man lying on a pillow in the dark with question marks surrounding him and a clock pointing at 2:45

Are My Health Concerns Dramatic or Valid?

One of the unfortunate and interesting things about having irritable bowel syndrome is that I have periods in life when I think I’m becoming a hypochondriac. A “hypochondriac” is basically a person who is perceived to be overly concerned and may possibly create radical notions about their health. In other words, sometimes I can be extremely nervous about certain symptoms I experience and unease myself with a notion of having a fatal illness because the pain can truly be that intense and/or unusual. Thus, I end up asking myself and sometimes others, “Am I being too dramatic about my pain or am I valid in how I feel?”

My fear leads to questions

There are a few reasons why this question arises for me. However, the main reason is lack of experience. I haven’t suffered or experienced all there is to pain. What I mean by this is there are different levels of pain, and depending on the amount of exposure over a lifetime, a person’s tolerance can vary. Therefore, if unusual intense pain occurs, sometimes my initial reaction is to overreact and assume the worst.

Could this fear derive from preconditioned ideas or health facts that have been programmed into me over the years? Maybe.

For instance, many of the symptoms I experience with IBS directly overlap with symptoms of colon cancer, but most men don’t begin getting tested for colon cancer until around 50 years old. So, when I bleed more than usual from my anus, I get very anxious and concerned, even though I know having hemorrhoids comes with the IBS territory.

Also, I have a family history of diabetes, and diabetes can potentially lead to heart disease. So, when I get very intense chest pain, I can’t always recognize if it’s simply due to heartburn and indigestion.

Therefore, when I feel strange extreme pain in certain areas of my body, I automatically think I’m becoming a candidate for having a fatal condition and the worst is happening to me rather than the typical IBS symptoms.

Does IBS make us hypochondriacs?

Another reason why the question arises for me is due to a lack of guidance from a medical professional. I do think IBS can make any person a hypochondriac because sometimes we go through very odd and painful experiences that can be either hard to describe or comprehend. But, it’s not entirely our fault that we become so scared and nervous because the fact is that there’s still so much to learn about IBS.

So, we assume the unknown could be worse than we imagine, which is why we eventually seek guidance from medical professionals. However, it doesn’t help that many of us don’t actually get the proper medical support simply because many doctors belittle the seriousness of irritable bowel syndrome and/or aren’t even really knowledgeable on the complexity of the disease. Thus, we’re left to our own devices, for the most part, to figure things out, which can make it easy for a lot of us to get scared if we come across misleading information.

IBS pain is still pain

I’ll be honest, there are times when my IBS pain makes me a “hypochondriac”. However, it doesn’t mean I’m not dealing with something seriously painful and debilitating. It’s unfortunate there are times when the pain can get so bad that I think I might be dealing with something other than IBS. Something that could be fatal and no one has picked up on it yet. That’s a valid concern, in my opinion, as I have too much to lose.

Can any of you relate to my article? Do you feel like having IBS can make you a hypochondriac sometimes? Do you think the lack of medical guidance can lead to becoming a hypochondriac at times? Please feel free to share it with us in the comment section below. Thanks for taking the time to read my article and I look forward to reading your comments!

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