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Thread: when are tests / scans enough?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    when are tests / scans enough?

    I have had physical symptoms for over 10 years. Drs have not found any significant abnormalities after several scans and tests over the years. I have severe anxiety that physical illness is the cause of my physical symptoms. It seems logical to me even though I also know that my anxiety also causes symptoms.
    I cannot accept that there is nothing seriously wrong with me physically. Over this time I have had 2 colonoscopies, 2 endoscopies ,2 abdominal ct scans ,3 mrcp scans and 6 abdominal ultrasounds. when is enough testing enough?
    I have had psychological help and medication too.
    Is there anyone out there similar??

    p.s.the scans have always come back
    "no abnormality"
    "no significant abnormality"
    or "essentially normal"
    the last two wordings set alarm bells ringing with me immediately
    Last edited by busterrufus; 30-06-19 at 13:31. Reason: p.s.

  2. #2
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    You do have physical symptoms but they're due to anxiety. What they're seeing is consistent with that. I.E. - 'Except for the things we see that are consistent with digestive issues due to anxiety, we find no significant abnormalities and everything is essentially NORMAL'

    Positive thoughts
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Essentially normal is the same as normal!

    I think youíve probably had enough tests now, perhaps itís time to invest the same effort and time into seeing if itís anxiety?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    thanks both of you.
    believe me Scass i have. I had been on a mental health ward for a month. Under care of psychiatrist fot over a year at the start. Had cbt ,anxiety management, mindfulness courses, still on medication, had" recovery "support for 4 years. I'm not a beginner at this by any means. However I have pain and other symptoms almost daily which stops my life,so no one has ever been able to convince me that its totally a psychological problem. The NHS is in a terrible state tho and i think if you have anxiety drs will ascribe nearly all symptoms to it regardless of the number of times i explain my physical symptoms which feel to me( and always have done) like I have a serious medical issue.
    p.s. I truly do not understand how "essentially normal" can mean the same as "normal". Please could you help me with this? Also the radiologists would have no knowledge of my anxiety
    Last edited by busterrufus; 30-06-19 at 14:29.

  5. #5
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Essentially normal is just a stock phrase, it means they don't see anything to cause concern or require treatment.

    It's how these things have been phrased since forever.

  6. #6
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Hello. Sorry you are having a hard time. How long has this been a fear? Did the anxiety and physical symptoms come at the same time? What are the physical symptoms? It sounds like you've sought lots of support, which is great. Did anything ever help? Was all the help due to health anxiety? Sorry for so many questions.

    I guess your original question about "how much is enough?" is difficult to answer. There will always be a degree of uncertainty when it comes to our physical health. Actually, with most things. For me, coping with uncertainty is one of the hardest aspects of anxiety to overcome (I have GAD, not HA). Realistically though, none of us can ever be sure that we don't have anything at all wrong anywhere, we can only rely on what our doctors are telling us. Those doctors who have years of training and experience and who really don't want to get it wrong. Sure, occasionally they do get it wrong, but it's unusual.

    I had a 24 hour tape years ago which was "essentially normal", and I've never understood it either, but here I am many years later without anything terrible having happened to my heart yet. I think if it's "essentially normal", take it to mean normal. They may just have found the slightest blip somewhere but have decided its insignificant. More likely though, it's just standard terminology. The radiologist may or may not know about your anxiety. I wouldn't take it for granted that they don't.

    Are you getting any psychological help at the moment with all this?
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  7. #7
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Thanks Blueiris
    It will probably be used in case they miss something then. Thats what I was afraid of .

  8. #8
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by busterrufus View Post
    Thanks Blueiris
    It will probably be used in case they miss something then. Thats what I was afraid of .
    I don't think so. They wouldn't use the word "normal" if they were in doubt.
    __________________
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  9. #9
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Thank you DS
    Yes it statrted 9 yrs ago with physical symptons snd they caused severe anxiety.
    I have upper abdominal pain, back pain nausea vomiting . Sometimes indigestion and occasional diahrrea.
    About 3 yrs ago groin and low back pain started too, and pain and twitching in legs.
    I am fatigued all the time.
    Along with this are symptoms that I do accept may be caused by anxiety such as agitation, restlessness, inability to relax, dizxiness, feelings of terrible doom, sweating, bitter taste in mouth, burping, dizziness and many many more.
    Yes I do have severe anxiety, but I feel as if its justified anxiety because I know I must have a serious physical problem, if you get what I mean. I have suffered with anxiety from being a teenager, im 64 now.
    I have always known we can never be completely sure we have nothing wrong with us, but I know I have something wrong with me because I still have the pains etc even after repeated tests.
    Im distraught about it at the moment as I see no happy end. After consultjng several drs , even a private one my symptoms remain and a day without them is extremely rare.
    Sorry to sound so negative, but that is how I feel
    Still take propranalol and fluoxetine. Try to pracice mindfulness and breathing and relaxation exercises but when it gets this bad I cant. Take baths twice daily. Take vitamin and magnesium supplements. Ruth

  10. #10
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    Re: when are tests / scans enough?

    Forgive me, but while you have a lot going on, none of it sounds serious. Annoying, yes, but the only thing that seems to have the potential to negatively impact on your life in and of itself is the anxiety.

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