Hypochondriasis Home Care
Home care for hypochondriasis includes:
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
- Avoid alcohol, or drink alcohol in moderation:
- For men: no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day
- For women: no more than 1 alcoholic beverage per day
- Avoid caffeine.
- Avoid decongestant medications.
- Follow an exercise plan developed with your doctor.
- Reduce stress.
- Learn relaxation techniques.
Strategies for a healthy diet in someone with hypochondriasis include:
- Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your total calories.
- 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.
- Consume only unsaturated fats that are low in cholesterol.
- Consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.
- Eat dietary fiber: whole grains are best.
- Avoid fad diets.
- Check with your doctor about B vitamin supplements. Some people may benefit from B vitamins.
Key Dietary Recommendations for Chronic Disease Prevention
|Energy (calories)||to maintain BMI < 25|
|Total fats||< or = to 30% of total daily calories|
|Saturated fats||< 7% of total daily calories|
|Polyunsaturated fats||< 10% of total daily calories|
|Monounsaturated fats||< 13% of total daily calories|
|Cholesterol||< or = to 300 mg per day|
|Dietary fiber||25-30 grams per day|
|Fiber type||3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber|
|Sodium||< or = to 1,500 mg per day|
|Calcium 9-24 yrs||1,200-1,500 mg per day|
|Calcium 25-50 yrs||1,000 mg per day|
|Calcium 51-65 yrs||1,200 mg per day|
|Calcium >65 yrs||1,500 mg per day|
|Vitamin D 9-50 yrs||200 IU per day|
|Vitamin D 51-70 yrs||400 IU per day|
|Vitamin D >70 yrs||600 IU per day|
|Folic acid||400 micrograms (ug) per day|
|Fruits & vegetables||5-7 servings per day|
|Alcohol (men)||< or = to 2 drinks per day|
|Alcohol (women)||< or = to 1 drink per day|
Tips to manage stress in someone with hypochondriasis:
- Accept what you cannot change.
- Ask for help if you need it.
- Associate with people you enjoy and who treat you well.
- Consider life as challenges to seek not obstacles to avoid.
- Do not be dominated by one thing such as work or relationships.
- Do not feel guilty when you have to say "no" to extra duties or tasks. Respect your limitations.
- Energize your body with regular exercise.
- Engage in hobbies.
- Find the joy in giving.
- Fuel your body with healthy foods and avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Get a regular fresh air and sunshine.
- Have the courage to be imperfect.
- Keep your sleep habits regular.
- Make a list of all the stresses that cause you distress. Dispose of the ones you can and reduce your exposure to the others as much as possible.
- Pamper yourself with simple pleasures that give you joy.
- Practice relaxation and meditation.
- Realize that you are responsible for how you feel.
- Reevaluate and rearrange your priorities.
- Remember it is all right to cry.
- Schedule time for fun. Laughter dissolves tension.
- Seek professional help with overwhelming hard to solve problems.
- Take a few minutes of quiet time each day just for you to rejuvenate.
- Talk with someone you trust, it can be the best medicine.
- Try new experiences.
- Strictly avoiding stimulants may be all that is necessary in some people. This includes:
Hypochondriasis Warning Signs
Notify your doctor if you have hypochondriasis and any of the following:
- You are unable to carry out normal daily activities
- Worsening depression
- Thoughts of hurting yourself
- Thoughts of hurting others
Continue to Hypochondriasis Outlook
- Barsky AJ, Ahern DK. Cognitive behavior therapy for hypochondriasis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Mar 24;291(12):1464-70. 
- Creed F, Barsky A. A systematic review of the epidemiology of somatisation disorder and hypochondriasis. J Psychosom Res. 2004 Apr;56(4):391-408. 
- Hiller W, Leibbrand R, Rief W, Fichter MM. Differentiating hypochondriasis from panic disorder. J Anxiety Disord. 2005;19(1):29-49.