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I keep worrying about my health

(41 Posts)
Milly12 Tue 17-Apr-18 23:59:00

Within the last year I have had a cervical smear, a mammogram and have returned my bowel cancer screening test. I see the nurse at the medical centre every 6 months to monitor my blood pressure and I have a blood test every 6 months to measure my cholesterol levels. I know this is being sensible but it does make me worry about my health all the time and I do worry I am becoming a terrible hypochondriac? Anyone else feel this way?

Panache Wed 18-Apr-18 08:49:56

Sounds to me you are being very cautious and taking care of your health as the Medics tell us.
I practically live in one form of Medical establishment to the other and have done for far too perhaps I should have been more caring of it in my earlier years.

There are always several differing aspects of thinking but certainly I would just say you have the right one,and may your good health continue.

hildajenniJ Wed 18-Apr-18 09:11:35

I had a bowel screening kit a little while ago. I returned it and was given the all clear again. It's quite surreal posting your poo, isn't it? I go for other screening and tests when called, although I've never had my cholesterol level tested. After that, I hardly ever darken the health centre door. I keep active and feel well (apart from a bit of arthritis) so don't really worry.
I don't think you are being hypochondriacal though Milly, just caring for your body.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 18-Apr-18 09:54:36

I feel it's better to be careful and take these tests - they often come in a cluster, don't they?
Then get on with the other things that matter to you and make you feel good, whether it's immersing yourself in the garden, a good murder mystery or whatever. All good wishes.

luluaugust Wed 18-Apr-18 10:02:40

As you say all these things have come together, no your not a hypochondriac just sensible, a high percentage don't take up the tests offered.

KatyK Wed 18-Apr-18 10:03:11

I'm the same. I have all my tests - all OK so far. After some trying life events and my nerves being shot to pieces, I had a phase recently where my BP kept shooting through the roof, especially when GP takes it. She didn't seem unduly concerned and called it 'severe white coat syndrome' but now I live in constant fear of a heart attack or stroke. You are doing all the right things Milly and I think a lot of us worry about our health as we are getting older.

travelsafar Wed 18-Apr-18 10:29:16

I agree, we have so much info given to us about looking after ourselves that we end up feeling guilty if we fall from the straight and narrow in terms of diet and exercise and knowing all the horrible things that could happen, it can spoil our lives somewhat. Thing is the media are always saying we are all living too long now!!!!

Nanny41 Wed 18-Apr-18 10:40:38

Milly 12 you are very sensible taking care of yourself, but dont forget to smell the flowers on the way.

HannahLoisLuke Wed 18-Apr-18 10:44:31

I'm the same and have in the last year had a scan for osteoporosis on doc's advice, that was positive though only in a small area of hip. Prescribed horrible Alendronic Acid, Vit D3 +calcium. Some weeks later developed a croaky voice and mucus on chest, holding a conversation very difficult due to throat clearing and croak. Several visits to doc culminating in endoscopy discovered silent reflux and more medication for that! Never had that problem before and couldn't imagine why now, until listening to Dr Sarah Jarvis on radio talking about reflux and its causes. Guess what, osteoporosis medication can be the culprit, so after consulting GP yet again I stopped the Alendonic Acid, tried another version, still same problem so now awaiting appointment at rheumatology clinic to see if I can have twice yearly injection instead, bypassing stomach.
On top of this I've had changes to bowed habit, alternating constipation and diarrhoea going on for months. More trips to GP and a colonoscopy where six polyps removed. Still got bowel problem so also a blood test to rule out ovarian cancer (bloating) . Hospital says symotons likely to be IBS.
Now trying to control everything as naturally as possible. Making kefir, kimchi and taking probiotics for IBS. Drinking Aloe Vera gel for reflux and bought a treadmill to do more weight bearing exercise (walking) for the osteoporosis.
Beginning to feel embarrassed to visit GP and actually said to him that I feel like a hypochondriac, to which he replied, you need to follow up changes in your health and nip any potential problems in the bud. Felt better then but still cheesed if with all these health niggles. I am 74 so suppose it's par for the course.
So Milly I sympathise, but carry on taking care of yourself.

harrigran Wed 18-Apr-18 10:45:56

As I have said many times please do not rely on the poo sticks to be 100% accurate, I had all clear results when I actually had cancer.
It is good to take responsibility for your own wellbeing, I get the feeling the NHS would rather we did not clog up the system though.

Coconut Wed 18-Apr-18 10:46:20

You are just being sensible. How often do we read that “if only symptoms had been checked sooner” etc so carry on .... checking !

goldengirl Wed 18-Apr-18 11:11:17

I happily trot along to any screening on offer and send off my poo sticks as instructed. However I otherwise avoid medical establishment unless it's for the annual overhaul which is generally a waste of time - I get more information and health support from my Pilates [injury] instructor as I've had several injuries but it was only when I had visited a Pilates instructor specially trained in injuries that the cause was found! That said for emergencies the NHS is fine. We expect our GPs to be the fount of all knowledge but they're only human and they can't know everything. So I've changed my first port of call thus saving the NHS money - but of course I'm spending mine grin

gerry86 Wed 18-Apr-18 11:16:13

When a letter pops through the door about arranging one of the screening tests my first thought is not again, but I think we're very lucky to live in a time when these tests are available and "free" although I know we pay for them through our taxes at least we don't have to pay more to get them done and if they pick up a problem early that's good.

newnanny Wed 18-Apr-18 12:03:01

When I read your post the first thing that came to mind was 'better safe than sorry'. I think you are being wise because we are always told it is easier to treat a medical problem if it is caught early. Screening for issues catches problems early which enables swift treatment. I also have smear test, mammograms and blood test. My recent test showed my cholesterol has gone down which I am very pleased with as I been on a diet. It is nice to get a tangible benefit. You are not a hypochondriac imho.

Farmor15 Wed 18-Apr-18 12:34:57

Hannah - some medication for reflux can increase risk of osteoporosis as it reduces calcium absorption! The problem ones are “proton pump inhibitors “ - have chemical names ending in -azole. Pantoloc is one but there are lots of others commonly prescribed. They can also cause diarrhea.

There’s another medication for reflux - ranitidine (Zantac) which doesn’t have same side effects so safer, but shorter acting.

Check what you’ve been prescribed and read product insert.

I’m at osteoporosis risk and also have reflux, so discussed best treatment with doctor - might try 6 monthly injections.

I think it’s right to take up any screening tests available, and only occasionally feel like hypochondriac!

luluaugust Wed 18-Apr-18 12:44:37

Hi HannahLoisLuke so sorry you have joined the Osteoporosis club. Do look at the charity on line lots of good advice and questions answered. If only we had a test for it at say 55/60 what a lot of trouble we would have been saved. I hope you find something that suits you better.

BonnieBlooming Wed 18-Apr-18 12:46:54

As someone who has been treated successfully for cancer 4 times because it was caught early, I don't think doing the tests and screening when offered and keeping an eye out for unusual symptoms is hypochondria , I think it is good sense!

Milly12 Wed 18-Apr-18 13:24:31

Thanks everyone. Sensible advice as ever!

NannaM Wed 18-Apr-18 13:28:41

Routine mammogram - called back - after ultrasound and biopsy - surprise - stage 1 Breast Cancer.
So I say Thank you for routine checkups. They have probably saved my life!

Rosina Wed 18-Apr-18 13:40:40

I feel fit, cheerful and healthy but I will leap at any opportunity to have a test of any sort if it is offered. They are a sensible insurance policy; why wait until something goes wrong and then try to get it fixed? The Chinese evidently have a philosophy of keeping the fit healthy rather than trying to cure the sick, and I read that sweet and sour sauce, made the proper way, is basically honey and cider vinegar - both these things are good for the digestion and for joints it seems. The Chinese try to have medicine in their food to keep them well. To my way of thinking check ups are just the same - foil that potential illness before it can get a grip!

sarahellenwhitney Wed 18-Apr-18 16:10:52

I grew up in the forties married in the fifties and can never recall hearing the word' cancer'. Neither I or any one I knew had tests or offered tests of any kind the likes available now. If you survived the second world war, working in/ or coal mining disasters, childhood diseases, diphtheria, polio you may now be one of those living longer Anything between 80 -105 seems to be todays norm. Is it purely by luck ?
What expectations are there now for those born in the last fifty and future years of living to a hundred or even longer other than without medical intervention.

Willow500 Wed 18-Apr-18 16:39:49

NannaM that's good they've found it early - hope you get treated quickly and successfully!

I go for the routine tests too but otherwise don't visit the doctor although I did have to give in and go in Feb with a bad chest infection. I have never felt like a hypochondriac until diagnosed with atrial fibrillation 2 years ago. Now on the medication I'm always worrying about niggling pains and also the possibility of a bleed somewhere due to the blood thinners. Sometimes think I was better in ignorance!

sarahellenwhitney Wed 18-Apr-18 18:00:57

We are not living too long we are living longer.What would you estimate to be the average age of Gransnetters ?

Apricity Wed 18-Apr-18 20:47:34

KatyK I also have "white coat hypertension" as my GP notes it on my file. I have bought a home BP monitor and have a arrangement with my GP that before a visit I take my BP 3 times over about half an hour, and note the readings for her to check.

HannahLoisLuke Wed 18-Apr-18 21:31:41

Thank you Farmir and Lulu. Yes Farmir, I know about PPI link to osteoporosis, after I'd been prescribed it! Now changed to an H2 blocker but it's not quite as efficient at damping down the acid reflux. I shall persevere though and hope that along with my natural methods I'll get on top of it. I also read that long term use of PPIs can also increase the risk of stomach cancer by eight times! When I mentioned that to my GP he said its not conclusive and only refers to people with a family history of stomach cancer. He hadn't asked if I had that history when prescribing it.
Lulu I shall investigate the charity. Thank you.