Nausea - Anxiety Symptoms
Nausea can be described as:
- An unsettled feeling in the stomach that accompanies the urge to vomit
- Stomach distress that causes an urge to vomit
- Distended and/or bloating in the stomach
- A stomach that feels upset
- A stomach that feels 'warm,' uneasy, 'full,' nauseated
Nausea can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel a pins and needles feeling once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it 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.
What causes anxiety nausea?
Many things can bring on nausea. Some common causes are seasickness and other motion sicknesses, early pregnancy, intense pain, exposure to chemical toxins, emotional stress (fear), worry (anxiety), gallbladder disease, food poisoning, indigestion, various viruses, and certain smells or odors.
Nausea is not a disease in and of itself. It is a symptom of other conditions. For example, it can be a symptom of stomach flu, food poisoning, motion sickness, overeating, blocked intestine, illness, concussion or brain injury, appendicitis, inner ear conditions, and migraines. It can also be a symptom of more serious conditions so it is important to see your doctor if your nausea persists.
As mentioned, nausea is a very common symptom of stress, fear, and anxiety. Since acute or chronic stress, fear, and anxiety can cause the body to function abnormally, they can cause a number of stomach and intestinal distresses including nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, “lump in the stomach,” constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and general stomach malaise, to name a few.
How to get rid of nausea caused by anxiety?
Anxiety and stress caused nausea can be eliminated by addressing your anxiety issues (so that you stop triggering unnecessary stress responses) and reduce your body's stress. Doing so will allow your stomach to return to normal functioning, which will eliminate stomach problems such as nausea.
Because stress adversely affects the body, it may take some time before the body can return to normal functioning and eliminate anxiety and stress caused stomach problems, such as nausea. Therefore, you need to persevere with your anxiety and stress reduction work even though your stomach problems they persist for a while. Nevertheless, as your body's stress returns to a normal level, you should see anxiety caused nausea subside.
Stress and anxiety caused nausea should NOT be considered as a serious problem. In fact, there are many natural and practical things you can do to eliminate nausea, such as over-the-counter remedies, adjusting your diet, and adjusting the timing of eating. We mentioned a number of simple strategies in the Recovery Support area of our website.
For more information about nausea as it relates to stress and anxiety, the Recovery Support area of our web site fully describes this symptom, how it affects the body, why it affects the body, and more importantly, what you can do to eliminate anxiety-caused 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 October 9, 2018.