You’ve been suffering from strange mystery symptoms for months, years or maybe you’re entire life. Something is physically wrong with you but doctors are not only shaking their heads, they’re beginning to think you’re just complaining for attention. Friends and co-workers are starting to gossip and several family members have suggested you might be a hypochondriac. Could it be true? Let’s find out if you’re a hypochondriac or if you’re really sick.
What is a Hypochondriac?
Dictionary.com defines the word hypochondriac as, “a person who worries or talks excessively about his or her health”. Those who suffer chronic illness may also fit this definition. In order to fully understand the mental illness of hypochondria, you must also look at other symptoms that pertain exclusively to true hypochondriacs to see if they apply to you.
Do any of these sound familiar?
• You believe small aches and pains to be a sign of serious illness. (For example, a headache is a sign of a brain tumor.)
• When you are around somebody with a physical illness, you believe you will catch it, even if it’s not contagious.
• You spend hours researching new illnesses to see if your symptoms fit the bill.
• You have new symptoms often and the pain travels.
• You are convinced you are going to die soon even though you haven’t been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
• You’re incredibly anxious about your health.
• You can spend hours talking about your health.
The above symptoms may be a sign that you’re suffering from hypochondria. If all blood and lab tests have come back completely negative, this also may be a sign that anxiety is the main cause of your ill health. Still, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of autoimmune disease.
What is Autoimmune Disease?
Those who are suffering from autoimmune disease often have a wide variety of mystery symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. You may feel somewhat healthy and active one day and fatigued and irritable the next. Undiagnosed autoimmune disease is one of the most common causes of mystery symptoms. The following are a list of symptoms that are often related to most autoimmune diseases.
Do any of these sound familiar?
• You often lack energy and tire easily, even if you’re young.
• Your muscles often feel weak and/or sore as if you’ve been in a minor car accident.
• Your body is stiff and your joints feel inflamed.
• Your glands are swollen.
• You frequently get colds, flu, viruses and/or yeast infections.
• You have chronic digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea or gas.
• You experience feelings of haziness and loss of memory (called ‘brain fog’).
Though the doctor has yet to pin-point what is wrong with you and may be frustrated, chances are, your blood tests have revealed an increased white blood cell count, low platelet count or other unusual reading that suggests a physical illness.
There are many autoimmune diseases that might be causing your mystery symptoms. You may have gluten intolerance, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, ITP or similar condition. Whatever the case may be, you’re not a hypochondriac.
I suffered from mystery symptoms from childhood up until my early twenties. I had many of the above symptoms and strange blood test results. It wasn’t until I saw a naturopath who, on a hunch, put me on an elimination diet that I discovered gluten intolerance was causing my entire body to malfunction.
I was called a hypochondriac a LOT, so I know what you’re going through.
Other Causes of Strange Symptoms
Besides undiagnosed autoimmune disease, there are other factors that may be contributing to your mystery symptoms. Strange symptoms can be brought on by:
• Food intolerances/Allergies
• Vitamin Deficiencies
• Allergies to Household Cleaning Products
• Allergies to Flooring/Carpeting
• Mercury Toxicity Due to Dental Fillings or Vaccines
• Side Effects of Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medications
• Severe Stress
If You’re a Hypochondriac, You Will Most Likely:
• Believe you have every new disease that’s going around.
• Immediately “take on” the symptoms of any sick person you’ve been near.
• Spend hours researching any and all diseases.
• Have pain and symptoms that ‘travel’.
If You’re Really Sick, You Will Most Likely:
• Have one or several consistent chronic symptoms.
• Spend hours researching those chronic symptoms.
• Experience symptoms that might come and go but don’t completely change.
• Have some sort of unusual blood or lab test result.
If you are absolutely positive your mystery symptoms are real, take a break from conventional doctors and visit a naturopath or chiropractor. Do an elimination diet and get rid of toxic chemicals in your home to see if symptoms improve.
If you do believe you may be suffering from hypochondria after all, make an appointment with a caring professional psychologist who can help you talk through your anxiety instead of simply prescribing drugs.
Whatever is ailing you, don’t give up. You’re not alone and you’re not crazy. You’re a human being who deserves to be cared for and taken seriously. Stand up and be counted. Don’t back down and soon you will be able to turn around and say, “I told you I was sick!”
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