September 14th, 2018
Do you experience anxiety and at times feel nauseous but aren’t 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.
For most people with anxiety, nausea is caused by stress. For others, the anxiety itself can lead to the development of nausea separate from the stress response. When treating your anxiety, it is necessary to control how your mind and body are affected by the symptoms of anxiety. It may be helpful to track down when you experience nausea happens, what's going on at the time, and what you've tried to do so far to help it. That is one way how to tell if nausea is caused by anxiety. This can provide you with insight into if the nausea is related to moments when you are feeling anxious as opposed to being sick. Many people are accustomed to using over-the-counter anti-emetic medications like Dramamine, but these shouldn’t be used for an extended period of time. Medications like Pepto-Bismol or anything containing Bismuth can have adverse effects like stopping up your digestive system and dehydrating you since they're intended for a different cause of nausea, not anxiety nausea. There are other ways to deal with anxiety nausea that can be more effective and have no adverse side effects.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that intensely focuses on being in the moment. Mindfulness exercises require the absence of judgment or interpretation of the feelings and senses that are occurring within the moment and encourage engagement with the environment currently around you. Mindfulness exercise has been proven to help reduce stress because of its ability to relax the body and the mind. Mindfulness exercises take lots of practice and the more you use them, the easier it is for you to be focused on being in the moment. There are various types of mindfulness exercises, but it is important to discover which type of exercise works best for you! One exercise is to focus on your breathing. When you are feeling anxiety nausea, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
When the body is under stress it can cause muscle tension in your abdomen, consequently creating the feeling that we understand as nausea. The stress also increases your adrenaline and alters other hormones in the body like the stomach lining alter or food digestion. Physical exercise tires your muscles, relaxing the amount of stress that your muscles are putting on your digestive system. Physical exercise also regulates hormones, decreasing the amount of adrenaline produced within the body, which can help control levels of anxiety. Another bonus to physical exercise is the release of endorphins, the “feel-good” neurotransmitters, that improve our mood, also helping to control levels of Anxiety.
Everything in the body is connected. For example, you can not improve your mental health without also improving your physical health. Dealing with anxiety nausea takes a holistic approach, which includes monitoring what you put in your body. Decreasing foods with high salt content or grease can decrease feelings of nausea. Eating on an empty stomach or overeating can also result in Nausea. Make sure you consume the recommended amount of water based on your demographics to prevent dehydration, which can also increase anxiety.
Many of us take for granted the importance of sleep, especially if a person has a busy life. Getting a good night’s sleep falls low on our priority of daily tasks. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can increase anxiety and impacts your ability to deal with anxiety. Sleep gives the body's neurons a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Sleep deprivation creates an imbalance in hormone levels that increase anxiety levels. Too little sleep also increases adrenaline levels which can exacerbate existing anxiety symptoms, like anxiety nausea. Committing to healthy sleep over the long term can help reduce your anxiety.
It should be noted that coping with anxiety and symptoms of anxiety-like anxiety nausea is not always a quick fix and may be a long-term issue, depending on the severity of your anxiety. The best way to effectively deal with anxiety nausea is to gain control of your anxiety and understand why you suffer from it. If your anxiety is severe, then it's really a good idea to get help from a therapist or professional so that you can learn better coping mechanisms. Everybody is different, so it's important to find out what works for you. Consequently, the anxiety nausea that you experience will decrease altogether, allowing you to enjoy your life, nausea-free!
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in therapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic at (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.
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