We all get a little anxious from time to time. But when you're constantly feeling worried or on edge, you may have an anxiety disorder. But, what exactly is an anxiety disorder? It is a mental health issue driven by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear. When the feelings become so persistent, they begin to interfere with a person's daily activities. The disorders often tend to show signs during the early stages of life - usually in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Anxiety disorders are typically more common in women than in men.
Below, are a couple of tips for recognizing and managing anxiety disorders:
1. Thyroid issues
If you have an overactive thyroid - hyperthyroidism - it raises your metabolic rate which can lead to symptoms like a rapid heart rate and weight loss. This condition can be diagnosed with a blood test, and your doctor can then advise you on the best course of treatment.
2. Heart disease
Symptoms like angina (heart pain) and arrhythmias (uneven heart rate) can trigger anxiety symptoms. If you're experiencing shortness of breath or excessive fatigue with heart pain, contact your doctor immediately. But before you panic about what it may be, these symptoms may also be the result of a panic disorder, not a heart ailment.
Insomnia can feel stressful, but in addition to this, poor sleep can also increase your risk of anxiety. In fact, sleep deprivation can increase depression and general distress, according to a study in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychology. Furthermore, the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) states that sleep deprivation and chronic insomnia can cause an anxiety-related disorder.
High or low blood sugar can set you up for anxiety. According to research published in Medical Science Monitor, 32% of people with type 2 diabetes will be diagnosed with an anxiety-related disorder.
5. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
In the U.S. it has been found that approximately 1 in 5 adults suffers from IBS, according to the ADAA. They point out that the colon is, in part, controlled by the nervous system - which is pretty sensitive to stress. In addition to this, anxiety may also creep in when people fear their condition and how it limits their life. For instance, they may not feel safe in public, because they fear that they won't make it to a restroom in time.
People suffering from asthma usually experience shortness of breath and wheezing which can drive up the risk of anxiety. Your anxiety may be triggered by the internal sensations that come along with an asthma attack.
7. A neurological disorder
This very much depends on other symptoms you may be experiencing, but anxiousness may also be a result of a brain tumor or a temporal lobe epilepsy. In fact, researchers from Italy and Buffalo found that patients can develop anxiety disorders years before doctors diagnose a neurological issue.
Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the muscles. So, when you run low, or when the cells aren't working properly, you may end up feeling fatigued. Consequently, your pulse increases to help make up for the oxygen loss, thus creating a sense of anxiousness.