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Feeling of fullness under rib cage, nausea, burning in chest, loss of appetite. History of anxiety. Do I have cancer?

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Practicing since : 2004
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hi i am 41 yr old woman, just started getting the following symptons#
feeling full under ribcage,nauseas,burning in chest and not feeling very hungry
i am a very anxious person generally and am worried i may have some sort of cancer
i have an appointment on monday with my doctor
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
•     41 year old female
•     Known case of anxiety disorder
•     Currently on Seroxat (Paroxetine)
•     Complaints of: Epigastric bloating & burning, nausea, decrease appetite, health related worries and dizziness

Anxiety disorder usually associated with increase in acid secretion. Your all symptoms except excessive worry and anxiety appear to be related to "acidity".

Common symptoms which can occur with anxiety disorder: nervousness, restlessness, mild irritability, excessive worry regarding own wellbeing and health (like fear of having cancer), tremor, muscle spasm leading to pain in multiple parts of body, heaviness in body, easy fatigability, dizziness, palpitation, sleep difficulty and dry mouth. Many of your complaints are matching with this.

In general medical treatment of anxiety disorder includes two types of medicine. For immediate relief from anxiety benzodiazepines group of medicines are used and for long term relief most commonly SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Seroxat (Paroxetine) is used. SSRI takes around 3-4 weeks to show its effect.

As your anxiety symptom not fully controlled, you can discuss this issue with your psychiatrist as you may require dose enhancement or addition of other drug depending on your case suitability.

For acidity you may require treatment with medicines like proton pump inhibitors (Like omeprazole which is available over the counter) under supervision of general physician. Control in anxiety will decrease acid secretion too. If the symptoms are not controlled with it, a thorough check up including endoscopy is entailed.

In addition, I also suggest you to avoid hot and spicy food, regular diet (avoid skipping food), proper sleep and physical exercises. Avoid consuming alcohol / smoking (if any). Restrict the consumption of caffeine and other beverages.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups. Please accept my answer if you do not have any further queries.

Wish you good health.

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