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Why Does Anxiety Cause Nausea

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How Anxiety Causes Nausea (MUST WATCH IF YOU’RE NOT EATING)

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The Concerning Symptoms Of Anxiety And The Anxiety Loop

When stress hits and your heart rate increases, your breathing quickens or you start trembling, it can be alarming. So alarming that, in some cases, you might even feel anxiety about your anxiety symptoms. This can lead to a worsening of the anxiety you’re already feeling.

When anxiety hits, try to calm yourself with these tips:

  • Take deep, controlled breaths
  • Close your eyes and try to clear your mind
  • Release tension from your body by relaxing
  • Accept your anxiety, challenge the validity of your concern and try to shift your focus

If your symptoms become severe, including chest pain and/or shortness of breath, seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room even if you think it’s related to anxiety.

And, if you’re experiencing general anxiety more frequently than usual, consider talking to your doctor or finding a mental health provider especially if it’s disrupting your day-to-day life. He or she can help you understand why anxiety happens and what to do about it.

Can Anxiety Cause Headaches

Headaches are associated with chronic anxiety.

Headaches are common in and of themselves, but they aren’t necessarily a common symptom of the general anxiety you might feel here and there.

However, headaches including migraines can be a complication of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder . This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive worrying that disrupts a person’s day-to-day life.

Read Also: How To Help Test Anxiety

Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain

Certain anxiety disorders can cause feelings of chest pain.

Chest pain is not a common symptom of the general anxiety you feel here and there.

However, if you suffer from a type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder, you may experience feelings of chest pain during a panic attack.

The most important consideration any time you’re experiencing chest pain is the possibility of heart attack, which is a medical emergency.

Unfortunately, panic attack symptoms and heart attack symptoms can feel similar. So, whether you have a history of panic attacks or not, you should go to the emergency room if you’re experiencing chest pain.

How Does Anxiety Cause Chest Pain

Why does anxiety make you feel nauseous ...

Anxiety is an emotional reaction that often causes your body to respond with the fight, flight, or freeze response. This response may also temporarily change how you breathe.

Most often, your fight, flight, or freeze response can lead to hyperventilation when youre breathing too quickly and this can increase chest pain.

As many as 1 in 10 people who seek medical care report hyperventilating.

Hyperventilating can cause chest pain because rapid breathing leads to lower carbon dioxide levels in your blood. When this happens, you may also feel lightheaded or tingling in your fingers and toes.

But while anxiety-induced chest pain can be uncomfortable, it isnt harmful or dangerous.

Also Check: How Do I Know If I Have Separation Anxiety

Stress Anxiety Vomiting And Stomachache: What You Can 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.


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.

Why Does Anxiety Cause Nausea

To understand why anxiety can cause nausea, you first need to understand the close relationship between the brain and the gut, and how the two interact.

Your brain and gut are closely linked, so if youre feeling strong emotions, theres a good chance your stomach and intestines will be affected, too, Harper explains. When were anxious, this can impact how the gastrointestinal tract moves and contracts.

As well as having an impact on the physical movement of your gastrointestinal tract , the chemicals and hormones that are associated with anxiety can also interact with the nerve cells in your gut, which in turn can also make you feel nauseous.

Kamara explains: Your gut is lined by the enteric nervous system . This system, sometimes referred to as the second brain, contains more than 100 million nerve cells and goes from the oesophagus to rectum.

She continues: The ENS has a big job controlling a number of things, including swallowing and releasing the enzymes needed to break down food. As the enteric nervous system is closely linked to the central nervous system, your two brains are constantly in communication and can cause changes to each others behaviour.

Finally, Kamara adds, the stress associated with feeling anxious can also weaken your usually-tight intestinal barrier, causing some of the guts bacteria to enter other areas of the body. This leakage can in turn cause changes within your digestive system like nausea, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

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And How To Stop Nausea Or Throwing Up From Anxiety

Like in other symptoms, nausea caused by anxiety can be controlled. If the nausea is caused by an imminent danger, then that is a great body reaction. However, if there is no imminent danger, the nausea and othersymptoms must be controlled or treated.

Nausea and emesis in anxiety can be controlled in two ways coping with anxiety or coping with emesis and nausea in anxiety. Dealing with anxiety will most definitely work on the accompanying symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

When To See A Doctor

How Anxiety CAUSES Nausea (must watch if you’re not eating)

If anxiety-related nausea is interfering with your quality of life and you cant manage it on your own, its time to see your doctor. If its not due to a medical condition, ask for a referral to a mental health professional.

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at some point. There are steps you can take to lower stress and deal with occasional bouts of nausea.

There is help. Anxiety, nausea, and anxiety disorders can be identified and effectively managed.

Also Check: Can Anxiety Cause Dizziness All Day

Psychological Symptoms Of Gad

GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • restlessness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability

Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact to avoid feelings of worry and dread.

You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.

Nausea Caused By Anxiety: Why And How To Deal With It

Anxiety is a condition where your body responds to stress with abnormal fear and nervousness. This may have a variety of mental symptoms as well as physical symptoms. You may observe panic attacks and heart pressure pumps randomly due to this condition. Anxiety is also considered a disorder, but only at specific levels. According to pieces of medical research, you may observe nausea if you are a victim of anxiety.

When it comes to anxiousness, you may often observe worry, focusing difficulties as well as nervousness. You may have already felt nausea while being anxious and came here to know about whether they relate or not related at all. So, Can anxiety cause nausea? The simplest answer for this question is a huge YES! Anxiety nausea is a symptom of various anxiety conditions such as general anxiety disorder. But also, you should not feel disturbed about the anxiety condition if you do not have nausea. Anxiety nausea is not experienced by every person who has anxiety as well as nausea can be observed in people without anxiety.

Most of the people with anxiety nausea have confirmed that they are stressed more than average. Others might have nausea as a result of continuous anxiety too. You should identify the symptoms correctly and control how your body is affected by the moments when you feel nauseous. Treatments can be done based on the insights gained from those observations.

Also Check: How To Calm Chest Anxiety

When To See A Medical Healthcare Provider

Even if you are fairly certain that stress is the culprit, you should discuss any unusual physical complaint with your healthcare provider to ensure that no other disease process is present and contributing to the problem. You should seek immediate medical attention should you experience any of the following:

  • Fever over 102 F or fever that lasts more than three days
  • Rectal bleeding

Anxiety And Alcohol: This Is How Drinking Can Increase Your Anxiety

Anxiety and nausea: What is the link?

She also recommends trying not to avoid situations that make you feel anxious, even if it feels like a solution in the short term.

Some people may feel that avoiding situations that make them feel anxious will rid them of their symptoms. However, its healthier to try and slowly build up the amount of time spent in an anxious environment instead, she explains.

If anxiety is creating difficulties for you in the long-term, make sure you book an appointment to see your doctor. Once theyve an understanding of what youre going through, they may be able to refer you for talking therapies, like cognitive behavioural therapy.

Read Also: Does Anxiety Cause Blurred Vision

Vomiting Illness And Anxiety

Vomiting is not a rare symptom of anxiety, but it’s not a common one either. Discussing your vomiting with a doctor is always a smart idea, especially if this is the first time you’ve vomited as a result of an anxiety attack.

But vomiting from anxiety can still be a very real problem.

Why Anxiety Causes Vomiting

The mind and the stomach are tightly linked. Studies have shown not only that the mind has an effect on the gut but that the gut can have an effect on the mind. The two may not be related in function, but the nerves and chemical receptors are connected.

When someone suffers from anxiety, it sends signals to the stomach related to the fight or flight response. Those signals alter the way that the stomach and gut process and digest food, causing nausea. In cases of extreme anxiety, this nausea becomes so strong that vomiting occurs.

Vomiting may be partly conscious as well. Because nausea makes a person feel as though they want to vomit, those that have greater control over their regurgitation response may encourage their body to vomit. It’s not “on purpose” in the sense that a person is trying to vomit, but with their mind they may force their bodies to let it out based on the way they’re concentrating on the sensation.

Treatments And Coping Methods

In most cases, anxiety is not a cause for concern because it is part of the bodys natural response to stress, threat, or danger.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offer several tips for managing everyday stress and anxiety. These include:

  • Taking time to relax: Activities such as yoga, meditation, and listening to music can help a person reduce their stress levels.
  • Trying to maintain a positive attitude: People can practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Getting plenty of sleep: The human body needs additional rest during times of stress.
  • Exercising daily: Daily exercise releases chemicals called endorphins, which can relax a person and lift their mood. Exercise can also help by promoting sleep.
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake: These can aggravate anxiety and may even trigger panic attacks in some people.
  • Talking to someone: A person may find it helpful to talk to a trusted friend or family member about their anxiety.

The ADAA recommend that people experiencing an episode of anxiety try taking slow, deep breaths in and out, as well as counting to ten slowly and repeating this as necessary.

Some people who experience anxiety find it beneficial to understand their specific triggers. Triggers are situations or events that can bring about episodes of anxiety.

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Is There Anything You Can Do To Ease/prevent Anxiety

Because anxiety-induced nausea is exactly that induced by anxiety one of the main things you can do to relieve this feeling is to work on reducing your anxiety.

Remember youre not alone in this lots of people struggle with these physical and mental symptoms, Harper highlights. Try talking to someone you trust about how youre feeling this could be a friend, family member, trained counsellor or health professional. Dont forget that services like Samaritans offer free listening services, too.

If youve dealt with anxiety in the past, chances are youve tried a wide array of self-help methods. But if youre yet to give any a go, or are looking for new ones to try, Harper recommends things like taking care of your body via exercise and a healthy diet, avoiding using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs and practising mindfulness and breathing techniques to help you relax.

She also recommends trying not to avoid situations that make you feel anxious, even if it feels like a solution in the short term.

Some people may feel that avoiding situations that make them feel anxious will rid them of their symptoms. However, its healthier to try and slowly build up the amount of time spent in an anxious environment instead, she explains.

If you are struggling, you can also ask your GP for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can self-refer.

You can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email for confidential support.

Images: Getty

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