Anxiety Nausea: What You Need to Know

By Whitley Lassen, PsyD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
July 14, 2022

If anxiety makes you nauseous, queasy, and sick to your stomach, you’re experiencing anxiety nausea.

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

Experiencing anxiety? Chat with a mental health professional through K Health.
Get started

Symptoms

In addition to nausea, anxiety can cause other symptoms such as:

Causes

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. 

For example, people with severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are more likely to have anxiety and depression

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
  • Acupuncture 
  • Aromatherapy
  • Meditation

Coping Strategies

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
Experiencing anxiety? Chat with a mental health professional through K Health.
Get started

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

Want mental health support?

K Health offers anxiety medication for the right candidates.

Get connected to care in minutes.

K Therapy offers free smart chats, which are dynamic, pre-written conversations designed by experts that cover a number of common mental health topics such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationships, and more. Access them for free by downloading the K Therapy app.

Online therapists are also available in select states for individualized care.

Connect with a licensed mental health therapist for unlimited asynchronous text-based therapy. Therapists respond Monday through Friday between 9am-5pm, within 24-hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does anxious nausea feel like?
Anxiety nausea can make you feel nervous and sick to your stomach. You may also experience other stomach issues like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and indigestion.
How do you get rid of nausea from anxiety?
The best way to manage anxiety nausea is to treat the underlying anxiety. Your provider may recommend medication, talk therapy, and coping strategies for both your anxiety and nausea.
Is it normal to get nauseous with anxiety?
Yes. Nausea is a common symptom of anxiety.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Whitley Lassen, PsyD

Whitley Lassen, PsyD, MBA is a licensed clinical psychologist with 15+ years of experience providing therapy to clients using evidence-based interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Dr. Lassen also has extensive experience in behavioral health leadership and received an MBA from the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business, with a concentration in healthcare administration.

K Health logo (used on certain page templates)