Can Anxiety Make You Vomit?

A cartoon figure is asking "can anxiety make you vomitCan anxiety make you vomit?

That’s a question some anxiety sufferers might be asking. It’s common knowledge that people under some extreme frightening situations. For example, you might not know when you pee your pants if you come across an angry bear who has it in for you….

…however, what about vomiting? Can anxiety make you vomit? This is something we will try to answer in this article. But first, what is vomiting?

What is vomiting?

Vomiting is a powerful ejection of the contents of your stomach and intestines. Vomiting is controlled by an area located in the medulla, at the base of the brain. This region receives a stimulus that sometimes induces the body to execute this action.

a boy is vomiting from anxietyWhen stimulated, the impulse is sent to the chemoreceptor trigger zone in the medulla which relays it to the integrative vomiting center also in the medulla which then instructs your body to vomit.

For example, it is possible to experience a feeling of nausea and even gagging when seeing a repulsive image or a traumatizing event.

What is anxiety?

We should know that anxiety itself is normal especially when we are faced with dangerous situations or extreme conditions. However, when irrational situations make you afraid you might be battling with anxiety disorder. So…

…when does anxiety become abnormal? It becomes abnormal when you have excessive worries persistently, for a minimum period of 6 months….

…or if your worries significantly affect your quality of life. in this case, its called generalized anxiety disorder.

What causes generalized anxiety disorder?

As with most psychiatric disorders, the cause of generalized anxiety disorder is unclear. It is believed that various factors interact. There are studies that have detected a family predisposition to suffer from this disorder. Despite this, these results are not yet consistent and a certain pattern of family aggregation has not been demonstrated.

Several hypotheses have been postulated regarding the involvement of certain neurotransmitters and their brain receptors.

We can mention the possible alteration in the regulation system of serotonin (brain neurotransmitter) or the theory based on the possible malfunction of the benzodiazepine receptor linked to the neurotransmitter receptor GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

There are some neuroimaging studies in which certain differences have been found with healthy individuals, despite this, it is inconclusive due to the fact that we are not sure whether this is actually the cause or the effect of anxiety.

There are also various psychological theories of anguish, such as psychodynamic theory, behavioral theory, and cognitive theory.

When should you suspect Generalized anxiety disorder?

In addition, along with anxiety and worry, there are usually other symptoms involved: a sufferer is usually restless, impatient, irritable, with muscle tension, easily fatigued, he has trouble concentrating and sleeps badly.

anxiety makes woman vomitAlthough individuals may recognize that their concerns are excessive, they are not able to control it….

…In addition to this, it might affect negatively your interpersonal relationships (with family, friends, co-workers,)…

…your performance in work. Also, someone with an anxiety disorder may tend to exaggerate fears and risks.

This state of continuous “hyper-concern” does not allow them to pay enough attention to other issues (tasks, relationships, …) and that is why, as we have said, other aspects of their lives are affected.

Adults suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder usually worry about normal situations of daily life, such as performing a new task at work, taking on a certain job responsibility, economic matters of the family, their health, or other minor problems. These concerns may vary over time…

…and we could say that it seems that when you are not worried about one reason, it is for another. Let’s just say that means that you have a black belt in worrying.

Diagnosis. How to know or confirm?

It is necessary to consider that not all anxiety is pathological and, therefore, it is necessary to differentiate the possibility of being faced with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder or not.

⦁ Anxiety disorders are difficult to control and interfere with the habitual activity of the individual, unlike the usual worries in life that can be better controlled and don’t interfere with the person quality of life.

⦁ It also differentiates the intensity, duration, and degree of interference with the patient’s daily routine.

⦁ The presence of the aforementioned physical symptoms (nausea, headache, tremor, …) also supports the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder.

⦁ It is essential that the aforementioned symptoms have a duration of more than 6 months to make a diagnosis.

nausea from anxiety in womanDid many of the pointers resonate with you?

The greater the number of concerns of these, the more likely the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder is.

It should be considered that the situations that cause anxiety and worry are not limited to a specific and unique issue…

…such as the fear of suffering from an illness, to speaking in public, to gain weight, to be away from loved ones, to a determined animal (spiders, snakes, rats, …). Those are more like phobias.

Also, anxiety and worry that appears after suffering a traumatic event for the individual (serious car accident, rape, …) is known as post-traumatic stress disorder and not a generalized anxiety disorder.


The ideal treatment for these patients would be to find natural solutions to lower their anxiety levels but in some, sever cases, the combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy is the best way to go. Physical exercise on a regular basis is highly recommended since it reduces anxiety.

In psychotherapy it is important to establish a human-doctor-patient relationship, this support psychotherapy will be aimed mainly to guide the patient to modify behaviors and persistent thoughts that produce an increase in anxiety.

The patient must want to change…

It is important that the patient shows an interest in applying these modifications and shows collaboration. The techniques most used from the behavioral point of view, directed above all to the physical symptoms, are relaxation techniques and biofeedback (emotional control technique).

At the pharmacological level, the treatment must be individualized, assessing each case in particular. The most commonly used drug is benzodiazepines (anxiolytics), considered in this disorder the treatment of choice.

The choice of benzodiazepine (BZD) is decided based on various factors such as the age of the individual, the presence of other medical illnesses in the patient and the history of good response prior to a given BZD. Propranolol can be used to control certain physical symptoms, such as tachycardia if considered necessary.

Can anxiety make you vomit?

So now that we know a little about anxiety and vomiting. We can say that the answer to the question; can anxiety make you vomit? is yes, but, we don’t yet fully understand how. We do have some shared neurotransmitter controlling anxiety like serotonin and dopamine which also play prominent roles in vomiting and thus may be responsible for vomiting in anxiety when hawing anxiety.

Here’s what you can do if you feel sick from anxiety:
#1 Put a cool, wet cloth to your forehead

This can reduse the nausea quickly and many people find that a dampened rag can relieve the suffering quite a bit. Lay down or tilt your head back so the cloth stays in place on your forehead, and re-wet it as necessary.

#2 Drink camomile tea

Camomile tea has been used for hundreds of years to treat nausea and stomach cramps. In addition to this camomile also posesses anti anxiolytic effects…a dubble whammy indeed.

#3 Get more tools

For more tools and tricks on how to handle anxiety we recommend you take a look around this website as there are many of them here. You could for example start with the article natural ways to deal with anxiety  Another great resorse is our article “what are the best anti anxiety supplements out there”. If you are interested you can
click here to find that article.

Thank you for reading the article “Can anxiety make you vomit?”

-Natural Health Evolution Team-