Anxiety is a very common disorder, however it is often only the mental symptoms that are talked about, not the physical effects of anxiety.

Read on to find out about five symptoms you might not realise are signs of anxiety.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is a very common symptom of anxiety and often one which can cause even more anxiety in itself.

Many people who suffer from anxiety feel short of breath during episodes of anxiety, and this is usually a result of hyperventilation.

Also known as ‘overbreathing’, hyperventilation is when your body is receiving too much oxygen and expelling too much carbon dioxide.

Blurred vision

Another symptom of anxiety, which can often cause the sufferer to feel even more anxious, is blurred vision.

Again this can be due to hyperventilation, but it can also be due to pupil dilation.

Often sufferers experience this as a response to an overactive ‘fight or flight’ system, triggering your nervous system to react.

Pins and needles

Again, due to hyperventilation, during anxiety attacks it is not uncommon for sufferers to experience pins and needles, otherwise known as paresthesia.

This is because during hyperventilation the imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide results in every vessel inside the body to constrict, whilst also reducing the release of calcium into the nerves.

This then causes the nerves to feel ‘tingly’, and therefore gives the sufferer the feeling of paresthesia.

Stomach ache

The stress that anxiety puts on the body can often result in the sufferer experiencing stomach ache or cramps.

There are several reasons as to why this might be. Firstly, it can be due to hormone levels.

As stress affects hormone levels, and hormones are used to aid digestion, often when you are anxious this can affect your digestion and in turn cause stomach pain.

Stress can also cause tension in the abdomen, which can exhaust abdominal muscles and squeeze organs, resulting in pain.

Finally, IBS is often linked to anxiety and so can be another possible cause for stomach ache.

Excessive sweating

Excessive sweating is a particularly common symptom of anxiety and is also one of the most embarrassing symptoms.

We sweat when anxious thanks to our body’s ‘fight or flight’ system, and many people who do not necessarily suffer with an anxiety disorder may experience excessive sweating when particularly nervous or anxious about something.

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