6 Rare Effects of Anxiety

02 September, 2020
Anxiety can manifest itself in a number of different ways, varying greatly depending on the individual. However, some of the rarer effects of this condition are not quite as well known. We'll tell you all about them in this article.

Some common everyday activities, such as public speaking, taking an exam or a tough day at work, can trigger symptoms related to stress and anxiety.

While the effects of anxiety are known to many, and those who suffer from the condition can usually identify them easily, there are other, less well-known symptoms that are often confused with other mental health issues. We’ll discuss them in more detail below.

Rare effects of anxiety

High levels of anxiety can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health, especially if symptoms persists over a long period of time, or the person receives no or improper treatment.

According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, anxiety can affect both your ability to concentrate and your ability to react quickly to danger.

The rarer symptoms of anxiety do not affect everyone. However, it’s important to be aware of them so that you can identify them.

1. Ringing in your ears

Tinnitus is a high-pitched whining or ringing noise in the ears, which often becomes more intense when there are no external sounds to mask it. This irritating problem can occur in one or both ears, and the pitch or tone of the noise may vary.

Although this condition is attributed to a number of different factors, according to a review published in Science Direct, it can also be related to high levels of anxiety. It’s therefore believed that the detection and proper treatment of anxiety could help to reduce tinnitus.

2. Effects of anxiety: gas or bloating

Although these symptoms are often attributed to other factors, they can also be one of the rare effects of anxiety.

A publication by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America notes that those who suffer from both anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome – a condition characterized by gas, bloating, stomach pain, and sometimes diarrhea – could be susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.

3. Hormonal problems

Anxiety and stress can affect the body in a number of different ways. For example, it can have negative impact on the endocrine system, a set of glands that produces and releases hormones in the body.

According to a review published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, long-term exposure to these conditions can have a negative impact on hormones that are important for the body to function properly, such as growth hormone and prolactin, among others.

4. Effects of anxiety: skin rashes

While breakouts around the nose, forehead, and cheeks are quite common, these rashes can also be symptoms of anxiety.

In a review published in Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets, doctors Ying Chen and John Lyga comment that there is a direct link between emotions, inflammation and skin aging.

5. Hair loss

Anxiety has a direct impact on the entire body, including nails, skin and hair. Although hair loss is not a typical sign, it’s another of the rare possible effects of anxiety.

As mentioned in an article by the Mayo Clinic, high anxiety levels may be related to these three different types of hair loss:

  • Telogen effluvium: this condition causes the hair follicles to enter a resting phase. After a few months, hair begins to fall out during brushing or washing.
  • Trichotillomania: this condition causes the person to pull out their hair as a result of stress, frustration or tension.
  • Alopecia areata: stress and anxiety can also lead to alopecia, a condition in which the immune system attack hair follicles.

If you manage to control your stress and anxiety levels, these conditions are usually only temporary. However, it’s important to see your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.

6. Effects if anxiety: excessive yawning

While there’s still no scientific evidence to explain why we yawn, it’s thought to be a reflex designed to increase blood flow and keep us alert.

A review published in the International Journal of Applied Basic Medical Research suggests that people with different clinical symptoms such as migraines, epilepsy, stress, and anxiety, among others, may also experience episodes of excessive yawning.

This is because these people often have an elevated body temperature. This causes abnormal thermoregulation, which is then corrected by yawning.

When to seek help

Anxiety is a normal response which allows the body to react to different stimuli. Its symptoms vary greatly from case to case.

However, when bouts of anxiety continue or worsen over a prolonged period of time, it’s best to consult a psychologist or another mental health professional for a proper assessment and treatment.

  • Gupta, S., & Mittal, S. (2013). Yawning and its physiological significance. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-516x.112230
  • Robinson, O. J., Vytal, K., Cornwell, B. R., & Grillon, C. (2013). The impact of anxiety upon cognition: perspectives from human threat of shock studies. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00203
  • Pattyn, T., Van Den Eede, F., Vanneste, S., Cassiers, L., Veltman, D. J., Van De Heyning, P., & Sabbe, B. C. G. (2016). Tinnitus and anxiety disorders: A review. In Hearing Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2015.08.014
  • Ranabir, S., & Reetu, K. (2011). Stress and hormones. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. https://doi.org/10.4103/2230-8210.77573
  • Chen, Y., & Lyga, J. (2014). Brain-skin connection: Stress, inflammation and skin aging. In Inflammation and Allergy – Drug Targets. https://doi.org/10.2174/1871528113666140522104422
  • Clínica Mayo. Stress Management. (2019). recuperado el 15 de abril de 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820