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Avatar universal

Anxiety- Help!

Hi all!I am female and 32 years old. I have GERD and gastritis but nothing else health wise. The thing is since almost 2 years I started obssesing with my health. Let me give you a little background.

It all started at the end of 2014 when I had salmonella. It was an awful time for me since I was in constant pain, nausea, going to the bathroom etc. After the salmonella I started having some gastro problems, that's when I was diagnosed with gastrits and GERD after and upper GI. I started taking Omeprazole and things started looking better. It was during that time that I was nearly 70 pounds overweight and was diagnosed with a fatty liver too. I think that was my turning point cause the Dr that preformed the echo told me that I had a fatty liver and that if I didn't lose weight fast my liver could be damaged and I could die. When she told me that I started panicking. I lost 35 pounds in a 2 month period cause I was scared of dying from liver complications. Then I started having problems with my gallbladder and had it removed a year ago. I have lost almost 60 pounds since the end of 2014. I need to lose 13 pounds more to reach my ideal weight but I am happy with how I look today (I went from a size 18 to a size 10) During this stressful period I started having ocassional PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) and started obssesing with my heart. I've gone to a cardiologist who performed an EKG, Echo, blood tests and Chest X'ray and the conclusion is that my heart is normal and healthy. My thyroid, sugar levels, liver and pancreatic enzymes etc checked out fine too. I still think something is wrong with my heart though. I am just so scared of dying of heart failure or something. There`s no family history with heart issues, no heart attacks or abnormalities. I just feel I am going to drop dead sometimes. Don't know why I am so scared and obsessed about my heart. I feel my pulse several times a day to check that my heart is beating ok. Also I started worrying about my family, about my parents health and that I don't want anything wrong happen to them and that they die. Also about my brother. I just want to tell them to have their hearts checked out, I don't want them to die from a heart attack or something.

I recently had my liver checked a couple of months ago and the good thing is its no longer fatty, its now a normal, healthy liver. Now I am having constant gastro problems but I am starting to think its all down to anxiety. I've never felt so out of control in my life. When I was heavier I never felt anything, I felt great! I want to feel great again. Please help me! Sometimes I feel great again but then the obsessing starts again. I even stopped excercising cause I am scared of my heart. I want my mind to stop worrying and let me live! I am 32 and sometimes feel 80.

Thank you so much for reading this long post and your help!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
First, if you have the willpower to lose all that weight, you have the willpower to go into therapy and cure any anxiety problems you might have.  The medication for GERD and gastritis can be worse than the "disease," because the more you suppress stomach acid the harder it is to digest protein and minerals, which need a high acid environment to digest.  So an important issue is, what did you do to lose that weight?  Did you take any supplements that might have been stimulating?  Or drugs?  Remember that gastritis isn't a diagnosis, it's a description -- it just means inflammation was found, it doesn't tell you why.  There are natural remedies and dietary changes and lifestyle changes that might be able to deal with this.  As for your heart, that's a classic anxiety symptom found all over this forum -- people feel that strong feeling when they feel very anxious and assume it's their heart.  It's usually not.  Stopping exercise isn't good for your heart, it's the cause of heart problems -- sedentary living.  I think you've been through a lot and it couldn't hurt to talk to a therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment to help you get back to level.  And make sure the things you did to lose weight and whatever you're eating didn't leave you with an unhealthful diet in terms of overstimulating yourself.
Avatar universal
Thank you Paxiled! I lost weight eating healthy (no sugar, little carbohidrates, no fried food) and walking daily for 30-45 min. I didn't take any weight loss pills or anything like that.  I do follow the GERD diet and life style changes so as to not make it worse. I am trying to go off Omeprazole but when I do I start having acid reflux again. I am going back to my gastro doctor to let her know about this. I know I should probably start walking again at least as to feel better and keep my body healthy. I just need to get past my fear.

I am looking into doing yoga or meditation what do you think? I also started coloring and that helps with my anxiety some. I know I should probably go to a therapist but I don't want to take anxiety meds. As you said if I had the willpower to lose all that weight I can work on getting my anxiety under control.

Thank you so much for your help and time :)
Therapists don't do medication, they do talk therapy.  GERD is a digestion problem, which is why when you stop the medication for it the symptoms come back -- you haven't dealt with the cause.  Not that it's an easy thing to do.  When you say you eat few carbs, I hope you mean few simple carbs.  Remember, vegetables and fruits are carbs, as are whole grains, and without them you can't be healthy, you can't get your antioxidants and you can't get your fiber (and so your digestion doesn't work properly).  Remember that in order to digest protein, particularly animal protein, the stomach must become very acidic, which might be part of your problem -- not enough balance.  Vegetable sources of protein, such as nuts and beans, have a combination of protein and carbs and so are more balanced.  This is what I mean by making sure when you lose weight you do it with a diet you can live on permanently and not one that has other problems for you.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Thank you Paxiled, yes I meant simple carbs like bread, pasta etc. I do eat vegetables, fruit, nuts etc. I want to check my vitamin B levels cause I know that prolonged use of acid suppresors can cause Vitamin B levels to decrease. You are right though there might be some sort of balance problem. I need to talk to my Dr and ask her for some Vitamin, electrolytes, hormone test, to see if my levels are ok or if I need a supplement.

Thank you again for your thorough answers!
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