Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Christopher in Rochester, New York. Can anxiety cause physical illness?
Yes. Anxiety can certainly take a toll on your physical wellbeing. Research suggests that those who suffer from severe anxiousness and overwhelming stress are actually more likely to have a weaker immune system and, as a result, are at greater risk of developing more severe symptoms if they become ill.
Also, the human mind should never be underestimated. You can convince yourself of practically anything. If you feel a pain in your arm, for example, don’t let your mind wander off into unrealistic realms where you believe that you’re chronically ill and that you need your arm amputated; chances are you’re fine. Likewise, the human mind is powerful in the sense that when it’s overwhelmed, your body may also begin to experience unusual symptoms.
One of the most common anxiety induced symptoms that you may experience affecting about 10 to 20 percent of Americans is a digestive disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Symptoms of IBS may be abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, nausea, bloating or diarrhea.
Additionally, anxiety has proven to be linked to the development of cardiovascular abnormalities and diseases. In fact, according to two studies conducted by schools such as Harvard Medical School, the Lone Cardiovascular Research Institute and several other Canadian medical schools, those who are suffering from heart disease before their anxiety disorder or overwhelming stress are twice as likely to also suffer from a heart attack than those who suffer from heart disease without the excessive stress.