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Can Anxiety Cause You To Feel Sick

In The Meantime Heres How To Deal

Learn how anxiety can make you feel sick (and what to do about it)

Though professional help is the most effective way to treat physical symptoms of anxiety, therapy and/or medication arent always accessible. In that case, it might be helpful to know some of the common ways people with anxiety practice self-care and help themselves feel better. Like we mentioned earlier, deep breathing is a big one for anxiety symptoms, since hyperventilation can exacerbate many of the symptoms on this list.

Beyond that, our Anxiety Center is full of helpful, expert-recommended tips to make living with anxiety a little easier. Here are a few specific articles to get you started:

How Does Nausea Caused By Anxiety Feel

Youve probably had nausea many other times in your life from causes other than anxiety. Stomach bugs, food poisoning, eating a lot of junk food over the holidays, and so on.

Anxiety-induced nausea can feel similar to those.

But it can also feel different, and that can make it scarier than standard nausea. To help you to identify your nausea as a symptom of your anxiety it might help if you learn how anxiety-induced nausea can feel.

If your anxiety causes nausea, you may:

  • feel like your stomach is cramping
  • feel like your stomach is churning
  • feel like your stomach is bloated
  • feel like youre about to throw up
  • feel like your stomach is full of trapped wind
  • feel like you have butterflies in your stomach
  • feel like you desperately need to use the bathroom
  • feel like moving makes the sickness worse

On top of these feelings, anxiety-induced nausea also has a few other characteristics that make it different from standard nausea:

  • it can appear quickly without warning
  • it can disappear quickly like nothing was ever wrong
  • it can get worse the more you focus on it
  • it can occur at the same time as dizziness
  • it often doesnt get better with standard nausea medicines

If a lot of these symptoms and feelings sound familiar, you can be pretty sure that what youve been experiencing is anxiety-induced nausea.

Now that youre aware of how this type of nausea can feel, take note of your symptoms whenever you feel nausea in the future.

Your Stomach Is All Sorts Of Messed Up

Anxiety really hits the G.I. system hard, says Dr. Potter. People with anxiety may notice general stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other kinds of G.I. distress, she explains.

A lot of this may boil down to what experts call the gut-brain axis, which is a communication system between your brain and the enteric nervous system that governs your digestion. This connection is why stress can so easily mess with your poop. Theres also the fact that anxiety-induced lifestyle choices like eating foods that dont agree with you or not exercising can affect your digestion as well.

Recommended Reading: How Can I Get My Anxiety Under Control

Tips For Dealing With Anxiety Nausea

Do you experience anxiety and at times feel nauseous but arent sure whether they are related? Can anxiety cause nausea? Well, the answer is, yes! Anxiety can cause physical symptoms that interrupt the daily flow of your life. One symptom resulting from anxiety is what is known as anxiety nausea. Just because you have anxiety, does not mean you will experience anxiety nausea. It is often dependent on how stressed you are or how severe your anxiety is, but everyone responds to anxiety differently. Since nausea is a symptom of being stressed and goes away when calm, it is not something you have to be concerned about unless it is persistent or a regular occurrence.

Does Testing Ease The Nerves

Why Anxiety Can Make You Feel Ill And Sick

While testing may seem like a quick, easy way to alleviate health-related worries, for people in whom health anxiety has become uncontrollable, testing rarely provides lasting relief. “Repeated testing is unable to reassure people with health anxiety people don’t feel calmed when they get new information that disproves their fear,” says Dr. Scarella. Doctors often fall into this trap, thinking “What’s the harm in doing a test to reassure this person?” It seems like a reasonable approach. But, ultimately, no amount of testing ends the worry, Dr. Scarella says, and in fact, it may only serve to reinforce the anxiety.

While some people constantly consult their doctor and request testing, in other cases health anxiety causes people to avoid the doctor entirely, which can lead to treatable conditions going undiagnosed. “There are real risks in not going to the doctor for example, not getting appropriate cancer screenings,” says Dr. Scarella. This avoidance can become very dangerous when someone has a real condition but is afraid to get checked out for fear of bad newssuch as a person who has appendicitis but puts off going to the doctor.

Also Check: How To Deal With Anxiety Naturally

Can Being Sick Make You Vulnerable To Anxiety

Every year in the United States alone we get billions of colds, flues, and other common ailments. For most people these well known sicknesses cause a lot of aggravation but not much else. If you have an anxiety disorder on the other hand, something as basic as the common cold can make you a bit jumpy.

The motivation behind this post is really simple Im sick. Ive been sick with a chest cold for about five days now and although things are improving slowly I have noticed an effect on my anxiety.

And because Ive been laying in bed for a couple of days Ive had some to time to think about this issue and want to share my thoughts.

What I have found is that the common cold, flu, or other common ailments dont actually effect your anxiety level. What can effect your anxiety level is the emotional stress related to being sick.

You see as you lay there with the sniffles, runny nose, cough, body aches, and fever your mind starts to wonder. Because youre actually sick you begin to see the sickness as something more threatening than it is. Or you may believe that it may turn into something more serious.

On a more tangible level you may also become effected by some of the things youve tried to do to kill the bug causing all the misery. That is you went to the store and stocked up on over the counter drugs to suppress the many symptoms you have.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated

You can check what treatment and care is recommended for anxiety disorders on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website.

NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. NICE only provide guidelines for:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder,
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder ,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder , and
  • Social anxiety disorder.

The NHS does not have to follow these recommendations. But they should have a good reason for not following them.

We have described some of the treatments for anxiety disorders below. The treatments you will be offered depend upon the type of anxiety disorder you are experiencing.

You can find more information about treatments for:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder by clicking here.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder by clicking here.

Monitoring your symptomsSome anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder may get better by itself with no treatment at all. Or after education and advice from your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms to see if they improve. And they will talk to you about medications that you can get without a prescription. These are sometimes called over-the-counter medications.

Individual non-facilitated self helpThis involves working from a book or a computer program. You will be supported by a trained professional

Individual guided self-helpYou should:

Your learning should:

Medications

Read Also: Does Anxiety Cause Chest Tightness

Effects Of Anxiety On Your Mind

These can include:

  • feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
  • having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst
  • feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
  • feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
  • feeling like you can’t stop worrying, or that bad things will happen if you stop worrying
  • worrying about anxiety itself, for example worrying about when panic attacks might happen
  • wanting lots of reassurance from other people or worrying that people are angry or upset with you
  • worrying that you’re losing touch with reality
  • low mood and depression
  • rumination thinking a lot about bad experiences, or thinking over a situation again and again
  • depersonalisation a type of dissociation where you feel disconnected from your mind or body, or like you are a character that you are watching in a film
  • derealisation another type of dissociation where you feel disconnected from the world around you, or like the world isn’t real
  • worrying a lot about things that might happen in the future you can read more about these sorts of worries on the Anxiety UK website.

“I could feel all these physical symptoms building inside me, literally filling every part of my body until I felt completely light-headed and disembodied.”

Anxiety and physical health problems

Having a physical illness or disability can also make you feel stressed and anxious, so it might sometimes feel like your anxiety problems and physical health problems are part of a vicious circle.

What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety That Makes You Feel Nauseous | Mental Health Today, Episode 006

This section provides an overview of the most common types of anxiety disorders.

  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder

GAD is common. The main symptom of GAD is over worrying about different activities and events. This may feel out of your control. You feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD. You might feel on edge and alert to your surroundings.

This can affect your day-to-day life. You might find that it affects your ability to work, travel places or leave the house. You might also get tired easily or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You might have physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and sweating.

It is common to have other conditions such as depression or other anxiety disorders if you have GAD.

GAD can be difficult to diagnose because it does not have some of the unique symptoms of other anxiety disorders. Your doctor is likely to say you have GAD if you have felt anxious for most days over six months and it has had a bad impact on areas of your life.

Panic disorder

You will have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger if you have panic disorder. They can happen suddenly and feel intense and frightening. You may also worry about having another panic attack.

Panic disorder symptoms can include the following.

You may also dissociate during a panic attack. Such as feeling detached from yourself.

Social anxiety disorder

Some common situations where you may experience anxiety are the following.

Read Also: Are There Over The Counter Medications For Anxiety

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety

When Spider-Man is in a dangerous situation, his Spidey-sense starts firing. Its a sixth sense that alerts him to danger and heightens his fight or flight.

Anxiety works a lot like that. When you feel anxious about a situation, your brain starts sending out high alert signals. Its how your body prepares you to fight, flee, or freeze. In the right circumstances, anxiety can save your life.

Chronic anxiety is a different story. It stretches your nerves, the same way you can stretch out an elastic band. If your nerves stretch for too long or too often, its hard for you to return to normal.

Can Emotional Abuse Make You Sick Yes And Heres How

The goal of emotional abuse is to control, belittle, isolate and shame you into subservience. At first, they entrap you with intense romance. Then they slowly isolate you so you become more and more dependent on them. But, can emotional abuse make you sick?

Your sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and having your own ideas and perceptions erode. Over time, you lose your autonomy and sense of well-being.

When people come to my office, most of the time they dont even realize that they have been emotionally abused. It might not be something that you think could happen to you. But as you come to understand what it is and how it effects your body, you may be shocked to realize what is actually happening.

Emotional abuse makes you feel like you arent worth anything and that you are incapable. Being told you are crazy and making stuff up can cause enormous self doubt. You stop trusting your instincts and taking care of yourself. You lose the ability to move out of harms way and the emotional abuse continues.

Keeping all the fear, sadness and pain locked up inside can take a toll on your health. Emotional abuse has the effect of isolating you from your support system, so you feel alone and hopeless. All these feelings effect your nervous system and can cause sickness. So, can emotional abuse make you sick? The answer is yes.

Also Check: How Do Know If You Have Anxiety

What Are The Symptoms Of Stress

Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health. No part of the body is immune. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Symptoms can be vague and may be the same as those caused by medical conditions. So it is important to discuss them with your doctor. You may experience any of the following symptoms of stress.

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself , lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy

Stress Anxiety Vomiting And Stomachache: What You Can Do

Learn how anxiety can make you feel sick (and what to do ...

If you or your child suffers frequent stomachaches or nausea, first see a doctor to rule out any physical cause. Physical causes — bacteria, a virus, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, constipation — are usually behind the stomachaches and vomiting of younger children.

Continued

Its beyond toddlerhood when you tend to get into the stress-triggered abdominal complaints, says Chris Tolcher, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Once youve ruled out physical causes, take a close look at how you or your child react to stressful situations.

We all know that our mind influences our body, and vice versa. The science of emotion and stress is starting to catch up with our intuitive understanding of this, Dennis says.

Therapy can help children and adults. But, often theres no need for a therapist. Learning how to regulate emotions more effectively also helps.

The key may be to learn how to look for the silver lining in each emotionally challenging situation before we have an emotional reaction, Dennis says.

For example, perhaps an upcoming job interview or school test would normally make you or your child anxiously fear failure. This fear leads to a cascade of negative emotions, stress, and physical distress. Instead, try to see the situation in a more positive light: An opportunity to share your expertise or enthusiasm, or to learn.

Don’t Miss: How To Stop Anxiety Stomach Aches

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