On-going anxiety can have a considerable impact on your life, particularly if you feel unable to control anxious thoughts and feelings. As well as creating negative emotions and feelings, the condition can have a direct and lasting impact on your physical health.
In the short term, a spike in anxiety may cause a panic attack to occur. When this happens, patients can report a number of distressing symptoms, such as chest pain, dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. Often mistaken for a heart attack, these symptoms can lead people to seek urgent medical care due to the belief that they’re in a life-threatening situation.
Whilst panic attacks are extremely distressing to the sufferer, they do not tend to pose a serious health threat themselves. In most instances, panic attacks will subside within a matter of minutes, although sufferers may experience symptoms for hours after the attack itself.
Chronic pain and anxiety
When we experience anxiety, our bodies may get tense and muscles may stiffen. Due to this, people can experience various types of chronic pain. Headaches and migraines, for example, can be triggered by anxiety and may occur on a daily basis until the anxiety is treated or resolved. Similarly, back and joint pain is commonly caused by anxiety and may require treatment if it persists.
Unfortunately, the presence of chronic pain may lead to an increase in anxiety. Even when sufferers realise that their physical ailments are caused by anxiety, they are not always able to reduce the anxious feelings and may even begin to experience anticipatory anxiety if they assume they will become unwell.
Can anxiety cause IBS?
Mild anxiety or nervousness if often referred to as ‘butterflies in the stomach’, so it’s no surprise that anxiety can have a negative effect on your digestive system. Irritable bowel syndrome can, in some cases, be caused or triggered by anxiety and people can experience various digestive issues as a result of anxiety and panic.
Although some sufferer’s realise that anxiety is causing their physical discomfort, others don’t. They may undergo various medical tests and procedures before determining that anxiety is the decisive factor in their physical health.
Whilst it is important to rule out other causes of health problems, it’s not uncommon for anxiety to be the main factor behind on-going digestive discomfort.
Does anxiety stop you sleeping?
Many people with anxious thoughts have trouble getting to sleep and insomnia is often associated with anxiety disorders. In addition to this, people may struggle to sleep for a significant length of time. This reduces the amount of time the body has to rest and repair itself, which can lead to a host of further health problems.
Due to the all-encompassing effects of anxiety, it can affect every part of your life. Although anxiety sufferers may report varying symptoms, they often have the same underlying cause and will subside if the anxiety is treated and/or reduced. Due to this, it’s vital that effective treatment is readily available to those suffering from anxiety.