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Author Topic: Having trouble distinguishing symptoms, if nothing else want some reassurance  (Read 290 times)

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Offline ObiLaws

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Hey guys, this is my second time posting here about my own issues. I'm still relatively new here but I'm very much loving it and am very appreciative of the sense of community and atmosphere that is cultivated here. So without further ado, I'll just get to business. I have a previous post here: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,87310.0.html

So this is somewhat of a continuation of that previous post. I've transitioned over here to the HA forum because my anxiety has definitely evolved to that point. The main reason for this post however is to throw some test results around, ask some questions about them, and get some people who are experienced with anxiety's viewpoints on what's going on with me just to see some different viewpoints and hopefully find some reassurance, if nothing else.

I had a follow-up visit with my doctor and had a blood test done. The blood test said everything came back normal except for my blood calcium level. This worried me because I had blood drawn about a year ago and had high blood calcium at that time as well. They had me do it again and just said I was fine so I wrote it off. The doctor specifically said they'd have to have me come back in to have another special test done for my PTH (parathyroid hormone) level. With this information, I decided to look up what it could mean and found that high blood calcium is usually linked to hyperparathyroidism. Looking in to the symptoms of it, I found that it's a possibility for me. It explained a lot of things that I'd been experiencing over the past year or so, before the past few weeks with my really bad anxiety started. I'd felt slightly depressed and had been thinking more depressedly over the past year or so and had been experiencing what I called "growing pains" every now and then, what felt like bone aches. Of course, because hyperparathyroidism affects blood calcium, it'll make your bones hurt. It can also cause depression and anxiety. I'm almost 100% set on the idea that my anxiety must be being caused by a physiological factor due to no prior personal history of anxiety or mental disorder and only a weak familial history of it. There are also some other big warning symptoms as well, such as GERD. There was no familial history or age-related reason for me to develop GERD last November but I did, and it's gotten exponentially worse since this ordeal started. Besides that, there's been an omnipresent lump in my throat that persists regardless of my mental state.

My problem is that I'm not sure how much faith my calcium level gives me that I have this physical problem that's causing me mental anguish. The letter said that 8.4-10.4 was a normal calcium level and that I was at 10.5. By that same token, the go-to website for parathyroid information gives me two bits of information that give me further pause for thought: one being that it doesn't matter how high the calcium level is (any elevation is abnormal) but rather how long the calcium has been elevated. However, the other thing the website said is that teenagers and young adults tend to have higher calcium levels naturally so I'm not sure what to believe.

As far as my anxiety goes, I've definitely progressed into health anxiety at this point. I'm hypervigilant of everything going on with my body and feel every little sensation and sometimes even freak out over sensations I've had before and have become familiar with. I keep having different sensations back and forth between my chest and head/neck region that are more or less tightness/tension but it freaks me the hell out and makes me think the worst. Those are common anxiety problems, right? That's what I keep telling myself. Another thing too is that I've been crying to the point of hardcore sobbing maybe once or twice everyday recently, can that cause some of the physical things I've been feeling? Like chest tightness, face tightness/soreness, upper abdominal tightness, etc. I think it could since you use all of those things pretty strongly during a good sob session and it could cause them to be tight/sore the next couple days but I'm not sure. That's the root of my problem. I'm so unsure of what's going on and I'm so afraid and I just don't know why I'm feeling what I'm feeling and it's really scary and fatiguing. I could really use any reassurance that you guys could offer.

Thanks

Cody
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Offline mollyfin

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Those are common anxiety problems, right?

Extremely.  They seem like some of the most common judging by the number of posts there are about them.  Really, everything you describe could be anxiety.  I guess you'll find out for sure when you get the thyroid test!  Thyroid problems are also pretty common and treatable.
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Offline ObiLaws

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I'm also worried about my digestive tract too now. I don't know if it's GERD or what but I've been having excessive belching that sometimes helps to release the pressure in my upper abdomen and chest. I also feel some burning in my gut and have trouble finding my appetite sometimes. I do get occasional heartburn but nowhere near as much as I did when I was first diagnosed with GERD. Along with that, my allergies are acting up too, causing me to have a stuffy nose and chest congestion that only hike up my anxiety even further, which continues to exacerbate my problems. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks :)

Cody
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Offline mollyfin

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I think you're correct about GERD or something similar.  Tried zantac or something similar?
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Offline ObiLaws

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My doctor prescribed me omeprazole for the GERD. It worked wonders for a while but hasn't been as effective lately. Unfortunately, I haven't tried zantac. As an update, I went to see the doctor today and he said he didn't think there was anything direly wrong with me, just that my life currently has been very stressful which might've worsened my anxiety, which in turn worsened my GERD, which in turn gave me physical symptoms that worsened my anxiety, as a sort of vicious feedback loop. I think after some clear thinking today I started to get at the root of my anxiety and depression, which helps. It also helps that the doctor reassured me that I was perfectly okay and nothing was wrong with me that I needed to worry about. He started me on the smallest possible dose of lexapro for the anxiety and depression to hopefully get me through these last few weeks of school. Anything I should know about any of this?

Thanks for the replies and help guys :)
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Offline mollyfin

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Lexapro, like any other antidepressant, can cause minor unpleasant side effects that can be worrisome for hypochondriacs.  Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headaches and dry mouth are some of the more common ones.  If they happen, don't fret. 
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Offline ObiLaws

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Thanks for the heads up. I'm hoping the side effects will be minimal, if present at all, but that may just be wishful thinking. I'm reallllyyy hoping it will help.
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There is no emotion, there is peace.
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