Topic: Hypochondria research
May 26, 2019 / By Blanid Question:
A few days ago, while sittiting at the computer, I went to reach for a bottle of water, and all of the sudden it seemed like the entire room spun, just for a second. For a while after this event, I felt a little lightheaded. I have been fine since, but felt a little lightheaded earlier as I was going to sit on a table. I am an 18 year old male, and the only thing I can think of to tell you is that I take Airborne, and occasionally I take Simply Sleep to help me fall asleep (I am in College). Also lately I have been having a lot of gas, and for the past 2 days the muscles in my legs have ached. I am drinking water, so i do not think I am dehydrated, but I am not sure what it could be. I don't know if I should go to the doctor, but I am starting to worry a little bit. What do you think?
Airla | 4 days ago
People with hypochondria are overwhelmingly convinced that even innocuous physical symptoms are an indication that they have a serious disease or illness. They aren't reassured by doctors or medical tests showing that they're in good health. Instead, they may turn to doctor after doctor and demand test after test in search of a diagnosis.
Although people with hypochondria have often been the butt of jokes and ridicule, this severe form of health anxiety is nothing to laugh about. Hypochondria, also called hypochondriasis, is a serious mental disorder that can sometimes consume the lives of those it affects, even becoming disabling.
Unfortunately, because hypochondria can be so ingrained, many people won't consider the possibility that they have a mental disorder and steadfastly refuse to seek help from mental health professionals. But recent research has shown that treatment with psychotherapy can be effective for hypochondria, allowing people to learn to live well with their discomfort, if not completely recover from their health anxiety.
Signs and symptoms
Hypochondria is a type of psychosomatic disorder, which means it's a psychological disorder with physical symptoms. Signs and symptoms revolve around bodily symptoms, functions or sensations. These bodily symptoms are often perfectly real, such as a cough, a sore on your skin or stomach pain. But people with hypochondria misinterpret these symptoms and attribute them to an imagined disease, such as cancer, heart disease or stroke, even when medical evidence proves otherwise.
Common symptoms of hypochondria include:
Excessive fear or anxiety about having a particular disease or condition
Worry that minor symptoms mean you have a serious illness
Seeking repeated medical exams or consultations
"Doctor shopping," or frequently switching doctors
Frustration with doctors or medical care
Strained social relationships
Obsessive health research
Frequent checking of your body for problems, such as lumps or sores
Frequent checking of vital signs, such as pulse or blood pressure
Inability to be reassured by good medical exams
Thinking you have a disease after reading or hearing about it
Avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious, such as being in a hospital
Some people with hypochondria may also attribute nonphysical problems to a serious disease. For instance, someone who can't remember where they put their car keys or eyeglasses may incorrectly believe that they have Alzheimer's disease.
Hypochondria can vary in intensity. Many people with hypochondria are absolutely sure that they have a certain disease, and getting a diagnosis becomes their primary focus in life. They visit numerous doctors and specialists. If one doctor tells them they aren't sick, they don't believe it and seek out other opinions. They may seek numerous tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiograms or even exploratory surgery. They may think that the lack of a diagnosis means they're getting poor medical care. They may relentlessly talk about their symptoms or suspected diseases with family and friends.
On the flip side, others with hypochondria are so fearful that something's wrong that they can't bear to go to the doctor because they believe they'll get bad news.
Still others have a less intense form of hypochondria. Their worry may always be simmering in the background even if it doesn't compel them to make frequent medical appointments.
The normal human body constantly produces a variety of sensations and symptoms — a random pain here, a twitch there. Most people never notice these, just ignore them or treat them as the common, everyday ills that they usually are. For people with hypochondria, however, every sensation or symptom, no matter how minor, to them is evidence that they have a serious or life-threatening disease. A headache, for example, signals a brain tumor. A shaky hand signals Parkinson's disease. A cough, lung cancer.
Why one person is able to ignore common bodily sensations while another winds up with hypochondria isn't known — hypochondria has no specific known cause. Some experts now believe that hypochondria is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and further research may help shed light on that connection.
In addition, some research suggests that the body's natural fight-or-flight response may be partly responsible. People with hypochondria often feel anxiety. Anxiety can cause a physiological arousal in the body that includes an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness and other sensations. People with hypochondria mistakenly interpret these symptoms as further evidence of illness, which increases their anxiety, and in turn, intensifies their symptoms, creating a vicious cycle.
Hypochondria occurs about equally in men and women. It can develop at any age, even in children, but it most often begins in early adulthood. Current estimates suggest that from 1 percent to 5 percent of the population has hypochondria.
Although the cause of hypochondria remains unknown, some factors seem to increase the risk of developing the condition, including:
Having a serious illness in childhood
Knowing family members or others with a serious disease
The death of a loved one
Having an anxiety disorder
A rigid belief that being in good health means that you are free of all physical symptoms or sensations
Having close family members with hypochondria
Feeling especially vulnerable to illness or disease
When to seek medical advice
One of the hallmarks of hypochondria is frequent medical visits. At some point, a doctor, nurse or other health care professional may suggest that you visit a mental health professional for evaluation. Instead, you may simply find a new doctor or nurse.
When you have hypochondria, it seems to make no sense to visit a mental health professional because you know that you have a physical disease. But try to keep an open mind. Be willing to consider the possibility that you have hypochondria. Ask trusted family and friends if they think you'd benefit from a mental health evaluation.
If you realize that your pursuit of a diagnosis has essentially taken over your life, that you worry constantly about your health, or that you don't believe doctors who tell you that you're in good health, consider talking to a mental health professional.
Getting diagnosed is important because it can help you get started in treatment earlier. Delaying treatment can allow the hypochondria to become more severe, making it more difficult to treat.
Screening and diagnosis
Although hypochondria is a mental disorder, your health care professional will make sure that you aren't indeed physically ill. You may have a physical exam and other tests to rule out various illnesses.
Your doctor or mental health professional will also ask about your symptoms, how long you've had them, what triggers them and how they affect your life. Because hypochondria often goes hand in hand with other mental disorders, such as panic disorder and anxiety, you may be evaluated for other conditions as well. Your doctor may ask about your mood, anxiety and stress.
To be diagnosed with hypochondria, someone must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse costs for treatment.
Among the criteria for a diagnosis of hypochondria are:
A preoccupation, lasting for at least six months, that you have a serious illness based on your bodily symptoms
Distress about this preoccupation
Impairment in your social life, work or other daily routines
Hypochondria can be overwhelming and disabling. You may become so obsessed with finding a cause for your physical symptoms that it affects your daily functioning. You may frequently miss work or school. Your health may be all that you can think about or talk about, which can shut you off from family and friends.
Unfortunately, some people with hypochondria may indeed have a physical condition, and it may be overlooked by health care professionals who have grown frustrated with your frequent appointments and dismiss you without realizing that something truly is wrong this time.
You may also be subjected to unnecessary tests and procedures that have potential complications. Some people with hypochondria undergo risky exploratory surgery or have unneeded hospitalizations. And all of this, of course, can also hit you in the pocketbook.
Finally, constant anxiety about your health can drive you to unhealthy coping methods. You may develop irritation, frustration and anger over your inability to find out what's wrong. Ultimately, you may develop depression or substance abuse disorders.
Hypochondria is often a chronic condition. It can last for years because it's difficult to overcome deeply ingrained beliefs that you have a physical disease. Getting treatment earlier may offer better improvement of your symptoms.
Hypochondria treatment typically includes:
Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the primary treatment for hypochondria. Some research shows that a form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavior therapy is most effective for hypochondria. This form of psychotherapy helps you recognize and understand false beliefs driving your health anxiety. It also helps you learn to stop behavior associated with your anxiety, such as constantly monitoring your body for problems, a behavior known as body vigilance. Cognitive behavior therapy may also include exposure therapy, in which you directly confront your fears in a safe environment and learn skills to cope with these uncomfortable sensations.
Medications. Certain antidepressant medications may be helpful in treating hypochondria. Some research indicates that both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) may help relieve such symptoms as anxiety, fear of disease and somatic problems. However, these medications can cause side effects that may actually increase your health anxiety because you may wind up attributing them to a serious physical problem.
Because there's no known cause of hypochondria, there's no known particular way to prevent it. However, early recognition and treatment can reduce the impact on your life. Also, if you have a child who has a relative or classmate with a serious illness, it may help to talk openly to your child about any concerns or fears he or she has about illness.
Your hypochondria may never completely go away, but you can learn how to cope with your health anxiety so that it doesn't disrupt your life.
Consider these coping measures:
Find a health care professional you trust and stick with him or her. Don't "doctor shop," or continually seek out new doctors or health care professionals to run more tests or perform more procedures. Scheduling regular follow-up visits with your health care professional can help offer reassurance that you're OK.
For someone with hypochondria, the Internet is like being the proverbial kid in a candy store. Don't spend hours researching health information or looking up vague symptoms. Chances are, you'll find something you think you have, fueling your anxiety.
Consumer magazines are often full of stories with dire warnings about "overlooked" or "misdiagnosed" diseases that are just waiting to strike you down. Avoid reading these stories. They may only increase your anxiety, especially if they include common or vague symptoms.
Resist the urge to continually monitor your pulse or other vital signs or to check your body for signs of disease, such as lumps or sores. But because it's important to be aware of some signs and symptoms, talk to your doctor about what self-checks or self-exams are reasonable for you.
Ask for support and patience from family and friends who know you have hypochondria. Talking openly to them may help defray their own frustrations about your health anxiety, and they may be able to help you keep perspective.
Join a hypochondria or anxiety support group. You may bond with people who share common concerns, and you may also learn additional coping strategies
This is not meant to be sarcasm this is meant to help from a person who has read some of your other questions, and remembers how it feels to have this problem.
Call and give them the symptoms, include when you last ate, and how much you are drinking, when it happens most often. Is there a specific thing that brings it on? Don't count on an answer. I have had dizziness, and light headedness for about 1 years. They have tested me for everything they could think of, and I didn't get an answer. So, every time I feel it coming, I grab onto something, or sit down, basically to avoid passing out, because that is no fun. Do you actually black out, or get the tunnel vision, or spots, or is it just dizziness? Do you get car sick too, lately? If so it is more likely in your ears. Good luck! And I would have the doc test your blood for hypoglycemia and anemia just in case.
Possible side effects of Diphenhydramine :(simply sleep)
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, throat, and nose; thickening of mucus in nose or throat.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); convulsions; decreased alertness; excitability; fast heartbeat; hallucinations; tightness or pounding in the chest; tremor; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
There is not much in Airborne except a few vitamins but it does have quite a lot Vitamin C which would cause gas.
Some people do get kind of lighheaded and dizzy when they have a cold or the flu. Something to do with the inner ear.
When I had dizziness & lightheadedness, my doctor said it was my sinus's, so mostly everyday I have to take sudafed. Maybe it's an inner ear infection. As for the muscle aches & gas, I'm not sure. See your doctor, it's better to be safe than sorry.......Good luck!
Sounds like you are experience some low blood sugar symptoms, keeping hydrated is important, but so is eating right. Make sure you're not skipping meals, and u snack regularly in between. But the symptoms you are showing could also be a residual side effect of the sleeping pills. Read the label. Try not taking them for a day or two. If it continues, contact your doctor.