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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is anxiety behind my thoughts about having cancer, and can the fatty liver and gallstones cause stomach bloating?

Answered by
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Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 2587 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 3 Oct 2018 in Mental Health
Question: 53 year old white male Weight 240lbs Height 5'11" Type 2 diabetes mellitus Generalized Anxiety Disorder Depression Obesity Smoker In February 2017 my doctor found microscopic hematuria in my urine with 3-10hpf.  They sent me to a urologist.  The urologist did a history, rectal exam,  CT scan of my abdominal and pelvic area, another UA,  and a cystoscopy.  They said that everything was normal and the blood was probably benign.  The radiologist who read the report said the only findings were fatty liver and gallstones.  This reassured me for a few days. But I started thinking what if they missed something and I have cancer somewhere else.  I started running to my Doctor every other day.  I then wound up with 2 inguinal hernias. I had a few syncope spells. I had a colonoscopy and there was 1 polyp. Surgeon report said it had no way of becoming cancer.  They did 2 Head CT scans over the last year,  3 chest xrays,  and numerous blood test and Urinalysis test. Everything normal. My doctor says I'm suffering from health anxiety.  She put me on venlafaxine 37.5mg. She just upped my dose to 75mg about 5 weeks ago. My questions are 1. Do you think they are right and it's health anxiety? 2. Can the fatty liver and gallstones csuse stomach bloating  and back pain? 3. Can the 2 inguinal hernias cause the bloating and back pain. I've had the back pain for over 4 years. I appreciate your help.
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Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 2 hours later
Brief Answer:

Please be reassured that you do not have cancer.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Since you had extensive evaluation, please be reassured that you do not suffer from cancer. Recurrent thoughts about having cancer is due to the underlying anxiety.

You can continue Venlafaxine and seek help from a psychotherapist if needed.

The presence of gall stones can cause bloating. Avoid fatty and fried food to help reduce bloating.

However, fatty liver, gall stones or inguinal hernias will not cause back pain. If spinal issues have been ruled out, then the back pain is likely musculoskeletal.

I recommend that:
1. Take Advil for pain.
2. Engage in low impact exercises like swimming to help with the pain.
3. Since you are diagnosed with fatty liver, it is important to avoid alcohol, fatty good rich is saturated fat and medications that affect liver like Tylenol.

After following these lifestyle changes, repeat liver function test in 3 months.

Hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you need further clarification

Regards,
Dr.Lekshmi Rita Venugopal, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 13 minutes later
yeah the cancer thing had had me scared for over a year. I figured if I had cancer there would be symptoms by now. I will be seeing a psychiatrist next Wednesday.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Follow up with the Psychiatrist as scheduled.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

It is best to seek help and undergo appropriate care under a specialist to deal with the anxiety. So please be advised to follow up with your Psychiatrist as scheduled and discuss your issues.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Wishing you good health.

Regards,
Dr.Lekshmi Rita Venugopal, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 57 minutes later
so you believe it's just my anxiety?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Follow up answer.

Detailed Answer:

Hello again,

Since you have undergone extensive evaluations and possible organic causes have been ruled out, Anxiety is an important contributory factor to your symptoms and worries.

Detailed evaluation by a psychiatrist is warranted at this point.

Hope this answers your query.

Regards,
Dr.Lekshmi Rita Venugopal, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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