Nausea Anxiety Symptoms
You may feel bloated or gaseous, or that there is a lump in your stomach. Sometimes you may feel like you have butterflies in your stomach or that your stomach is tight, or very upset.
Some people refer to it as a 'heavy' stomach. Others experience over acidity or persistent nausea. Some may even vomit as a result. Some describe it as a ‘warm’ feeling in the gut or 'upset' stomach.
Nausea can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel nausea once in a while and not that often, feel nauseated off and on, or feel nauseous all the time.
Nausea may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
Nausea can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.
Nausea can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.
Nausea can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
All of the above combinations and variations are common.
Why does anxiety cause nausea?
Anxiety causes the body to produce the stress response (also known as the fight or flight response). The stress response suppresses the stomach’s function in order to divert the body’s available resources to those parts of the body necessary for emergency action. This suppression aids the body’s ability to defend itself, which is helpful when in real dangerous situations and circumstances. When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly. This allows the stomach to resume normal function. But when stress responses occur too frequently, the body can become overly stressed, which can impair the stomach’s ability to function normally. This impaired action can cause all sorts of problems, including nausea.
How to get rid of anxiety-caused nausea?
Because this symptom is just a symptom of elevated stress, it needn't be a cause for concern. It will subside when you reduce your stress and give your body ample time to calm down. As your body's stress returns to a more normal level, the body can more easily return to normal functioning, which will eliminate stomach problems including nausea. Therefore, anxiety-caused nausea needn't be a cause for concern. There are other reasons as well, which we explain in detail in the Recovery Support area of our website.
Chapter 9 in the Recovery Support area of our website is our anxiety symptoms chapter. It contains detailed information about all anxiety symptoms, including what they are, why they occur, what you can do to eliminate them, and how many people experience them (the percentage of people who experience each anxiety symptom). Our anxiety symptoms chapter includes a more detailed description and explanation about the anxiety symptom nausea.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or 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.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
Return to our anxiety symptoms page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated January 1, 2019.