Anxiety or Stomach Issues?

Edited , 3 users are following.

Me: 35-year old white male, slightly overweight (not obese), non-smoker and occasional drinker. I have no underlying conditions and am generally in good health. I rarely even get colds.

Nearing now 4-months ago I went to Urgent Care complaining of mild chest and abdonimal pain. The pain was transient and I can only describe it as the sensation of being somewhat painfully poked in various parts of my chest and upper abdomen. At the UC they did an EKG, urinalysis and chest x-ray. All were normal. The doctor insisted I had anxiety and sent me on my way. I can be an anxious person, this is true, but I know what I feel like when I'm anxious and this wasn't it.

A few months go by and it never fully goes away, but it's more uncomfortable than painful so I just learn to live with it. Then about a month ago I start noticing it more. The chest pains and abdominal pains seem more frequent and hurt just a little more. Again, not so much painful just super uncomfortable and unnatural feeling . I decide it's time to see my GP and make an appointment. The annoying thing is they only do initial video visits because of Covid-19, but it's better than nothing.

A week before the appointment I'm awoken at 4-am to chest pain. It's centralized to the center of my chest and feels like and intense cramping/tightening. I call the 24-hr nurse hotline setup by my insurance and am told to go to the ER to be sure it's not my heart. Once there they do a complete blood workup and another chest x-ray. Normal tests again. The ER doctor is perplexed but doesn't think I'm in any danger as the feeling passed. He's circling some kind of indigestion causing it and tells me to take Mylanta if it happens again.

The week leading up to my video doctor appointment is much of the same. The same chest pains. The same abdominal pains. Sometimes I feel like I have some burning or tightening sensation in my abdomen, but THAT could be anxiety as that's how I normally present and now I actually am starting to get anxious. I try Nexium and Mylanta to see if they help. They do not. In fact the moment I start the Nexium I start having upset stomach, so I only do it for 5-days and stop.

The video appointment with my doctor is pretty much the same schpeal I've gotten with the UC and ER doctors. He thinks it's anxiety, indigestion or it's something muscular-skeletal. I tell him my concerns that Dr. Google told me of stomach cancer and esophageal cancer, but he tells me I'm too young and my symptoms don't really align. Esophogeal he says I'd have trouble swallowing and stomach he says in all his years he's only ever seen 1 case of someone my age having it.

Since the video appointment on Oct. 31st, mild constipation and bloat have set in. I've always been super regular but now when I go and it's not super productive. I will say that my bowel movements look healthy to me when I do manage to go. I don't have diarrhea. I also noticed after meals I have chest pressure that goes away after a while until I eat again. As for the abdomnial and chest pain, the chest pressure seems much the same but the abdominal pain seems to be moving around and now I've had pain in my flanks. The pain doesn't seem to favor a side.

With this extra symptoms I've made an appointment to see my doctor in-person this coming Friday, but I'm at somewhat at a loss. Could it be anxiety? Maybe. Could it be being stuck in a chair all day working from home during Covid-19 and not being active? Maybe. I'm at the point where I am leaning on something gastrointestinal even though Dr. Google tells me all the awful things are happening to me.

Has anyone out there had anything like this happen or can anyone provide any insight? Much appreciated.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    hi Michael, i don't think this is all in your head! i think you have some sort of health anxiety, there's a syndrome called white coat syndrome, where you have fear if you are near any medical professional. you could try just plain old gaviscon ecery time you eat, follow the dosage and try the maximum dose to dampen down the burning. can i ask a seemingly stupid question - do you get food that burns in to the back of your throat? do certain foods make this worse? do you possibly have gastritis is my thought. someone will know you just haven't found the correct person yet....

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    • Posted

      I have never really had the classic acid reflux symptom of that burning in the back of your throat. I've gotten that maybe a dozen times in my whole life if I eat too fast and then start running around, but that's less reflux and more "I need to not eat and run around like an animal". I've also never experienced heartburn. I did ask my doctor if it could be acid reflux without the classic signs and he said yes it presents differently in everyone.

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  • Posted

    I think your symptoms are definitely a gastro problem and you may have the answer when you say you are sitting working at home all day. Are you sitting correctly ? Are you working at a desk and maybe slouched? Are you eating too much fatty food or sugary food? Do you take proper breaks to eat? Get up and go out for a walk? All these will bring on the sort of symptoms you are describing.

    Your doctor is right. Probably you are over anxious and reading all sorts of diagnoses into this

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    • Posted

      I'm sure you're right. When I was in the office I was all over the place. At home there's really not much to do but desk to couch to bed in a cycle. I mix it up with walks but I can't be nearly as active when I was going to the office every day. I do legit think something is up and it's not just anxiety, but I have a sense it's not something horrible and my thinking about it is what makes it horrible.

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  • Posted

    Sam has given you good advice about Gaviscon. Easily obtainable and often is the only remedy you need. But do have a look at your diet as well. Keep it light with plenty of fresh fruit and veg. Keep alcohol to a minimum and not every day.

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