While changes in appetite, headaches, hot and cold flashes, and stomach issues can certainly be attributed to seasonal illnesses or the flu, they can also be signs on ongoing driving anxiety. From driving phobia to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), any type of untreated anxiety disorder can end up plaguing your body in numerous ways.
Changes in Appetite
Driving anxiety can cause changes in your appetite and eating habits. Those that turn to overeating may be using food as a coping mechanism, particularly since an overload of food can produce an overload of feel-good brain chemicals.
A loss of appetite could be due to excess stomach acids produced by anxiety, which makes people feel full for longer periods. Because anxiety is also linked to low levels of serotonin, those suffering from anxiety may simply not have enough serotonin to fuel a healthy appetite.
Accelerated Aging Process
Premature aging often goes hand in hand with anxiety, with driving anxiety having the power to make your skin age at an accelerated pace. Each bout of anxiety can bring on the body’s “fight or flight” response, which increases blood flow to your muscles – and can wreak havoc on your skin.
Headaches are linked to anxiety disorders as well as depression and bipolar disorder. And if you suffer from an anxiety disorder and migraines, you may be at an increased risk of experiencing major depression.
Driving anxiety is good at making your entire body tense, which can make you clench your jaw and other facial muscles without even realizing it. Anxious folks also frequently clench their jaw or grind their teeth in their sleep. Not only can this result in an extremely sore jaw, but it may also pave the way for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Hot and Cold Flashes
Hot and cold flashes are often attributed to fluctuations in hormone levels. But anxiety and hormonal fluctuations actually affect the sympathetic nervous system in the exact same manner. Sudden chills or bursts of sweatiness can easily accompany driving anxiety.
Upset Stomach, IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and an upset stomach are both linked to anxiety, the possible result of hypersensitive nerves that regulate digestion. Symptoms of IBS include constipation, diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain. Upset stomachs can come with nausea, vomiting and pain.
Anxiety has been linked to respiratory ailments, namely chronic respiratory disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studies have shown an association between people who experience frequent panic attacks and anxiety symptoms and chronic respiratory disease. And those who suffer from COPD and anxiety end up in the hospital more often than their non-anxious counterparts.
Treating the physical ailments that can stem from anxiety is only treating half the issue. The overall aim is to treat the underlying cause, or the anxiety itself, for ongoing and long-term relief.