Effects Anxiety Has on the Body

5 Effects Of Anxiety On The Body

Feeling anxious every now and then is our body’s natural response to stress. Worried thoughts, tension, and apprehension about impending events are only a few of the symptoms anxiety carries with it. However, while distressing, anxiety is not always considered a medical condition and often subsides after the stressful situation is over. 

Nevertheless, if the uneasiness persists, you could be at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. 

Common Anxiety Disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Phobias 

To avoid anxiety disorders from running rampant and to be able to know when to seek professional help, it is important to learn to recognize the effects these conditions can have on our bodies. 

Immune System

Fight-or-flight responses are the physiological reactions that occur when we find ourselves in highly stressful situations. When faced with danger, our bodies release hormones that can trigger two possible reactions: staying and dealing with the situation or running away to safety. 

If you experience this type of response frequently, your body may have a hard time returning to its normal functioning, which can consequently weaken your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to illness and viral infections. 

Digestive System

Our digestive and excretory systems can also be affected by anxiety. Stomach pains, a loss of appetite, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), vomiting, and diarrhea are only a few ailments that can occur when suffering from anxiety disorders. 

Cardiovascular System

Anxiety disorders can cause cortisol levels to spike; this increases the risk of noticing heart palpitations, chest pain, and rapid breathing patterns, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. 

Respiratory System

Rapid, short, and shallow breathing is another effect anxiety has on the human body. This pattern can become unhealthy if more oxygen is inhaled than carbon dioxide exhaled; an excess of carbon dioxide in our bodies restricts the blood supply to the brain and can lead to dizziness, numbness in the hands and feet, or loss of consciousness. Moreover, it can worsen the symptoms of individuals who have Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). 

Muscle Tension and Chronic Pain

When the region of our brains associated with emotional processes, known as the amygdala, sends distress signals to our nervous system to prepare for a stressful event, our muscles respond by contracting or tightening. Constant muscle contractions can cause muscle tension and, consequently, chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or joint pains, among others, may appear. 

Looking For Mental Health Professionals? Contact Us Today 

At Southern Connecticut Behavioral Health, LLC, we offer outpatient, individualized, psychological care in and around Milford, Connecticut. We are here to help you heal and find the strength within you.

We can answer all your mental health questions; give us a call at 475-477-4057 or fill our contact form and we will get back to you in no time!