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Avatar universal

Can anxiety cause weight loss?

I am 36 years old. I have been having negative thoughts for about a month now. I think there are a million things wrong with me. My mind is constantly working as far as what I feel and if there is something wrong with me. I have lost weight and that is becuase when I worry all the time, I do not find the need to eat! Now is when I am trying to eat only when something calls my attention. This can be one or two times a day. Then I worry if I am loosing weight because there is something else wrong with me. There are times that I have a lot of energy and other days in which I do not want to do much! Symptoms: Shortness of breath certain days, heart palpitations, moody, irritable, I snap back when asked questions, Sometimes I am super excited and other times I am not. My mind is constantly thinking about health issues. Can anyone relate to what I am experiencing???
23 Responses
Avatar universal
i can relate 100% everything u say is defiently anxiety and its not anxiety make su lose wait physically its that ur mind is so worried and busy mentally you dont think to eat i had that problem for awhile whne i frst was diagnosed with anxiety. u just have to relax anxiety is a huge game of mind over matter we all have the tools to fight it and just need to find them. good luck if u need anything ro to talk i run a help line in this forum you can fidn the number and info.
Avatar universal
I agree with Kalmkid.  You are suffering from really bad anxiety.   It is almost a cycle, you are not eating, losing weight, then to top it all off you are constantly thinking about how you are losing weight.   I've been there.  It's horrible.  What I would suggest trying, is drinking boost, or ensure, maybe even a couple of times a day.  You can buy them at a drug store or a grocery store in the states, I don't know about else where around the world. I know they're not the best, but they are filled with nutrients and calories.  Could help keep the calories on while you are going through this.   Have you seen a therapist?  Are you taking any medication?   I take an anti-depressant/anxiety medication, and one of the side effects is an increase in appetite.  That might be beneficial for you.    I don't think you are losing weight because there is anything else wrong with you, but to be reassured this, it might help to see a primary physician.   I think you are suffering from anxiety, I really can relate with always thinking about my health.  It is kind of like a flight for life experience.  Your body is freaking out and you can't help but think something is seriously wrong with you. When you experience these thought, try to calm your mind by deep breathing, and other activities that keep you active.  I hope everything works out.  Stay strong.  Happy Holidays.
Avatar universal
I can so relate to you with this. I have the same thing. My Anxiety brings with it many problems that make me worry I have something nasty too.
I am unable to think straight. My heart beats 10 to the dozen and skips beats, I feel sick, sweat. I get pains in my body, real pains  also in my arms stomach, back and head. My first thoughts are that I have cancer or a brain tumor or blood clot. How silly is that? This is what I truly think and feel.
Only yesterday after feeling unwell for some days now I spent most of the afternoon in bed and that is not like me at all. I could my self spending Christmas in hospital and I had so much to do to.

I go through it all like a film in my mind, working myself up into such a state. I have been to hospital for tests the ECG came out fine, with no problems at all. It seems that the more I worry the worse it gets. Today I got up and felt OK.I managed to drive into town and finish off my christmas shopping.
A total contrast from yesterday.

Not eating too like you say makes me feel bad . I had a chat with my Mum today and told her how I was feeling. She said that I must eat, she said that with all the chemicals that stress can produce in the body no wonder  I must eat. She said it's like not putting any fuel in your car and expecting it to work. I feel she is so right.

Some people eat when they are stressed or under pressure and others like you and me eat nothing.
I am going to try and eat better even if its only little and often.Hope this helps?
Take care
Merry christmas

213375 tn?1202407400
I know exactly what you're going through!  I have had anxiety for seven years now.  When it began I weighed 220 lbs (female 5' 7")  I lost 60 lbs in the first 8 months of my anxiety disorder without diet change and while leading a completely seduntary lifestyle.  I have since become more active and made major diet changes, and am now down to 115 lbs, 120 if I'm lucky!  I try constantly to put some of my weight back on, and have been successful SEVERAL times, but as soon as I go through an anxious period/high anxiety it comes right back off again!  It is so frustrating!  I completely understand your fear as everyday I wonder if something isn't really wrong with me and the weightloss is just another symptom of my "yet to be diagnosed" condition.  I have all of your other symptoms as well.  I hope this helps you and that you felt well today!  Merry Chirstmas!

Avatar universal
I would like to thank all of you that have answered to my post. You do not know how good it feels to see that there are indivividuals out there that can understand what I am going through! The eating is what had me worried and then I tell myself "wait a minute, you are losing weight because your eating habits have changed. I have gone to the extreme of saying to myself ok I am eating but I wonder if this is going to make me gain weight? I begin to feel I am losing weight by the minute. I am very sentimental and emotional. My mind goes 100 miles per hour. Unfortunately I have a husband who does not understand what I am dealing with. This makes it very hard. I try to find comfort in my two little daughters who are 5 and 7. I cuddle with them etc. I tend to feel that everything that is said to me is said on purpose and I lose my edge quite to quickly. Little things other family members do annoy me. When I talk to my sister in law she tends to listen and I feel better. Thank you once again for responding. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and please I will keep you posted as to how I fell. You words are words of comfort!!!!  
366811 tn?1217426272
Can anyone relate? Can anyone relate?!!!  My oh my, have YOU come to the right place! Yeah, we can relate all right. Everyone here knows EXACTLY what you're talking about because what you have is what we have -or at one time did have. So your next question is probably ...what do you DO about it? And you'll be hearing from folks here about that, too. Wait wait, don't tell me -you're NEXT question is going to be, "Will I get over this, will it get better?"

And the answer is, probably YES. Most of us have gotten over, are in the process of getting over, or will get over it. So, let''s get started:

Part of your recovery from this uncomfortable mess is already in your post. "Mind working," "thinking," "attention," "worry." You have very correctly pinned down the central problem. You don't HAVE health issues; rather, you THINK about health issues. Your brain is like a fully throttled up engine in a vehicle that is standing still. You are a good self-observer, very articulate and intelligent. And therefore, you have a pretty good tool kit to address the situation.

Let me cut to the chase. Why is your brain doing these things? Because there is something or things which may or may NOT be in your conscious awareness that are bugging the daylights out of you. They are NOT getting attention, so your brain is sending up signal flares to GET attention. And even though you may be able to point to some things in current experience that are stressing you out quite a bit, it may be unclear as to WHY they are stressing you out. Let me give you an example from my own experience. (Your milage may vary). Some years ago I became involved in the church and was actively seeking ordination. It involved a lot of study and travel, a big committment. I was ultimately dumped from the process because of rumors from someone in my congregation about heavy drinking (when in fact I had become very mindful of my behavior). My bishop treated me like dirt. I was embarrassed before my congregation, and then, the minister took another job and it fell to ME to actually run the place. I think you can see the stressors, and in time I got the jitters, the anxiety, started snapping at people -you know the drill. The cause seems obvious, doesn't it? But wait. Why were there particular events so bad? Long story short -they very closely matched to abandonement perceptions I had, with respect to my father and mother, as a child. Once I saw how the linkages worked from past through present, I got an "edge." This all came out in therapy. The end result was a much higher comfort level in myself -and the symptoms were gone. NOTE: that was a very condensed and incomplete version, and just an example. It was a combination of drugs and talk therapy that set the stage for me to make the changes I needed. I'll never know, I suppose, but I think that if I had the talk theapy long before things got so bad, I would never have needed the drugs. Then again, how could I have known at the time?

What goes on with you may or may not follow in step with what happened in my case, but you may be sure that it will fall well within the collective experience, and collective wisdom, of the folks on this forum and be a good support for the health care providers from who you seek care. And so, the bottom line is this: you're going to get better!

Happy Holidays!
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comment. I love to hear examples as to what may have triggered this to other individuals. I know I am going through changes. I feel unappreciated at work, I feel my co-workers are not valuing me as an individual. Let me explain I am a vice-principal at a school and I originally wanted the position of principal. One of my co-workers also wanted the position and we both went for it. She got it. What made matters worse was that she had to interview another teacher for the position of vice-principal before telling me I had the job. A year lator I found out I had gotten the job because the pastor came in and told her that he was not going to keep delaying the process and that the job was mine. I have a lot of stress factors at my job, I do not feel that my husband fully understands me, He is clueless as what is happening.I worry, worry, worry. I was just fine almost two moths ago, but I realize that these onsets occur in sparadical moments. I can be seating on a chair watching t.v. and my mind is working overtime worrying! It really is exauhsting(I think I spelled that incorrect) brain block! Thank you for your words. Everyday I filter in a little more!
366811 tn?1217426272
School management politics. God-awful!

However, you -brilliant, attentive, alert, self-aware YOU- have pretty well exposed the emotional gremlins at work and so are in a position to take some effective action. I'm going to cut right to the chase:

1. Two issues: the school/co-worker thing; and the husband/marriage thing. Agreed? Good.

2. Emotional CHALLENGES in our CURRENT experience MIGHT have solutions in terms of changing the players involved and the situations in which you find yourself. For example, you could quit your job and take another. You could get marriage counseling. Don't get me wrong here -it may well be that there are some good reasons you really can't do those things. All I'm saying is the problems exist in the present, not the past, and are therefore directly accessible.

3. Emotional CHALLENGES from our PAST experience DO NOT have solutions in terms of changing players and situations -what happened, happened. For example, if an older sister made fun of you when you were 11, and really freaked you out, you can't change it. What you CAN do, however, is to identify the importance of the incident, and revisit the experience you had as a youngster -but this time with the mind of an ADULT. Frequently, the past experiences are not in immediate memory -or are not recognized as important.

4. In general emotional incidents from childhood carry a greater impact on us than emeotional incidents later on. The reason for this is that the mind of a child has less experience against which to evaluate and set a context for events than does the mind of an adult. So, for the adult, each individual experience is smaller compared to the total life experience than is the case with a youngster.

5. At the same time, precisely because each experience in the child's experience is a big contributor to total life experience, how we evaluate and react to life as we move through childhood to adulthood is heavily influenced by early material.

6. And at the same time, much of the early material is forgotten or assumed to be of minor importance. It sometimes functions as the "man behind the curtain."

If all this is true, then your special pain about the work situation (not appreciated) is possibly amplified by past experience. I'm not a therapist and am therefore not qualified to guide you on how to tease it out, so please understand that I'm describing a process which I've experienced and others have also described. It might also work for you: Working backwards from the current work problems, when did anything LIKE THAT previously happen to you? The time before that? And before that? As far back as you can remember. (Simply working backwards in this way may bring out some forgoten material). For many people, there will be something back in their youth. Let me give you an example. Suppose that you work back to an event, when, as a six year old, you worked especially hard at producing a birthday or christmas present for your mother. She expressed great appreciation for it when you gave it to her, but later, you saw her throw it in the trash as she was praising your older sister. What's the message of that? Looms large in the mind of a 6 year old, doesn't it? It is understandable how it would start to influence what you would expect of your next effort to please someone. If this kind of thing happens enough, we actually begin to adopt behaviors that will encourage the same result, over and over.

I think I've given you enough here to understand how the mechanics of all this works. Now, the therapy: When you revisit these occasions, you do so with the brain and experience of an ADULT, and you may therefore decide whether your childhood and subsequent interpretations of the events are really appropriate for you NOW. And you may also find how your own behavior served to contribute to the outcomes as a sort of chain reaction through the years. The services of a good therapist are an excellent help in thinking about yourself in this way. Do not be surprised if merely taking this point of view begins to change things for the better, so the feedback loops you get NOW become much more affirming and positive.

Meanwhile, if you have ugly symptoms, some drug treatment may be in order. That, and everything else I've had to say, should be put before a qualified medical person who can properly advise you. I urge you to seek this kind of support -as your New Year's resolution.

Take good care and please stay in touch.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone. I am new here and came across this forum googling anxiety. I am 36 and I don't know what to do anymore. I am so scared that I have leukemia. I googled it one time and it freaked me out cause if seems I have a few symptoms. I don't know if I am making myself feel like I have these symptoms  because i have bad anxiety. I feel so lost and scared and alone.
Avatar universal
I have this same problem, I am a 21 year old male an I always think the worst in everything and always feel my health is at its worst or that I have something serious I.e cancer.  This makes me not eat due to worry and stress and therefore makes me lose weight and then worry about weight loss. I eat once a day. I also have extreme tiredness and fatigue. Dizziness and sometimes blurred vision. Can anyone relate to these last few symptoms? Help would be appreciated
4205995 tn?1351173108
It's like I just said that like you I'm a 21 year old male and have the same symptoms to a tee I have lost 10 kg in a month just cos I I only eat once a day and some times once every 2 days the best thing I have found is to eat jerky as its good in protein and other stuff witch might stop some of your symptoms
Avatar universal
I'm the same I just try and tell my self it all started when I started worrying about my health I seem to be getting a little better eating wise but I get full quite easy, I'm 20 6ft1 11(stones) by the way, I was 11.2 a month ago I no it's not a huge weight loss but I keep thinking m getting skinnier and skinnier intro to drink a weight gaining protein shake everyday as well
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