Certain lifestyle changes and medications can help you manage your anxiety and nausea.
Anxiety nausea is normal, and a very common symptom when you’re experiencing anxiety.
In this article, we’ll review what anxiety nausea is; its causes, treatments, and coping strategies; and when to contact a medical provider about nausea, anxiety, or both.
What Is Anxiety Nausea?
Anxiety nausea is feeling nauseous or experiencing stomach distress due to anxiety.
In addition to nausea, anxiety can cause other symptoms such as:
Anxiety is the cause of anxiety nausea.
Anxiety is a normal part of life. Anxiety itself is very common and has a range of causes. Sometimes it can seem like anxiety occurs without a clear reason.
Some anxiety triggers include genetics, stress, brain chemistry, and a person’s environment.
People are more likely to experience anxiety if they have:
- History of traumatic events
- Family history of anxiety
- Other mental health conditions
- Certain physical health conditions
Some physical health conditions are also associated with anxiety and nausea.
In some cases, medication—such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat anxiety—may cause nausea, which is often a temporary side effect.
Treatment and Management
If you have anxiety nausea, the best way to manage it is to treat the root cause: anxiety.
Anti-anxiety medications, talk therapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these treatments may help.
Your doctor will discuss your options and work with you to come up with the best plan for you.
If your nausea persists after treating your anxiety, you can manage it with medication and home remedies.
- Medications your provider may prescribe to treat nausea include:Dopamine receptor antagonists (DRA) (like Domperidone) and Antiemetics (like Zofran). Talk to your provider about the best medication choice for your anxiety nausea.
The following home remedies and alternative therapies may also help:
- Ginger and ginger tea
In addition to medication, talk therapy, and home remedies, you may be able to manage your anxiety with lifestyle changes and coping strategies such as:
- Movement: Physical activity releases endorphins, hormones that can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety. The important thing is to pick something that you enjoy and try to be active for at least a few minutes every day.
- Taking breaks: Pausing for even a minute to breathe deeply can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Guided breathing: Listening to a guided meditation or breathing exercises can lower your heart rate and make you feel present, which may reduce anxiety and any resulting nausea.
- Acceptance: Try to limit stressing about things you can’t control. Instead, focus on the things that you can. Although it may sound counterintuitive, accepting your nausea and anxiety may help resolve them.
How Anxiety Affects Your Body
Although anxiety is a mental health condition, it can cause physical symptoms.
Anxiety can get triggered if you are in a dangerous or scary situation, or sometimes even if you are experiencing too much stress.
When anxiety is triggered, your fight-or-flight response gets activated and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released.
The fight-or-flight response is responsible for the physical sensations of anxiety that you may experience. While these sensations are uncomfortable, they are not harmful.
Anxiety can cause a range of physical symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Stomach pain, diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach cramps, vomiting, and nausea
- Fatigue and sleep issues
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling hot or cold and sweating
- Muscle tension and shakiness
- Tingling and numbness
When to See a Medical Provider
If you experience any anxiety symptoms that interfere with your daily life, contact your medical provider.
Also contact them if you have anxiety and persistent nausea.
They can determine the cause of your nausea and recommend treatment.
How K Health Can Help
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Frequently Asked Questions
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Anxiety Disorders. (2022).
Effect of Nausea and Vomiting on Anxiety and Depression Levels in Early Pregnancy. (2018).
Nausea: a review of pathophysiology and therapeutics. (2016).
Nausea and Vomiting in 2021: A Comprehensive Update. (2021).
Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options. (2020).
Treatment of anxiety disorders. (2017).