Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but if it’s a constant in your life it can become debilitating in many ways. About 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the population have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) only about 43% are getting treatment. Anxiety manifests itself in panic and physical discomfort for most people, but it can also cause other unforeseen health problems that you may not realize. Read on to see what else happening in your body could be caused by anxiety, according to health experts.
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Unfortunately, people struggling with anxiety disorders are usually no strangers to chronic pain. They are often related to each other due to how much anxiety manifests within the body.
“GAD is the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder in chronic pain populations,” reports the National Library of Medicine (NIH). “The coexistence of pain and anxiety is perhaps not surprising: both signal imminent danger and the need for action that confers survival value on the individual.”
Joanna Briggsa registered nurse and medical consultant at Jugo Feed suggests that chronic pain is caused by the inflammation that anxiety and stress trigger within you.
“Inflammation from the stress response is one of the most common causes of chronic pain,” she says. “It affects the whole body. Anxiety also causes people to focus excessively on pain, making chronic pain even more debilitating.”
Chronic pain is something you should never ignore: The ADA recommends using cognitive behavioral therapy, breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, and exercise to help with symptoms.
Headaches and migraines
“Stress, lack of sleep, and the constant muscle tension associated with anxiety can all contribute to anxiety headaches,” says Briggs.
We’ve all experienced a severe headache after a particularly stressful day at work or a long night away from home. But for people dealing with anxiety, they can become all too common.
Second YOU, “Headaches can be a common symptom — and sometimes a good indicator — of an anxiety disorder, especially generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. And concomitant chronic headaches can make functioning even more difficult.” for someone with an anxiety disorder”.
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Picture this: It’s midnight and you need to be awake by six in the morning But instead of falling asleep easily, you’re wracked with anxious thoughts about the good, Everythingincluding not getting enough sleep.
Second Sleep Foundation“Anxiety is often linked to sleep problems. Excessive worry and fear make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Sleep deprivation can make anxiety worse, spurring a negative cycle involving insomnia and sleep disorders. ‘anxiety.”
Lack of sleep can also affect other parts of your body leading to more problems.
“Anxiety can cause difficulty sleeping, leading to insomnia, which can come with a number of physical health problems, such as a weakened immune system, an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of depression and other problems of mental health,” he says Alyssa Robertssenior writer at Practical Psychology.
High blood pressure
Anxiety can also play a role in raising blood pressure, which can cause a variety of other problems.
“Anxiety episodes can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in blood pressure,” reports the Mayo Clinic. “And if those temporary spikes happen frequently, like every day, they can lead to damage to blood vessels, the heart and kidneys, as well as chronic high blood pressure.”
Every day anxiety is something that should be taken seriously. Not only does it cause immediate discomfort, but it can lead to bigger heart problems if left untreated.
“Anxiety causes a pro-inflammatory state and is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure. If left unchecked, it can even contribute to the development of coronary heart disease,” says Briggs.
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Many of us have experienced that uneasy feeling in our stomach when we are about to speak in front of hundreds of people or finish an important assignment. But for people with anxiety, this can be an everyday occurrence.
“Anxiety can manifest as digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and acid reflux,” she says. Nathan Fisher, owner of Achieve Health and Wellness. “These may be caused by an increase in stress hormones, which can increase motility in the digestive tract, causing these symptoms.”
Increased anxiety levels can also exacerbate digestive diseases like IBS. “Those who experience digestive problems due to anxiety may then become anxious about the symptoms,” says Briggs. “This increases anxiety levels and, in turn, more digestive issues.”