Did you know that nearly 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorder? Anxiety does not discriminate based on sex, age, gender or ethnicity. While anxiety is a common and natural reaction to stress, it can lead to some very disruptive physical symptoms if it goes unchecked. In fact, long term anxiety can impact your heart, digestive system and other important functions of your body.
The Physical Response to Stress
It is not the stress or anxiety itself that can produce physical symptoms. Rather, it is your body’s response to the stress. When a stressful or tense situation arises, your body will naturally go into “fight or flight” as a reaction. This can cause your body’s sympathetic nervous system to release specific hormones like cortisol. While cortisol can be used to fuel the body, if it is released on a chronic basis without being used for physical activity, the body responds in some negative ways. Many functions in your body, such as your brain and nerves, are regulated and impacted by these stress hormones. Therefore, an excessive amount of stress hormones rarely goes unnoticed in the body.
On a more temporary or immediate basis, anxiety and stress can lead to the following physical reactions according to WebMD:
- Dry mouth
- Fast heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle aches
- Muscle tension
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Trembling and twitching
If anxiety goes unchecked or unmanaged for longer periods of time, it is not uncommon to experience more serious physical setbacks such as:
- Suppression of the immune system
- Digestive disorders
- Muscle tension
- Short-term memory loss
- Premature coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
Finding Help for Anxiety
At Clear Wellness Group, we are keenly aware of the strong link between mental health and physical health. We are proud to offer healthcare services that include specialized treatment for anxiety and depression. Whether you are suffering from crippling anxiety or mild physical symptoms that are affecting your daily life, please contact our Chicago clinic. You’ll find a welcoming, safe environment that is tailored towards helping patients achieve optimal wellness in both mind and body.