Physical symptoms of anxiety | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 21, 2019

Physical symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical disorder and there might be physical symptoms. Some of them are listed below:

Rapid heartbeat: When something scares you suddenly, like a loud noise, it triggers stress hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol) that make your heart beat faster and harder.

Fast breathing: Along with a pounding heart, you might start breathing more quickly when you are scared or anxious, or feel like you cannot get enough air.

Fight or flight response: Your fright triggers the release of certain hormones that send signals through your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Blood and fuel (glucose) floods to your arms and legs to prepare to meet the threat with one of two options: fight or run away.

Tense muscles: Your body gets ready to protect itself when you are anxious. If you are really startled, your muscles tense all at once.

High blood sugar: Stress hormones can give you a burst of this instant fuel when you are scared or anxious. It is helpful in emergency situation.

Sleep problems: Worry can keep you up at night. Poor sleep can ramp up anxiety even more, especially if you have to work the next day. A to-do list might lessen anxiety by breaking down problems to solve.

Upset stomach: Stress and anxiety can make you feel like you have knots in your belly. Some people feel nauseated and even vomit.

Bowel problems: Anxiety can make you constipated. Doctors are not sure exactly why, but it may be that being anxious changes the way you use the muscles that control how you poop. It can also give you diarrhoea because it changes the way your body absorbs certain nutrients.

Weight gain: Part of the problem is that anxiety can sometimes make you eat more. It also may lead you to seek foods with lots of fat and sugar, which have more calories.

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