Currently going through the exact same thing for 9 days. Let me just say, from personal experience, six-pack is right on the money (she always is--listen to her!) I first became acquainted with anxiety zone four years ago when, after a particularly stressful summer (where I was diagnosed with and receiving treatment for a benign, but nasty unheard at my age sexual function disorder--Peyronie's disease) I lost my sh*t when, after 3 years of being a vegetarian, I ate a lot of meat and screwed up my bowels. I became obsessed with narrow stool (thanks to Google, of course) and studied every stool and talked about every stool on here. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the diameter "just right" and I continually read all this conflicting information online: narrow stool was a sure sign of colon cancer/this was outdated medical knowledge and it wasn't an indicator of colon cancer, etc. Eventually, after a year of hell on earth and looking at every BM, I "moved on" to lymphoma, and of course continued to find lymph nodes all over my body. I could count upwards of 19 or 20 at one time (now? maybe 3 shotty ones). Last summer, I was worried again about my bowels because I had some sticky, diarrhea and gas. So, guess what? For that whole summer (3 months) EVERY TIME I went to the bathroom, I had sticky, diarrhea, and of course terrible gas every night (and I am not really prone to gas). Finally, after again consulting Dr. Google, I read that floating stools, which Im pretty sure Ive always had, are a symptom of pancreatic cancer: guess what happens? all stools return to normal (you know, 3s, 4s and 5s on the Bristol Stool Scale) and EVERY stool floats. And Google says you know, this is accompanied by mid back pain especially when you x,y, and z, and you know oh ***** I have that too!! Etc etc etc etc etc
Anyway, sorry, that had a lot more to do with poo than I wanted it to. I assure you, I've thought about other things over the last couple of years. But, as six-pack pointed out, I've noticed a similar pattern, it usually starts one of two ways:
1) There's anxiety bubbling over (because you and I are anxious people) and it tells us, FIND ME SOMETHING TO FOCUS ON I AM HUNGRY, and so you , being the obedient slave that you are, start doing your checking. For me, 10 days ago, we lost power here thanks to Hurricane Arthur, and so, bored and without the internet haha and feeling some crazy anxiety, I go to the mirror and examine my tongue, in the dark, with a flashlight. Lo and behold I notice a dent on the left side, and so I wrench my tongue back and forth for what seems like an hour and a half, telling myself that after every examination I'll drop it and move on with my life, but I can't because anxiety is eating this up, and anxiety is building and getting stronger and stronger. Eventually, I let it go (mainly because I can't consult Google with no power) and I move on. Sure enough, the next day, because anxiety is hungry again, I look in the mirror and--yeah, you guessed it--I see a flickering on the left side of my tongue. Power's back on, I google, I fall head over heels into the ALS rabbit hole. I read about more symptoms, I check my tongue, I see these symptoms, anxiety builds, I read more symptoms, I check my tongue, anxiety builds, etc etc etc
2) Similar to the first, but with one key difference: the symptom, a minor bodily noise like a twitch or a headache or a backache or constipation, rears its head LIKE IT DOES IN EVERYBODY but because of your ol pal anxiety who is hungry (he's always hungry) you go to Google, knowing the results but unable to resist the compulsion, and you fall down the rabbit hole of x disease. The other day, I asked my girlfriend, a well adjusted person with very little anxiety, what kind of noise her body was creating for her at that moment. She said "my toe hurts" I asked her a few questions about how it hurt, etc. and we Googled it and the first result was Diabetic Neuropathy, and did you know that you can have Diabetes without knowing it, and in fact, x% of people present find their diabetes on routine exam, and that ALL toe pain that does not subside needs to be investigated by a doctor to rule out serious symptoms, and if you keep digging, you find studies where a small number of people with toe pain have terrible disease x after having test b and etc etc etc
Your brain is one of the wonders of this universe. It does so much. It's primary objective being to keep you alive, and so when you tell it that something is worrisome, it flags it as important, and a large percentage of it's capabilities(or actually, relatively small because it is that amazing but you know what I mean) become focused on that THING you are so afraid of (that thing that used to be a saber-toothed tiger, or a bear) and suddenly EVERYTHING that has anything at all to do with that thing in your mind is HIGHLIGHTED and presented to you in such a subjective, hellish, fear ridden light that to you it will always be that thing to fear, that thing to get the hell away from. And meanwhile, some other part of your amazing brain, continues to send it's impulse to that twitching tongue, or that tingly calf, or those loose bowels, or that strained eye, or that dry mouth, or that rapid heart beat, or that sore back, or that thing stuck in your throat, etc etc etc.
Etc etc etc.
Hang in there, bud.