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Is fatigue and weakness related to anxiety?

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I quite concerned because I am having a number of strange symptoms that seem to come and go. I have to point out that I am a very anxious person and I had period of acute health anxiety before. About 3 months ago I developed a bad taste in my mouth which my GP attributed to gastritis and for which I have been prescribed omoprazole. Abot 1 month and a half ago I start noticing a twitching of my lower right eyelead, friday and saturday the twitching has been consistent and yesterday it finally went. Now I have a new symptom I feel my tongue burning a bit. I had lemonade and sweet chilly yesterday but I am now concerned it may be a neuronal problem. My worry is that all these are symptoms of MS or even more of ALS, and I am starting paniking which may possibly make the symptoms stronger. I also feel fatigued, but I have no weakness in the muscles of deficiencies I can notice. Can this all be anxiety and stress related? do I need to see a specialist?
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Follow-up: Is fatigue and weakness related to anxiety? 24 minutes later
Also I forgot to mention but a few times just before I would fall asleep I felt a sharp pain in the lesft side of my tongue, like a stubbing pain. It only happned a few time (possibly 4 all together), but again I have seen on the web that tongue twitching (although I haven't actually seen my tongue twitch!) is a sign of ALS
Answered by Dr. Abhijeet Deshmukh, 21 hours later
Thanks for the query.

From the description you have written, it seems that you do experience periods of anxiety/panic. There may also have been periods where you did not feel so anxious or panicky. It would be interesting to know how the other symptoms behave when anxiety is not there.

On the other hand, anxiety itself can induce symptoms such as described by you. The anxiety-symptoms cycle can repeat itself, leading to more anxiety about the symptoms. Your concern about MS/ALS is understandable, as these symptoms do appear in the list of symptoms seen in those conditions. However, it is important to note a few things.

1) Reading about isolated symptoms on the internet can lead to unnecessary health anxiety. Isolated symptoms may not carry much significance as far as conditions such as MS or ALS are concerned. There should be a set of consistent symptoms for someone to diagnose. For this purpose, you will have to consult a healthcare professional. Your symptoms do not seem to be enough to consider the possibility of MS or ALS.

2) You may have to focus more on the mouth symptoms of bad taste and the sharp tongue pain. There may be a neuronal involvement. It is only after a physical cause is ruled out, that one can consider the role of anxiety in producing these symptoms.

3) The tongue pain that you have mentioned used to appear just when you are falling asleep. This can also be a sleep related symptom. A variety of similar symptoms can occur at the transition period from wakefulness to sleep and vice versa. Once again, this may be considered after any neuronal cause is ruled out.

4) There are a few other causes that you may have to rule out such as Nutritional deficiencies, oral infections, dental disease, Diabetes, etc.

Here are a few suggestions for you to consider -

1) You may please consult a Neurologist to get your symptoms evaluated. This can help you check for any nerve damage or related neurological causes. You can also discuss your concerns about MS and ALS with the Neurologist.

2) It is important to monitor your anxiety states. Anxiety is a response to stimulus. And thus, experiencing anxiety does not make you an 'anxious person'. It is observed that most individuals label themselves as an 'anxious person' or a 'depressed person'. This can only increase the problem. If you look at your anxiety as a response to what happens to you, then you can see the opportunities to take efforts to deal with the anxiety provoking situations. This will require identifying such situations which seem to provoke or induce anxiety. You may even consider going back for therapy for a number of sessions to help yourself deal with the anxiety. A Psychiatrist's opinion will be helpful to know if you need medicines for a while as you learn to deal with anxiety.

Hyperacidity is known to be associated with anxiety. And if you can focus on reducing the anxiety, you might be able to overcome the gastritis problems, if any.

I hope this helps you. Please let me know if you need to discuss more regarding anything. I would be glad to help you.

I wish you good health.

Abhijeet Deshmukh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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