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Excessive saliva, ovarian cancer scare, hip pain. Symptoms of anxiety ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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Does anxiety cause excess saliva all of a sudden? I believe i have put myself in a state of anxiety over the last couple of weeks. i had a scare about thinking i had ovarian cancer bc a nurse practioner thought i had a cyst or fibroids. Was having hip pain and cramping. Turns out i have nothing. But now i feel anxious and have had body twitching and made the mistake of looking online and came across an ALS link. Now i feel like i have something in my throat when i swallow. That staarted last night and now since i've been focusing on it i feel like i have more saliva. And all this is listed as symptoms of ALS. I cant imagine this would progress that quickly. Its got to be my own axiety.
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Let me start off by providing you with some reassurance that I think this is all a manifestation of anxiety.

Your symptoms related to the syndromes and illnesses you referenced all seem to add up to support this.

As far as the ovarian cancer is concerned - it is not surprising that if there was a point where you thought you might have ovarian cancer, that it would set off a storm of emotions which would affect you on many levels.

Typically it would certainly affect your ability to relax, to get restful sleep or to do even simple daily activities without this thing being on your mind.

The body twitching is yet another symptom of anxiety and typically starts when someone becomes mentally and physically fatigued.

I am sure the twitching will resolve over some time as your anxiety state resolves.

The sense of a lump in your throat - yet another fairly classic anxiety symptom.

Let me reassure you that you do not have ALS as well. As you said - it is not a rapidly progressive illness.

I feel you have an acute anxiety state and I encourage you to do a few things:

1) Focus on getting a healthy night of sleep each night.

2) Eat a well balanced diet.

3) Exercise daily - extremely important in anxiety management.

4) Consider meditation exercises.

5) Surround yourself with supportive friends and family.

All of these things together will serve you well and I am confident you will feel progressively more mentally healthy as the days go on.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my answer to be both helpful and adequate. Should you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Excessive saliva, ovarian cancer scare, hip pain. Symptoms of anxiety ? 16 hours later

Thanks so much for your reply. I know that this all points to anxiety. Realistically it makes sense. You put a lot of strain on the body when you're in this state and sometimes it's difficult to believe that anxiety can produce so many physical symptoms. The more you think about it the more symptoms you create. It's a vicious circle.

You reassured me that I do not have ALS. And somewhere XXXXXXX down I know that to be true. Can you perhaps put my mind at ease some more by describing the symptoms of ALS, specifically when it affects the bulbar area. How they begin, what comes first, etc...

I mentioned in my email yesterday that i began to feel something in my throat when i swallowed and then excessive salivation. Obviously, from one day to the next that is a quick manisfestation of symptoms. Now i just seem to be focusing on every swallow and how i'm speaking. People with bulbar ALS have excessive salivation as a result of NOT being able to swallow anymore correct? I can swallow fine but feel something in the throat after. It helps when I belch after i swallow. And the problem people with ALS have is more with the ACTUAL act of swallowing rather than feeling something in the throat after they swallow? Clarifications such as these will put my mind at ease. Thanks so much for your help and guidance.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello again and thanks for the followup.

I would like to encourage you to somehow try not to fixate on this idea of ALS. I know it is very difficult to do and I will try to give you some more ideas here and support again for why you do not have this syndrome.

with ALS - the process is often slow and very gradual. Also, most cases involve generalized muscle weakness. I understand you have these swallowing symptoms but you have to thnik about all of the other organs involves in swallowing including salivary glands and lymph glands. Simple allergies can cause swelling in lymph glands and give a sensation of fullness in the cheeks and throat. Salivation can increase reflexively in this case - a mechanism the body uses to try to make sure it is easier to swallow foods.

With bulbar ALS other things typically manifest including confusion, mental status changes, emotional problems etc.

ALS is a very rare disorder. I would like to encourage you to avoid message boards, blogs and simple anecdotal reports from people who post on the internet all the time. These are notorious for being sources of misinformation and can be confusing and unsettling.

Again all the symptoms you report are extremely rapid in onset compared to what we know about the natural history of ALS which is that it is SLOW.

Again I thank you for your query. I hope you found my response to be both helpful and adequate. I am here for you if you ahve any additional followups.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Excessive saliva, ovarian cancer scare, hip pain. Symptoms of anxiety ? 3 days later

Thanks for your response once again. I'm am trying not ot fixate on my mouth now and the bulbar ALS idea. This has never happened to me before, this whole issue of being in a state of anxiety.

It feels like im constantly focusing on my mouth now. I notice that im nipping the back of my tongue or the sides. Almost like it sneeks in when im talking and it gets caught between the teeth. I know you have said not to fixate on the bulbar ALS but is this biting anything to worry about or is it that I am so concerned about my mouth now that I am noticing things that happen normally. My jaw seems tight and sore now. I'm assuming I'm so tense that my muscles are tight in that area and that can be affecting the feel of my mouth. Also my mouth is dry in the mornings and I feel like i have sore spots on my tongue. I also notice a weird taste in my mouth and a sour stomach. Is this all stress/anxiety related?

I have put in a call to my GP to discuss. I'm trying to find a way to get out of this state. Your reassurance on the biting and ALS will be very, very helpful to me right now.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 12 hours later
Hello again and thanks for the followup,

I think it is much easier said than done to try not to fixate on a pattern of thinking or behavior.

You are trying and doing a great job at that but I still understand how these thoughts and patterns of thinking are still an issue.

Stress can also cause increased production of acid in your stomach which could be the cause for your taste change and sour tongue.

I think this will improve as you slowly move away from the fixation on symptoms. Even the jaw tightness and soreness on the tongue are symptoms of stress. This is NOT ALS.

Again I reassure that I firmly and confidently believe you do not have ALS and that right now you have an anxiety state.

This is a state you will emerge from in the future with the help and reassurance of your own physician. I am glad you will be seeing your physician soon.

As always I thank you for sharing your health concerns from me and hope you have found our discussion to be reassuring and helpful.

I am here for you if in the future you have any additional concerns.

Thanks and regards.

Dr. Galamaga.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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