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Anxiety Symptoms Explained

Needing the Toilet / Nausea

Anxiety and Needing the Toilet/Nausea

It takes many hours and numerous body resources to extract the nutrients and process the waste from any food that we have eaten – time and resources we can't spare in an emergency. As such, any half-digested food needs to be got rid of quickly either from the mouth or the other end. It probably depends on where the food is sitting in our system (the top half or bottom half) as to which way is possible to expel it.



"The sensation that precedes vomiting."

(The Collins English Dictionary)


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Toilet Phobia


This fight-or-flight response also explains why we often have no appetite or feel sick at the thought of food when we are anxious, and it is something we can experience when we are mildy nervous, very anxious or panic-stricken:-

• With nervousness the perceived danger is usually mild or far off and the feelings/sensations are generally vague.

• When we are more anxious these urges get stronger as the actual danger (or our perception of it) feels stronger or closer. (How many people need to use the toilet before exams / interviews etc.?)

• In panic, where danger is upon us, the feelings/sensations/urges become so strong that they usually happen. That is, we actually do throw up or...


Physical anxiety symptoms result from the body re-directing resources to the major muscle groups (legs / arms / chest) to provide them with an energy boost to prepare us for action (ultimately to fight or flee).

* Our breathing becomes more rapid to get more oxygen for these muscles into the blood.
* Our heartbeat speeds up to get the blood to the muscles quicker.
* Blood is diverted from the brain (making us light-headed and dizzy) and the stomach (causing 'butterflies').
* Energy cannot be wasted processing any half-digested food in our system so we need to get rid of it quickly - either through the mouth (feelings of nausea) or the other end (wanting to go to the toilet).
* Other 'energy-wasting ' systems (unnecessary in time of danger) are shut down eg. saliva production, giving us a dry mouth and difficulty swallowing.
* We sweat more to cool down all this energy production.
* The energy boost to the muscles makes them 'jumpy'/ 'jittery'/ 'jelly-like'/ on-edge ready for action.

The consequence of not making the toilet in time are so embarrassing that this anxiety 'symptom' can often lead to very strong fears around using the toilet and toilets themselves.




See also:-  Free Anxiety Symptoms eBook

Anxiety Symptoms: What's Happening and Why


Essential information for anyone experiencing anxiety-related symptoms. It is totally free to read on-screen, download and print – no personal details required. ›› More Details




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