Exploring the Link Between Anxiety and Nausea

Anxiety triggers your body’s response to threats and things that cause discomfort. It’s a psychological response to stress that can be mild or severe.

When you’re anxious, you may experience a range of negative emotions like fear and worry. But anxiety also has physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, racing heart, stomach cramping, sweating, and nausea.

Anxiety Induced Nausea

Nausea is an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach that makes you want to vomit. It can happen for many reasons and is a common symptom of various illnesses.

With your body in crisis, it prepares for the fight or flight response, releasing a rush of hormones. When these hormones reach your digestive system, they can trigger nausea and other sensations like stomach cramping and diarrhea.

The reason you may experience nausea when anxious is essentially the link between your brain and gut. 

Both areas can affect one another. Anxious thoughts can affect your digestive functioning, and likewise, digestive functioning can affect your state of mind.

Managing Anxiety Induced Nausea

Nausea caused by anxiety is different from nausea due to an illness. While it’s not something to worry about, it can be highly unpleasant. You may end up vomiting, or the feeling may linger until anxiety passes.

If you experience anxiety-induced nausea, there are things you can do to find relief. Let’s take a look.

Try Medications

You could consider medications to relieve anxiety symptoms if your case is severe. Over-the-counter antiemetics like Benadryl may help with your nausea.

However, since the main issue is anxiety, you may want to address it first. You probably shouldn’t start taking anxiety medications, though. See a doctor about it for further directions.

Calm Down

One of the remedies for anxiety is getting your body to relax. Remove yourself from the situation triggering anxiety and find a place to sit and calm down.

Take your time and practice deep breathing to help slow down your heart rate and lower blood pressure. Breathing exercises are essential as they reduce stress hormones, calming you down faster.

You can also try other relaxation tactics like progressive muscle relaxation to better control your anxiety.

Focusing on calming down relieves anxiety, resolving the sick feeling in your stomach.

Eat Something Dry

Eating anything when you’re nauseous is not advisable, as that will likely make things worse.

But you can snack on dry foods in small amounts to counter the unpleasant feeling. Dry fruits, crackers, or even candy can help.

You shouldn’t touch greasy foods and dairy products because they are known to trigger nausea in the first place. While munching on dry foods helps, eat only tiny amounts because your digestive system is not settled yet.

Sip Water

Water doesn’t have taste, which makes it ideal for quieting the stomach and relieving nausea. Take care not to gulp down or drink too much, as that could have the opposite effect.

If plain water doesn’t work for you, consider adding citrus flavor, which is good for nausea. Squeeze an orange or lemon, mix the juice with water, and then take slow sips.

Loosen Your Clothes

If you’re dressed in tight clothing that can restrict your breathing, such as a tie or a pull neck, you may want to remove them to ensure you can breathe freely. That allows you to calm down faster.

Also, loosen clothes that press on your abdominal area or change into light, loose-fitting attire. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to relax.

Treat with THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a major cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. While it has mind-altering effects, it also has therapeutic benefits and is considered medicinal alongside another primary cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD).

In small doses, THC can prevent nausea as it has antiemetic properties. It’s an alternative medication if you want to treat your nausea.

While marijuana products containing more than 0.3% THC are illegal in the US, most states have legalized them within their boundaries. In these states, you can access marijuana for medical use if you have a medical marijuana card issued by the state.

Final Word

It’s normal to feel anxious, which may result in nausea due to neurotransmitters entering the gut. Taking action to manage anxiety, in turn, resolves the accompanying nausea.

If you’re experiencing repeated episodes of anxiety, you may want to see a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis before tackling symptoms like nausea.

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