Physical Health Symptoms due to panic attacks or chronic anxiety

Posted by Bettyann @bettyann, Oct 29, 2011

I was just hoping someone might share their stories if you can relate to having physical symptoms (a lot of bowel/abdomen problems, IBS) that come and go…and seem SO real…in spite of blood tests turning out OK. It’s like so much of the time I am in a constant state of ‘mild anxiety’ so often feeling SO weird and out of place.
…and sometimes I feel like something is ‘really wrong’ or that I am a terrible hypochondirac.
I don’t want to get into a lot of drugs.. I take only one Rx and that is .5 (point 5) mg of Lorazempam (Ativan) for sleeping problems.
Can anybody relate to this and would you be willing to share something with me that helped you? I would really appreciate it.
THANK YOU!

I’ve had nervous stomach & like a “spacey”feeling from time to time. Sometimes I keep a journal about feelings – good or bad – whatever comes to mind.Just writing it out eases my nervousness. Or talking to someone who just listens & doesn’t judge me helps get out my nervous energy. Walking (especially in the sunshine) and also deep breathing slowly through my nose helps. I also ask god to take care of me and I try to do one small kindness for another person. I hope some of these suggestions help. I hate to hear that you’re suffering & you’re in my prayers – send a prayer for me too! Thanks, Bettyann.

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@jkprice1958gmailcom

I’ve had nervous stomach & like a “spacey”feeling from time to time. Sometimes I keep a journal about feelings – good or bad – whatever comes to mind.Just writing it out eases my nervousness. Or talking to someone who just listens & doesn’t judge me helps get out my nervous energy. Walking (especially in the sunshine) and also deep breathing slowly through my nose helps. I also ask god to take care of me and I try to do one small kindness for another person. I hope some of these suggestions help. I hate to hear that you’re suffering & you’re in my prayers – send a prayer for me too! Thanks, Bettyann.

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Hello friend, and thank you! I just got up from meditating/praying, opened up the computer and there was your kind note!! I don’t believe in ‘accidents’…so I doubly thank you. I circle you with a golden healing light. My worst times are early mornings when I first wake up and thoughts go amuck…but I KNOW that will eventually NOT be a problem. Thank you so much for answering..

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I have had GI problems since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and over the years I developed a lot of anxiety because of it. I started avoiding situations and preferred to just stay home because I didn’t want to have an episode in public. A little over a year ago I went through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and that helped me tremendously with the mental aspect of having GI problems. It’s not traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and talk about how you feel … it’s actually doing the things that make you anxious and learning how to cope with the anxiety. And the more you expose yourself to the things that cause the anxiety the more you “acclimate”, so to speak. I highly reccomend CBT to anyone who has anxiety. I still have GI issues but I’m SO much better at dealing with them.

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@shaelaruns

I have had GI problems since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and over the years I developed a lot of anxiety because of it. I started avoiding situations and preferred to just stay home because I didn’t want to have an episode in public. A little over a year ago I went through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and that helped me tremendously with the mental aspect of having GI problems. It’s not traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and talk about how you feel … it’s actually doing the things that make you anxious and learning how to cope with the anxiety. And the more you expose yourself to the things that cause the anxiety the more you “acclimate”, so to speak. I highly reccomend CBT to anyone who has anxiety. I still have GI issues but I’m SO much better at dealing with them.

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Dear Shaela, THANK YOU for this comment! This really interests me and appeals to me, mostly likely because it seems to fit in with my own spiritual/metaphysical beliefs of ‘facing’ it, letting it be and then dealing with it…’staring down your dragons with love’…I will definately look into this. =)

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@shaelaruns

I have had GI problems since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and over the years I developed a lot of anxiety because of it. I started avoiding situations and preferred to just stay home because I didn’t want to have an episode in public. A little over a year ago I went through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and that helped me tremendously with the mental aspect of having GI problems. It’s not traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and talk about how you feel … it’s actually doing the things that make you anxious and learning how to cope with the anxiety. And the more you expose yourself to the things that cause the anxiety the more you “acclimate”, so to speak. I highly reccomend CBT to anyone who has anxiety. I still have GI issues but I’m SO much better at dealing with them.

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I’m the same way as you … would prefer not to take medication unless absolutely necessary. Check out the show Obsessed on A&E (if you don’t have cable it’s available on Netflix). It follows people going through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy … although they have OCD rather than anxiety. A little more on my own personal experience – I got to a point where I refused to be driven by anyone, I cut a lot of foods out of my diet, and I had a lot of anxiety when it came to eating in public. One of my “exposures” was riding the bus while eating a snack that I would never dream of eating (my therapist made me eat Fritos). For another exposure my therapist picked me up and drove me to a restaurant for dinner but didn’t tell me where we were going. At the restaurant I had to eat something I had formerly cut out of my diet because I thought it made me sick. Through the course of CBT I realized that the foods I cut out of my diet weren’t making me sick and I actually feel better if I eat more of a variety. Essentially the exposures are designed to make you have an “panic attack”. But your therapist is with you and realistically talks you through it. And once you’re in the “panic attack” you need to stay in the situation until your anxiety comes down. If you escape when you’re anxiety peaks you’re reinforcing your safety behavors (i.e. when I feel like X, I can do X to relieve it – in my case, I felt anxiety eating in a restaurant so I would just pick up my food to go and eat at home instead). Every time you do that provoking activity the anxiety is less severe. CBT is hard work and it’s a commitment … but I can’t even tell you how worth it is is!

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Dear Betty Ann, I feel as if we are old friends. I was hoping someone like you existed so I would not feel so all alone in my misery. Just knowing you are not alone is half the battle. Mine is a long story so I wont bore you except to say I understaand and would like to keep in touch. I’ll reveal more in time. …Grams

Liked by Bettyann

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@jkprice1958gmailcom

I’ve had nervous stomach & like a “spacey”feeling from time to time. Sometimes I keep a journal about feelings – good or bad – whatever comes to mind.Just writing it out eases my nervousness. Or talking to someone who just listens & doesn’t judge me helps get out my nervous energy. Walking (especially in the sunshine) and also deep breathing slowly through my nose helps. I also ask god to take care of me and I try to do one small kindness for another person. I hope some of these suggestions help. I hate to hear that you’re suffering & you’re in my prayers – send a prayer for me too! Thanks, Bettyann.

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I dont know if it helps but i created a fear fighter – app for dealing with panic symptoms; hope its useful, greetings, g

Liked by Bettyann

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Constant worry over your health is very common for those who suffer from anxiety.
I , myself have simply learned to accept this illness as a part of me.
I do still worry that something is “wrong” despite all the tests and doctor visits.
Our brain can mess us up when it takes control over our thoughts….
I have found therapy to be very helpful.
We need to UN-LEARN the negative thinking and negative worry.

Liked by Bettyann

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@grams

Dear Betty Ann, I feel as if we are old friends. I was hoping someone like you existed so I would not feel so all alone in my misery. Just knowing you are not alone is half the battle. Mine is a long story so I wont bore you except to say I understaand and would like to keep in touch. I’ll reveal more in time. …Grams

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Dear Grams… I am SO SORRY that I have not replied until now…I did NOT receive a notice until this morning!!–Dec 7th…So please forgive what must have seemed like no appreciation for your nice and kind post.. Are we allowed to somehow give personal Email addresses. I would not want everyone to have access to it… Anyway…THANK YOU again for your post.
Have a really good day. Betty Ann

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@anon89880224

Constant worry over your health is very common for those who suffer from anxiety.
I , myself have simply learned to accept this illness as a part of me.
I do still worry that something is “wrong” despite all the tests and doctor visits.
Our brain can mess us up when it takes control over our thoughts….
I have found therapy to be very helpful.
We need to UN-LEARN the negative thinking and negative worry.

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I completely agree with what you are saying, Amberjune…I hesitate it expressing all of my own personal beliefs about ANY kind of illness itself because I do not want to offend anyone else’s beliefs… And you so hit in on the head about what you said about the dreaded “wrong”: word… this can be SUCH a big hang up… I’m so glad you brought that up. I so very much appreciate your post. THANK YOU. Again…I didn’t receive a notice that I even had any responses until this morning. So I apologize for that.

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@grams

Dear Betty Ann, I feel as if we are old friends. I was hoping someone like you existed so I would not feel so all alone in my misery. Just knowing you are not alone is half the battle. Mine is a long story so I wont bore you except to say I understaand and would like to keep in touch. I’ll reveal more in time. …Grams

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I don’t know about sharing email addresses but it seems like a good idea. Most recently I’ve been blogging on Mayo Clinic email health news Stress Blog. The doctor writes interesting advice. masimms47@aol.com GramS

Liked by Bettyann

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@grams

Dear Betty Ann, I feel as if we are old friends. I was hoping someone like you existed so I would not feel so all alone in my misery. Just knowing you are not alone is half the battle. Mine is a long story so I wont bore you except to say I understaand and would like to keep in touch. I’ll reveal more in time. …Grams

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THANK YOU for that!! =)

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@anon89880224

Constant worry over your health is very common for those who suffer from anxiety.
I , myself have simply learned to accept this illness as a part of me.
I do still worry that something is “wrong” despite all the tests and doctor visits.
Our brain can mess us up when it takes control over our thoughts….
I have found therapy to be very helpful.
We need to UN-LEARN the negative thinking and negative worry.

Jump to this post

Hi bettyanne.

We all just have to be straight up truthful with our little demons , and cope the best way we know how.
Whether it be anxiety, depression, cancer, heart problems, ect….. We have to deal with what is “given” to us.

It’s reality….. Its life ….. 🙂

Liked by Bettyann

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Hello Bettyann!! I really enjoyed reading your post!! I have diverticulitis and have constant worry and anxiety over it. I sometimes worry “am I going to experience it again?” and as soon as I think this thought I end up with constipation and pain in my left side. Plus I have to avoid grease and caffeine and these are the hardest things to give up.
I have had tests that came back fine and it appeared that I had nothing wrong. Finally one day my husband was with me at the hospital and told the doctor that I had a family history of diverticulitis. I thought I had a UTI because I am always getting UTI’s. I finally received the diagnosis of diverticulitis. As stated above I know when I am having a flare up with diverticulitis and I can go to the hospital and the tests may come back ok. The last time I went to the hospital my WBC count was 400 over what it should be and I was experiencing terrible pain. I wish the doctor would have admitted me to the hospital but I do not have health insurance so I can not be admitted unless it is an emergency. I wanted IV medications to feel better instantly. The next time I go to the hospital I am telling the doctor to give me IV Cipro and Flagyl because I am sick for two to three weeks with diverticulitis. I am prescribed a narcotic pain medication but it constipates me worse. I wish they could make a narcotic pain medication that would not cause constipation.
I know sometimes it would feel like I was having a UTI and my urinalysis would reveal that I did not have an infection. I would ask the doctor if it was possible that I had an infection and it was not showing up and he would say no but a few days later I would have an infection and this was before I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. I now know it is either diverticulitis, constipation, or a UTI, or a yeast infection because of the antibiotics I take for the diverticulitis.
Please never feel like you are a hypochondriac and never let any doctors, nurses, or any medical personnel make you feel like you are a hypochondriac. They are not in your body and do not understand what you are experiencing and how you are feeling.
My advise to you is to study up on your condition and ask your doctor many questions about your condition. I always look up conditions on here and on webmd.com They explain things easily. I always explain to my doctor what medications work best for me. I know many things about my condition and this helps my doctor out too.
I know when I go to the doctor or hospital and my blood pressure is high I am in pain. If you blood pressure is usually normal and you go to the doctor and it is high and you are in pain it is high because you are in pain. Also any health condition a person has I believe causes them anxiety and sleep problems. I once had a full blown panic attack and it was not even when I was sick with diverticulitis. I ended up going to the hospital because I was wheezing and thought I might have asthma. It turned out to be a really bad panic attack.
I hope this information helps. Please let me know if it helps. We can exchange e-mail addresses if you would like. I hope you feel better soon and have a wonderful Wednesday night!! Take care.

Sincerely,

Michelle

Liked by Bettyann

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@shaelaruns

I have had GI problems since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and over the years I developed a lot of anxiety because of it. I started avoiding situations and preferred to just stay home because I didn’t want to have an episode in public. A little over a year ago I went through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and that helped me tremendously with the mental aspect of having GI problems. It’s not traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and talk about how you feel … it’s actually doing the things that make you anxious and learning how to cope with the anxiety. And the more you expose yourself to the things that cause the anxiety the more you “acclimate”, so to speak. I highly reccomend CBT to anyone who has anxiety. I still have GI issues but I’m SO much better at dealing with them.

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ShaelaRuns,
This is excellent advice!! I have watched many television shows where therapists put people with anxiety into a situation where they experience anxiety and they realize they can deal with what they thought was so terrible. CBT is an excellent idea for people trying to overcome their anxiety. I also would recommend for a person to close their eyes, slow their breathing, and go to their happy place. They should imagine a wonderful place and being in a place were they are happy. This technique has really helped me when I was experiencing anxiety. My husband has helped talk me out of anxiety attacks and panic attacks too. He is the best!! This advice you gave to Bettyann is fantastic and excellent advice!! Excellent post!! Thanks for your story and again excellent advice!! Take care and have a wonderful Wednesday night!!

Sincerely,

Michelle

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