How Acromegaly and His Mother-in-Law Helped Rob

Concern versus Worry

We teamed up with Patient Worthy Acromegaly Contributor Rob to talk a little bit about two “conditions” that may not be considered “actual” diagnosis’ by the medical community. Still, your HCP would definitely agree that these conditions can seriously affect not only your physical body but your mental health.

anxiety-1337383_1280People and publications alike agree that excessive worrying can result in severe anxiety and physical illness. The body’s natural response to feelings of anxiety or panic can be serious especially when these feelings become chronic. The irony is that sometimes, the side effects of these feelings are worse than the concern or worry itself!

So, what physically happens?

The effects differ from acute stressing and chronic or long term periods of stressing, and if ignored, or left untreated, disorders can develop. Everyone is different. Everyone’s body reacts differently to anxiety and stress. The mind-body connection is very real. Here are a few physical responses to worrying…(Image source:Pixabay).

  • Androgen production increases resulting in acne, no matter your age
  • Heart rate increases, blood pressure elevates – the risk of hypertension & stroke increase
  • Rapid breathing or hyperventilation, and increased likelihood of asthma or panic attacks
  • The sympathetic nervous system releases more stress hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline cortisol)
  • Estrogen production can be disrupted and therefore your libido suffers

In Compassion is the Best Drug for the Body and the Soul we addressed the importance of incorporating mindfulness based stress reduction practices into daily life. It’s proven that anxiety, worry, stress and fatigue can make symptoms worse, especially when living with and trying to manage a rare disease. Read more about stress effects on the body from the American Phsycological Association.

For a little perspective when it comes to worrying…

Rob recalled a discussion with his mother-in-law:

I have a great and wise mother-in-law. One time when I was expressing my worry about my Acromegaly, she talked to me about worry.

“Rob”, she said, “There is concern, and there is worry”.

“You need to be concerned about the condition. This keeps you focused and motivated towards positive directions and goals.”

“Worry on the other hand, just wears you down. It’s counter-productive. It weakens your body and immune system, shortens your temper, and gets you sad and depressed”

I realized I was never NOT going to be worried about my acromegaly.  I just need to work at shifting the worry to concern — work on items which make positive contributions towards a goal.

Like I said, a very smart lady.

Thanks Rob! We totally agree; your mother-in-law is a very smart lady!


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