I need to do a better job of reminding myself that when I Google, it ends badly. Every now and then, I will talk myself into it, and this nearly always backfires.
Case in point: Lately I have had some abdominal discomfort, so I decided to Google gastritis - a condition that showed up when I had an upper endoscopy three years ago. I never gave it much thought until yesterday, because it really doesn't sound serious. It basically just means they found some stomach inflammation, which isn't really surprising since they told me I had a couple small, non-bleeding ulcers.
Well, when I Googled, I saw that gastritis can be caused by autoimmune diseases (my biggest concern.) Now, factor in the fact that my endoscopy also showed damage to the lining of my small intestine, and a colonoscopy from 2006 showed a spot of non-specific inflammation. No reason for any of this has been found, as tests for more specific illness like celiac, crohn's, colitis and h.pylori infetcion have been negative. Because the biopsies haven't show anything like cancer, I haven't really let these spots of inflammation worry me much.
Now that's all changing. For the past several years I have been concerned I have some sort of autoimmune / connective tissue disease, given a host of unexplained issues. No doctor has given these concerns much merit. I even went to a rheumatologist recently for an evaluation, and even though she wasn't that suspicious, she gave me a thorough evaluation. In fact, she ordered seven pages of tests and everything came back fine. This included tests looked for various autoimmune disease antibodies and for inflammation (e.g. SED rate and C-reactive protein tests).
As thrilled as I was that everything came back fine, I also know how tricky autoimmune diseases can be to detect. So it is hard to feel "in the clear."
And ever since reading about gastritis, I am going back and obsessing over my colonoscopy and endoscopy results from years ago, wondering why these tests showed spots of inflammation / ulceration. Is it another sign of some sinister autoimmune problem that is yet to be diagnosed? Are other parts of my body also being damaged? (Probably, since I have neuropathy-type pain, too!)
As you can see, the negative thoughts are spiraling. Has anyone else had non-specific inflammation show up on digestive tests? Or can anyone just help me see the rational side of things, if indeed I am not looking at things rationally. I don't even know anymore!