“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Anxiety-like Medical Conditions

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: May 11, 2019

Anxiety can present a wide range of symptoms. Therefore, we recommend that all new, changing, or persistent symptoms be discussed with your doctor. Because there are a number of medical conditions that can cause anxiety-like symptoms, you want to be sure that nothing more serious is the cause of them.

The good news, however, is that most medical professionals are well trained to identify more serious medical conditions apart from anxiety.

If your doctor has diagnosed your symptoms as being anxiety related, you can feel confident that your doctor's diagnosis is accurate.

If you are not satisfied with your doctor's diagnosis, you might want to get a second or even third opinion. Feeling confident that anxiety is the sole cause of your symptoms can play an important role in alleviating them.

That said, the following is a list of anxiety symptoms along with other medical conditions that can cause or mimic them.

Breathing, difficulty

  • Aortic Insufficiency
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Collagen Disease
  • Emphysema
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Hemothorax
  • Left Ventricular Failure
  • Lupus
  • Mitral Stenosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Pericardial Effusion
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Pneumothorax
  • Pulmonary Edema

Chest Pain

  • Angina Pectoris
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Lupus

Concentration, lack of

Dizziness

  • Benign Positional Vertigo
  • Cerebral Embolism
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage
  • Cerebral Thrombosis
  • Dental Problems
  • Ear Infections
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergy
  • Food Poisoning
  • Head Injury
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Hypertension
  • Insect Bites and Stings
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Menopause
  • Miscarriage
  • Motion Sickness
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Nystagmus
  • Postural Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Stroke
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
  • Transient Ischemic Attacks

Dyspnea (Breathing discomfort or breathlessness)

  • Anemia
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Collagen disease
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Edema
  • Emphysema
  • Endocarditis
  • Food Allergy
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypoxia
  • Insect Bites and Stings
  • Laryngitis
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Pericarditis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Pulmonary Edema
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Thyroiditis

Fatigue

  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Anemia
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bone Cancer
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Endocarditis
  • Erythema
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Hepatitis, Viral
  • Herpes Zoster and Varicella Viruses
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Influenza
  • Insomnia
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Mononucleosis
  • Motion Sickness
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Pericarditis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Radiation Damage
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Tension Headache
  • Tuberculosis

Heart symptoms

  • Palpitations - one becomes aware of heart irregularities
  • Arrhythmia - irregular heart rhythm
  • Tachycardia - fast heart rate
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Extrasystole
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Post-myocardial infarction
  • Heart Attack
  • Infections
  • Pericarditis

Hyper vigilance (Extreme sensitivity to cues that may signal presence of feared object or situation.)

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Stress

Irritability

  • Common Cold
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Herpes Simplex Virus
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Insomnia
  • Meningitis
  • Menopause
  • Migraine Headache
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Tension Headache

Muscle tension

  • Stress

Near-syncope (sudden loss of consciousness or weakness)

  • Brain Cancer
  • Food Allergy
  • Migraine Headache
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Stroke

Palpitations

  • Anemia
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Pulmonary Hypertension

Sleep disorders

Sweating

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Asthma
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Lung Cancer
  • Motion Sickness
  • Pancreatitis
  • Radiation Damage
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Syncope
  • Thyroiditis

This list is not exhaustive.

Here is a listing of common anxiety symptoms.

For more information on Anxiety.

For more information on Anxiety Disorders.

For more information on Anxiety Attacks.

For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Symptoms; our anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:



The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

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Additional Resources:

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including anxiety like medical conditions.