Anxiety is not just an emotional issue. Anxiety causes very real physical symptoms that can disrupt your ability to live a high quality of life. Treating anxiety is not just about controlling your stress, but also controlling how your mind and body are affected by the symptoms.
Nausea is a common anxiety symptom. Nausea may occur with or without the urge to vomit. Nausea from anxiety can be a considerable barrier to your ability to deal with your hectic schedule. Like other symptoms of anxiety, nausea can be unpredictable, and affect your ability to perform at your best at home, work, school, and in your relationships with your friends and family.
Feel Like Throwing Up?
Nausea may be caused by anxiety, or it may be caused by an illness or poor eating habits. Our free 7 minute anxiety test can help you determine if your anxiety is causing your nausea, how severe it is, how it compares to others, and how to control it.
What Causes Nausea From Anxiety?
Anxiety related nausea comes from a variety of different issues. Its intensity is largely related to the causes and types of anxiety you're experiencing. If you haven't yet, take my free 7 minute anxiety test, where you can get an exact snapshot of what type of anxiety you're dealing with and how it affects you.
Generally, nausea comes from the release of epinephrine, more commonly known as "adrenaline." This disrupts the acids, enzymes, and functions of your stomach and intestine, which leads to nausea-related symptoms. Anxiety can also make it more difficult for your body to process food. That's why many people with anxiety have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which also causes nausea.
Both anxiety and stress also have an effect on hormones, which regulate the acids and enzymes in your stomach and gut. Stress can also cause muscle tension in your abdomen, and that added tension may be squeezing your stomach in a way that leads to anxiety.
A Natural Part of the Fight and Flight System
Anxiety is a natural response, and in small doses it's actually healthy. Some of the symptoms of anxiety - including nausea - are designed to tell your brain that there is something dangerous or new, so that you make a smart decision with your next action. Your brain releases the neurotransmitter serotonin, and your stomach has receptors for serotonin that cause your stomach to know that you're facing a distressing situation.
The problem only occurs when you are suffering from regular stress and anxiety. Then your anxiety nausea can disrupt your ability to perform at school, work, and in your personal life.
How to Cure Anxiety Nausea
In the case of nausea from anxiety, the nausea itself isn't dangerous and unlikely to be indicative of a health problem. Instead, to control your nausea, you need to control your anxiety. Chances are your body is experiencing a great deal of stress from your daily, persistent anxiety.
Several strategies for fighting anxiety include:
- Jogging Jogging is a powerful tool for fighting anxiety. It tires your muscles, which relax the amount of stress that your muscles put on digestion, and it releases endorphins: "feel good" neurotransmitters that improve mood. It also regulates hormones and depletes adrenaline, which can help control anxiety.
- Herbal Supplements You cannot and should not take any medication without a doctor's supervision. Herbal supplements provide a natural alternative to many prescription medications, and may be free of side effects. For adults, Valerian root, Passionflower, and Kava may be effective. For children or pregnant women, it's best to talk with a doctor/nutritionist.
- Deep Breathing Deep breathing is one of several stress reduction techniques that are effective for controlling current stress. Deep breathing involves taking slow, controlled breaths in order to get your heart and mind under control. One method is to sit in a chair and breathe in slowly through your nose for 5 seconds (filling your stomach first), holding for 4 seconds, and then breathing out through pursed lips slowly (7 seconds is ideal). Repeat 10 times. Other relaxation techniques include progressive muscle relaxation and visualization.
- Light and Healthy Eating Your nutrition doesn't necessarily effect your anxiety nausea. But it can affect the severity of the nausea. Heavy, fattening, unhealthy meals tend to lead to more nausea than healthy meals. However, make sure you eat. An empty stomach can lead to more nausea than a full stomach when you suffer from anxiety.
- Drink Water Like healthy eating, water can help keep your body nourished without any ingredients that exacerbate your upset stomach. In addition, it's not uncommon for dehydration to lead to more anxiety, so drinking water can actually be its own anxiety treatment.
- OTC Medicines Tums, peppermint, and Pepto-Bismol may also provide temporary relief for anxiety related nausea. They can be used for nausea that occurs on rare occasion, but should not be used by those that experience regular, persistent nausea from anxiety.
These are all quick strategies to reduce anxiety nausea. However, fighting anxiety is a long term issue. If you experience a great deal of anxiety at home, at work, at school, or in social situations, then you need to learn effective solutions for controlling that anxiety. Once your anxiety is controlled, the nausea will decrease.
Learning to Cope With Anxiety is Crucial - Stop Anxiety Nausea Forever
Anxiety isn't something you want to get rid of with drugs or by self-medicating. It's something you need to control, by learning to better handle your anxiety. Once you know why and how you're suffering from anxiety, you can use tools like desensitization to prevent anxiety once and for all.
When anxiety causes your nausea, the key is not to treat the nausea itself - rather, it's to learn how to control your anxiety. Once your anxiety is under control, the nausea will go away with it.
I've helped thousands of people stop their anxiety related nausea, but before they can begin I tell them that they need to take my 7 minute anxiety test. It's free and easy, and will give you an idea of what's causing your anxiety and the next steps towards treating it.
Only when you know what's causing your anxiety and how can you effectively find solutions that will prevent it from ever coming back.