Anxiety can mask a serious illness

When faced with an unfamiliar or stressful situation, it is common for most people to feel afraid, anxious and distressed. However, unexplained anxiety could signal an underlying medical problem that is quite different from general anxiety or nervousness. Sarah Saaman, a cardiologist in Plano, Texas, and author of “Best Practices for a Healthy Heart: How to Stop Heart Disease Before or After It Starts”, explains the sudden and unexplained sense of anxiety, “while you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder, your symptoms could also be masking another ailment.”

Some common medical conditions that are often confused with anxiety are given below:

Thyroid disorders: According to Donnica Moore, a woman’s health expert in Chester, New Jersey, hyperthyroidism is the most common cause of a person feeling anxious all of a sudden. In most instances, there is no prior history of anxiety. During hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland, which is the body’s thermostat, produces inordinately large amount of the thyroid hormone, which in turn increases the body’s metabolism rate. As a result, there is excessive sweating, increased heart rate, weight loss and anxiety.

Asthma: Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways which are blocked due to extra mucus. It has been observed that asthma aggravates when someone is going through stressful times. The body releases chemicals such as histamine and leukotrienes, which have the effect of narrowing the airways leading to the lungs. Also when a person is stressed out, the chances are that they are less likely to have their medication.

Heart problems: According to the researchers, women who have had a heart attack had anxiety issues a month prior to the attack. Apart from anxiety, there are certain other symptoms that signal that something is amiss with one’s cardiovascular health. These include insomnia, shortness of breath, unexplained fatigue and sleep disturbance. As the symptoms of a heart attack and anxiety are similar, it is best to seek immediate medical attention in case one is not sure about the risks involved.

Anemia: Shortage of red blood cells causes anemia. Red blood cells are the carriers of oxygen. Lack of red blood cells leads to shortage of oxygen. This can lead to palpitations, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. During a panic attack, a person exhibits similar symptoms.

Zinc deficiency: Studies reveal that deficiency of zinc leads to mental disorders like anxiety and depression. An adult woman requires 8 mg of zinc in a day while an adult male requires 11 mg of zinc. Vegetarians and vegans have less zinc in their diet. Elderly and senior citizens also lack this mineral.

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin B12 is responsible for causing anxiety and depression. According to experts, adults require 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 in a day. However, vegetarians and vegans do not get the sufficient amount in their diet. Vitamin B12 is required to create neurotransmitters which control moods and the deficiency can often be overlooked and misdiagnosed.

Road to recovery

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in America. It is estimated that 40 million American adults suffer from this disorder. Most people develop the symptoms before they turn 21 and the condition is more common in women than men.

If you or your loved one is suffering from anxiety, contact the Anxiety Disorder Treatment Arizona representatives to locate the best anxiety disorder treatment centers in Arizona that offer evidence-based interventions for sustained recovery. You can call our 24/7 helpline 866-425-9317 or chat online with an expert to get more information.