she feels you need one. I do think talking wtih your GP would be helpful if you are really concerned - he/she can probably ask you a load of questions and determine whether they think you need more tests of not. Having said that - according to your intiial post - you have had all teh heart tests so not sure they would recommend any more.

based on the tests you have had, the confirmed GERD and the tingling on your arm AFTER pushing the four wheelers, I don't think you have ANYTHING to be concerned about.

I would suggest seeing if you can get something mild for your anxiety from you GP or if you don't want ot do that - try some Ashwagandha (a herb you can get at a vitamin store) as it seems to do well with anixety. I use it and it helps with my HA
Thanks for your post. I actually do take Ashwagandha daily and it’s in my Cortisol Manager supplement I take on a nightly basis. Based on all the tests I’ve had, I have a perfectly functioning heart. Of course, when my GERD symptoms kick in or I feel a palpitation, I go right to “HEART ATTACK” I know it’s not that simple and I know what to look out for. Unfortunately, I’m always looking out for those things.
 

hatboxghost

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Y’all. I relapsed yesterday.... I have had this tingling in my left arm/fingers for the last week (of course it has to be LEFT!) and I just felt overwhelmed so I went to a Urgent Care, they did an EKG, CBC, and D-Dimer test. EKG was normal but my QTC Calculation was higher than “normal” and higher than it’s been in previous EKGs. But everything else was A-OK (CBC and no blood clots determined by D-Dimer) but my mind focused on that elevated QTC Calculation so what did I do? Google... lead me to LQTS (Long QT Syndrome) which is very rare and very fatal for the most part. But mostly congenital. I did a Virtual doctor visit and he reasurred me that based on previous EKGs and wearing the event monitor, that I have nothing to worry about but I could NOT get over it. So I went to ER. My blood pressure was high 159/91... once again stress induced. I’m normal 120’s/low 80’s. They hooked me up to another EKG and it was PERFECT. No elevated QTC Calculation, nothing. They also did cardiac enzyme (troponin) and it was perfect. Also checked thyroid, perfect. So I went home feeling silly but relieved that I had a good EKG this time. But I woke up having those “WHAT IFs” so I asked an online cardiologist and once again, was reassured that I do NOT have LQTS and every test I’ve had had ruled that out but I’ve still been obsessing over it!!! I know you all aren’t medical doctors, but goodness, I’m sure you all can relate. You’ve had every test to rule out XYZ and you still get those “what if’s”?

Also, I was considering starting 5mg Lexapro next week but online it says it can cause Long QTC calculation so now I’m too scared to start it!

Anxiety sucks.
 
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