When you have anxiety — or an anxiety disorder — you may already know that it affects your physical health in a few different ways. For example, you may be familiar with shaky legs or sweaty hands.
But anxiety also has several lesser-known effects on your physical health. The providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center explain more about the many ways you can feel affected by anxiety.
The difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder
Experiencing anxiety from time to time is just part of being human. Everyone has stressful times on occasion. Traffic can make us feel crazy, and work can really apply pressure. Our bodies are designed to react to stressful situations by releasing a burst of adrenaline, also known as the “fight-or-flight” hormone.
But when you feel anxiety all the time, you might have an anxiety disorder. Usually called generalized anxiety disorder, this condition can really cause a lot of physical symptoms that can affect your health because your hormone levels remain high.
The physical symptoms anxiety can cause
When you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience a lot of physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include the following:
Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
You may find that you have frequent GI problems if you also have anxiety. You may have stomach aches, nausea, abdominal pain, or digestive problems. Particularly if you’ve seen a doctor about your problems and they found nothing, consider that it may just be due to anxiety.
Short-term memory loss
You may have difficulty remembering things that were in your short-term or working memory. This may cause effects such as the following:
- Forgetting where you parked your car
- Frequently forgetting things, such as where you put your keys or your phone
- Repeating your words because you can’t remember if you already said them
- Trouble remembering what items you were going to buy at the store
- Difficulty recalling information or directions someone gave you
These memory effects may substantially impact your activities of daily living.
Lowered immune system
You may notice that you catch every bug that goes around. If you seem to have a barely functional immune system, it may be due to your anxiety. Frequent or chronic anxiety decreases your ability to resist infections.
You may also get tension-type headaches, especially headaches that happen on a regular basis. If you notice yourself frequently reaching for the Tylenol® bottle, it could be a sign that your anxiety isn’t under control.
You may notice that it takes you longer than usual to fall asleep. An inability to sleep well can indicate that your anxiety isn’t well-controlled. Your sleep problems can be resolved once we control your anxiety.
When you feel anxious, you may subconsciously hold your body in a different and tighter position. This can result in muscle tension, which can affect any part of your body or even your entire body. You’ll find that your tension and your body aches just melt away once we treat your anxiety.
If you think that you’re dealing with anxiety, especially on a regular basis, you deserve to feel better — and you can. Call the providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center today, or request an appointment online.