Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Anxiety And Appetite

Many people lose weight when in the grips of Anxiety. When normally, I would consider myself an emotional eater, and tend to eat whilst angry or worried, during my heavy bouts of anxiety, this was not the case.

Two things tended to happen each time my Anxiety became out of control.
Firstly, I lost my appetite, which is a sure sign for me that things are not good. I can snack and graze all day and I am not at all a picky eater. So, for me not to be hungry, or worse, not to have any desire for food is just not normal.

Whilst you might spend years fantasizing about not thinking about food and it not being a big part of your life .... when the time comes and you realise that it only exists because of your illness and complete lack of control, it becomes more of a nightmare than fantasy.

To make matters worse, you realise after several days that the body needs nutrients from the food, so you try to eat little bits to nourish the body. I found myself gagging at attempts to swallow the food which my mind was saying that my body didn't want. The thought of upcoming meals were enough to make me queasy. Quite a turnaround for a food lover!

The second thing that happens is adrenaline created through the process of Anxiety also takes over the body. This causes an increase in metabolism. Combine this with the need to do physical activity to use up this increase in adrenaline and energy, just so you can sleep at the end of the day, and the weight starts to fall off.

With weight having been an issue most of my life, I felt like I should be excited by this sudden decrease in weight, but it just caused more worry and concern that things were spiralling out of control.

With the use of medication, therapy and relaxation techniques, things started to normalize for me and my appetite returned and the adrenaline fell under control.

I now know that lack of appetite is a sure sign that my Anxiety is taking over.

Have you noticed a similar effect on appetite whilst suffering Anxiety?