The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical support, you should seek professional medical advice if you are struggling with feelings of anxiety.
As someone living with LAL-D it is natural to have feelings of anxiety (being worried or anxious) about suffering from a rare disease or dealing with malabsorption and or digestive problems for the long term. It’s important to understand that you are not alone in having such feelings and that this is a perfectly natural reaction.
People with other health conditions also experience symptoms of anxiety because of the long-term need to adhere to a restricted diet as part of their treatment. For example, people who need to stick to a gluten-free diet, have higher levels of anxiety than the general population.
Symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety can affect how you feel physically or mentally or your behaviour so has a number of different symptoms. It can therefore be difficult to recognise if anxiety is the reason you’re feeling or behaving differently. Select symptoms are listed below 
Physical symptoms include:
- A faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Reduced appetite
- Chest pain
Mental symptoms include:
- Nervousness or feeling tense
- Feeling worried or fearful
- Feeling tearful
- Being unable to relax
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
Behavioural symptoms include:
- Being unable to enjoy leisure time
- Difficulty looking after yourself
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with relationships
Dealing with Feelings of Anxiety
If you are feeling anxious or worried about coping with or sticking to your diet, there are a number of things you could try to help relieve these feelings. [2,3]
- Use calming breathing exercises.
- Use a relaxation technique such as yoga.
- Use a mindfulness technique.
- Try physical activity such as walking, running or swimming, which can help you relax.
- Spend time doing a hobby or activity that you find enjoyable, such as cooking, painting, knitting or woodwork, as this may help you to relax.
- It may also help you to relax if you can participate in an activity with your family or friends. For example, by cooking a meal together or baking a cake.
- Try talking about your feelings with a friend or family member.
- Try contacting a patient support group, where people use their experiences to help each other.
- If you think you need professional help, speak to your healthcare professional or a counsellor.
Remember, it’s natural for you to have feelings of anxiety but you are not alone in having such feelings. If you are feeling anxious or worried, there are a number of things you can do to help you cope with or alleviate these feelings. If none of the self-help techniques work for you, make sure you seek professional medical advice to help you.