This is how anxiety affects your Body

Updated on 30 July 2019

Anxiety, in general, is a normal emotion but it can have varying effects on a person’s mental health if he/she is experiencing it inexplicably. Anxiety disorders are, however, not uncommon. From extreme nervousness to unexplained apprehensions, anxiety disorders bring with them a multitude of symptoms that often lead to physical complications as well. While the majority of people are aware of the mental effects of anxiety disorders, the effects of anxiety on the body are often overlooked which, in turn, may lead to chronic health conditions. This is why it is imperative to learn about them and discuss them with your healthcare expert, preferably a neuro specialist. Below mentioned are a few common physical effects of anxiety. 

The effects of anxiety on the Body

Breathing Changes

Anxiety attacks are often accompanied by breathing changes which lead to a condition called hyperventilation or over-breathing. During the normal breathing process, you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. However, when you over breathe, carbon dioxide levels in your blood start to drop which results in symptoms like light-headedness and tightness in the chest.

Changes in Immune Function

One can’t debate the pertinence of a sound immune system. Safeguarding your body from a number of harmful pathogens including bacteria, viruses, parasites etc., the immune system works tirelessly to keep you healthy. A person with chronic anxiety disorder often has an increased level of cortisol in his/her body. This heightened production of cortisol impairs the immune function which, in turn, gives easy access to harmful pathogens and causes infections like flu, cold etc.

Changes in Heart-rate

A person suffering from chronic anxiety disorders may experience an increased heart rate. Consequently, the circulation of blood in the body also changes. These physical effects of anxiety lead to narrowing of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction) which, in turn, brings alterations to the body temperature. This is why people with anxiety disorders often complain about hot flashes. The body increases the production of sweat to combat this. As a consequence, the patient starts feeling cold.

Changes in Urinary Functions

Urinary contractions are controlled by the nervous system. When a person is anxious, his/her brain receives a threat signal. Consequently, the body’s stress response is generated which may cause changes in the normal urinary functions of the body. According to the studies done in this particular field, most women who are suffering from overactive bladder also suffer from anxiety disorders. If someone is suffering from long-term anxiety, the risk of the aforementioned physical conditions increases considerably, hence you shouldn't ignore such anxiety attack symptoms. Your healthcare specialist may further discuss with you the chronic physical conditions associated with anxiety and tell you ways to alleviate them. To know more, you may consult the neuro specialists in one of the best neurology hospitals near you.  





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