Can Anxiety Cause Numbness in One Side of Body?
Anxiety is an issue many people deal with on a daily basis. It is something that can have a wide variety of symptoms and manifestations. Some of these are common, but some of these can be less common and raise a lot of worry among individuals who might not immediately link these problems to anxiety.
For instance, one specific question a person might ask is: can anxiety cause numbness on one side of the body? …
…or can anxiety cause numbness on left side of the body?
Let’s take a look at this specific symptom of anxiety.
The sense of numbing can be common in anxiety. We will examine the causes behind this in the following paragraphs. However, this particular symptom, when it occurs on one side of the body, can be especially concerning for the individual…
…it can suggest that there may be a bigger problem or a health issue that can make the person more concerned and, in turn, exacerbate their anxiety. This can create a cycle where the symptom feeds into the anxiety and the anxiety induces the symptom even more.
Anxiety can indeed cause numbness but numbness can come from other, more serious, health issues as well. That’s why you should consult your doctor.
Consult your doctor
If you feel numbness in one side of your body, it’s not always going to be anxiety. If you find that this symptom is accompanied by others, or if it appears in ways that are not easily explained by anxiety, it is important to consult with a doctor.
The physical mechanism behind anxiety leading to numbness
The reason for that is associated with a proposed mechanism meant to explain anxiety. It is believed that anxiety is a reflection of a misfiring of the fight or flight response associated with the body’s response to danger.
We have a wired-in mechanism that allows us to react in moments when we feel there is danger. This is an automatic mechanism that is associated with what we perceive to be risky and that prepares us to run away or fight depending on what happens. This is a very old mechanism that humans have likely had for thousands of years.
But what if it stays activated?
In the case of anxiety, it has been suggested that anxiety is something that we experience when this mechanism misfires (if there is no real danger that is)…
…we are put on high alert and our body is ready to fight or flee but there is nothing to fight or flee and the danger does not appear.
The fight or flight response is meant to be resolved quickly: we have to get to safety in one way or another. However, when there is no danger to grapple with, it can extend. In the case of chronic anxiety, it means we are constantly running on high alert…
…this puts a strain on the body and can contribute to a lower immune responses and many other negative consequences that are well-described in the literature associated with stress.
The fight or flight responses changes the way in which our body functions. When we are relaxed, our body functions normally and allows for all the necessary process, like blood flow, digestion, and others to continue as needed. Esentially, when we are relaxed, everything in our body is working normally and is prioritized depending on the body’s needs…
…however, when the fight-or-flight response is activated, then certain processes are prioritized over others. Specifically, the body will not care so much for any process that is not essential to survival and will try to engage the mechanisms that are associated with it: our breathing will change, our heart will be pumping faster to get ready to do some physical activity, and so on…
…this means that there are significant changes in the way the body operates.
But how can anxiety cause numbness?
The first thing that changes during anxiety is the breathing. When you breathe in this “survival” mode, you start breathing faster and in a more shallow way. This makes it more difficult for the body to process oxygen and release carbon dioxide, so you will build up excess carbon dioxide.
Here’s the deal
The excess build up of carbon dioxide makes the blood vessels narrow. This means that it becomes more difficult for the blood to reach different areas of your body, so you might start experience numbness and tingling in some areas. Additionally, the blood flow is prioritized in specific ways. Anything that might be needed to run or fight is prioritized, so other areas will receive less blood and less oxygen.
This is why sometimes you may feel numbness. The numbness may appear in different areas and can sometimes be felt primarily on one side of the body, depending on your organism. Anxiety changes the way your body functions to better prepare you for danger, but, unfortunately, with chronic anxiety that danger rarely appears or resolves itself.
This is the answer to the question: can anxiety cause numbness on one side of body…
…some people that hyperventilates (rapid shallow breathing) may experience severe tingling and numbness, feelings like they are going to faint as a result from the vasoconstriction. Even cramps have been reported so it’s easy to see why those sympttms may be frightening, as they are pretty much the same as with cardio vascular issues/heart problems..
…but again, even though anxiety can cause numbness, if you feel numbness on one side of your body, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS consult your doctor to ensure it isn’t being caused by something else, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms or not easily explained by anxiety…
…later, if you find out that it indeed is associated with anxiety, you might try learning breathing techniques, meditation and other natural tools and tricks that will help you regulate your fight-or-flight response.
Breathe deeper but keep it slow
Changing the way you breathe can improve the oxygen balance in your body and might help with the numbness and tingling sensations. Try to breathe more slowly. Let the words deep and slow be your brething mantra.
Getting checked by your doctor may make the problem go away on its own
After getting checked by your doctor, and if your doctor informs you that there are no serious health issues behind your numbness, that alone could be enough to reduce the anxiety induced numbness in your body. Worrying about physical symptoms is often the fastest way to increase them. This is especially true when it comes to worrying so much that the worry turns into anxiety. This is what we call self-fulfilling prophecies.
There are natural ways you can deal with your anxiety
Additionally, working on your anxiety in general is likely to significantly reduce the negative sensations you may experience in association with it. Take a look around this website to find more natural ways to deal with your anxiety. There are natural supplements that works well for reducing anxiety levels as well as other mental, physical and biological tools…
…I can for example recommend a supplement called ProVanax that I use myself for my own anxiety. Even despite the fact that I use many tools and tricks for my anxiety, I really must say that…
…it wasn’t until I started using that particular anxiety supplement that I really started to see a signficant drop in my anxiety levels. If you are interested in reading more about ProVanax you can
click here to go read a review that I wrote about it. I highly recommend using it instead of prescription anxiety medication with their nasty side effects. Since I started using it there are no longer any situations I can’t take on, in life, because of my anxiety and THAT, let me tell you, feels amazing!
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