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When Worry Turns Into Anxiety

By Sandy Schroeder

All of us have worries that come and go, but when anxiety develops everything becomes more challenging and physical symptoms may show up. When I become anxious, little things suddenly loom large and I feel very tired and irritable. My family usually heads in the opposite direction. If you can relate, you may want to see if your body is responding with anxiety symptoms such as these from 

Nausea or indigestion - An undercurrent of stomach distress or indigestion may keep happening.  

Shortness of breath - The heart and lungs are a pair. When one is impacted, the other may be too. If the heart rate speeds up, oxygen intake may slow, causing the lungs to work harder. Note: Seek medical help immediately if you are also having chest pain or other heart attack symptoms.  

Tingling, tightness, sharp pain - The central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system are connected, which means you are wired from head to toe. When you are anxious, the nerves put the whole body to on alert. 

Sweating or chills - The hypothalamus is another part of the brain involved in anxiety. It controls body heat. When stress hits, and the fight-or-flight reaction kicks in you may feel sudden hot or cold responses as if you are catching something. 

Here is the Mayo Clinic's list of anxiety symptoms. 

  • Feelings of impending danger, panic, doom 
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation) 
  • Sweating 
  • Trembling 
  • Experiencing an increased heart rate 
  • Feeling restless, nervous or tense 
  • Having trouble sleeping 
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate 
  • Feeling tired or weak 
  • Having gastrointestinal (GI) issues 
  • Finding it difficult to control worry 

When to See a Doctor  

The Mayo Clinic suggests this checklist for seeing the doctor.  

  • Your worrying is showing up in relationships, work or other parts of your life and seems to be too much.  
  • Your anxiety worry or fear upsets you and is hard to control.   
  • You are also having trouble with drugs or alcohol and have other mental health concerns.  
  • You believe your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem.  
  • You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors. NOTE: If you or someone you know is thinking of self-harm, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.

As always, stay in touch with your doctor to monitor ongoing anxiety issues and obtain referrals to therapists to work through the issues and provide ongoing support.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Coppell, Tex.

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