What are the physical effects of anxiety?
Long standing anxiety disorders make patients fall prey to chronic physical conditions. When you experience an anxiety attack, your body may respond in the following ways: • Respiratory System: Hyperventilation – an interval of shallow, fast-paced breathing – may set in as a result of an experience of anxiety. Despite our system receiving an increased oxygen supply during hyperventilation, subjects tend to gasp for breath under the impression that the oxygen received is insufficient. This may aggravate the unpleasant symptoms linked with hyperventilation like prickling sensation, lightheadedness, feebleness etc. • Central Nervous System: The brain releases stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline – as part of its defense mechanism to an anxious breakdown. Overexposure to these hormones deteriorates our physical wellness to the extent of increasing chances of depression, digestive issues, cardiac disorders, sleeping problems, failing concentration and memory, headaches, anxiety, weight gain etc. • Cardiovascular System: Paced heart beat and rushing blood circulation in our system are some immediate effects of an anxiety attack. Vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), hot flashes, palpitations, chest pain, high blood pressure, and heart and coronary ailments are other risks you become vulnerable to. • Digestive and Excretory Systems: Cortisol purposely hampers digestion and adrenaline restricts blood flow and slackens the stomach muscles. Diarrhea, nausea, stirring in stomach, anorexia, stomach pain and other digestive problems are the results. This is owing to the fact that our stress response mechanism considers functions like digestion as un-instrumental in coping with anxiety. Similarly, stress, depression or anxiety may trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which in turn causes diarrhea, puking or constipation. Anxiety attacks can also lead to increased urination or uncontrolled urination. Patients can seek self-help techniques or take recourse to anti-anxiety medication to effectively deal with their disorder. However, they must be aware of the various side effects these medications may pose and consult a physician first.
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