5 ways anxiety is a warning sign of health problems

anxiety undiagnosed health problems

Americans worry about many things. Some concerns can be easily resolved, while others require more complex solutions. If anxiety occurs without reason, it could be a symptom of an undiagnosed medical condition. Consider five ways anxiety is a warning sign of health problems as featured in Prevention magazine.

  1. Anemia – Shortness of breath or a fast, irregular heart beat can increase feelings of anxiety. Studies show these symptoms can be a sign of anemia, or low levels of red blood cells. These cells have the important job of carrying oxygen throughout your body. If there is a shortage of red cells, the heart beats faster to push oxygen to needed areas. Some medical conditions can increase anemia, such as arthritis, cancer, auto-immune disorders or diseases affecting the kidney, liver or colon. 

  2. Pancreatic cancer – Considered one of the top-five health problems, pancreatic cancer often is diagnosed in an advanced stage because symptoms are difficult to detect. However, research shows that nearly 50 percent of people with pancreatic cancer report feelings of depression and anxiety before their diagnosis.
  3. Vitamin and mineral deficiency – People who get less than the recommended daily dosage of key vitamins and minerals, including folate, amino acids, zinc, iron, iodine, selenium, omega-3, magnesium, and vitamins B and D, could experience higher levels of anxiety and depression. Although many foods contain rich sources of these vitamins and minerals, talk with your doctor to ensure you’re getting the right amount.

  4. Hyperthyroidism – The thyroid gland, located below the Adam’s apple, produces hormones that help regulate metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control and brain development, and bone health. However, production of too much thyroid hormone, a condition called hyperthyroidism, can cause anxiety, weight gain and a rapid heartbeat.
  5. Heart disease – Research shows that feelings of anxiety, when accompanied by shortness of breath, stress or extreme fatigue, could be an indication of heart disease. If the symptoms are severe, immediately head to the hospital emergency room.

Prevention magazine