Can anxiety make you feel really sick?

Why can worry make you sick if it isn’t a medical condition?”

That is correct. Anxiety may make a person feel quite ill. This is why:

1. Stress Reaction

Anxious conduct activates the stress response in the body. The stress reaction involves substantial physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that improve the body’s capacity to deal with a threat: to fight or run from it, which is why the stress response is also known as the flight or flight response.

Consider the stress response:

  • Increases heart rate.
  • The body is stimulated.
  • Improves respiration.
  • Tightens muscles, making the body more resistant to injury.
  • Shunts blood to more vital regions of the body, such as the brain and muscles, and away from less vital ones, such as the skin and digestive system.
  • Most of the body’s senses are enhanced.
  • Reduces digestion.
  • Blood pressure rises.
  • Increases activity in regions of the brain responsible for threat detection and reaction while decreasing activity in brain regions responsible for executive skills such as logical thinking, self-control, and working memory. Just to mention a few.

The degree to which the stress response varies is related to the level of anxiety. For example, modest anxiousness causes a low-degree stress reaction with mild body-wide alterations, whereas terror causes a high-degree stress response with severe body-wide changes.

We might become unwell while the stress reaction is functioning due to the drastic changes generated by a high degree of the stress response. Many individuals become nauseous, even vomit, soil themselves, shake uncontrollably, and lose their ability to think clearly when they are terrified.

However, these intense sensations fade when the stress reaction stops and the body uses up or expels the residual stress chemicals.

When stress reactions occur infrequently, the body can readily manage these changes since they are transient and dissolve fast once the stress response has been completed.

As a result, feeling sick when a result of an active stress reaction is transient and resolves as the stress response finishes.

The term “hyperstimulation” is also used to describe “hyperarousal,” “HPA axis dysfunction,” or “nervous system dysregulation.”

2. Excessive stimulation

When stress responses occur too often, such as from too anxious behavior, the body is unable to complete its recovery. Because stress hormones are potent stimulants, incomplete recovery can lead the body to stay in a state of semi-stress reaction preparedness, which we call “Stress-Response Hyperstimulation.” 

The term “hyperstimulation” is also used to describe “hyperarousal,” “HPA axis dysfunction,” or “nervous system dysregulation.”

Even if no stress response is triggered, hyperstimulation can induce changes in an active stress response. Chronic activation of the stress response can overtax the body’s stress-affected systems, organs, and glands, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Problems with the stomach and digestion
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Cold and hot periods
  • Headaches
  • Feeling like you’ve got the flu?
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and unsteadiness
  • Shooting pains, chronic agony
  • Backache
  • Body jerks
  • Zaps in the brain
  • Tightness and discomfort in the chest
  • Choking sensation
  • And a slew of additional persistent problems.

Hyperstimulation can also cause the nervous system to behave erratically and uncontrollably. This irregular behavior can result in a wide range of sensory disorders, including problems with touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell, and balance.

Furthermore, focusing simply on hormonal changes might result in substantial alterations and issues owing to persistent activation of the stress response.

Hormones are in charge of regulating many of the body’s processes. Furthermore, they complete their jobs almost entirely on their own.

Hormones can also influence the synthesis of other hormones. As a result, it’s plausible to suppose that something as basic as persistent stress response activation might make the body and mind unwell.

Hormones, as you can see, are really potent! A hormone’s activation or fluctuation can have a significant impact on how we feel.

That isn’t everything. Chronic stress is frequently followed by sickness or flu because stress hormones depress the immune system, leaving the body open to microbial invaders.

Yes, persistent stimulation of the stress response may cause the body to become pretty unwell. 

The next time you question if anxiety can make you ill, the answer should be “YES, IT CAN.” And for a variety of reasons!”