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Anxiety After Eating: 5 Main Causes

Sometimes anxiety symptoms come on suddenly. You briefly exhibit a sense of serenity and relaxation. Then, a recognizable strain creeps up into your chest. Your hands start to perspire, you feel lightheaded and faint, and you have trouble breathing. When it comes to anxiety after eating, the situation is typically more complex. Read more to find out some of the likely offenders.

Difference Between Anxiety and Depression – Anxiety After Eating

The fact that one term denotes a single sickness while the other denotes a collection of ailments is a significant distinction between anxiety and depression. What is the difference between anxiety and depression?

In reality, depression is one illness. There are numerous distinct symptoms (see below). And different people may experience it very differently. However, the term “depression” only refers to one illness.

The word “anxiety” can indicate a number of different things. We all experience anxiety occasionally, and the word “anxiety” can be used to describe that feeling simply. However, when we use the word anxiety in a medical context, it actually refers to anxiety disorder.

Some less frequent conditions are included under anxiety. These include panic disorders and phobias. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most prevalent (GAD). In the US, a generalized anxiety disorder may affect four to five out of every 100 persons. In this post, we’ll concentrate on generalized anxiety.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

According to The National Institute on Mental Health, periodic anxiety is a standard component of life. When faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision, you could experience anxiety. However, anxiety disorders involve more than just passing apprehension or terror.

Anxiety and depression difference: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as possible since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. The symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders.

Thyroid anxiety symptoms: People with a generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive Anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about many things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and Anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. 

What is Depression?

Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It produces severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis, including sleeping, eating, and working. The signs of depression must last for at least two weeks before a diagnosis may be made.

Depression treatment is required when depressive symptoms are chronic and do not go away since some types of depression are slightly different or may arise in unusual situations.

Types of Depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major Depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic Depression: occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
It's critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as you can since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can actually worsen over time.
Anxiety After Eating: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as possible since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time.
  • Bipolar disorder: is different from Depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major Depression (called “Bipolar Depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Postpartum Depression: is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum Depression experience full-blown major Depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: is characterized by the onset of Depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This Depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter Depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.

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Anxiety Fact Sheet

Anxiety Overview

A mental health condition marked by intense feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that interferes with daily activities. Panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are a few examples of anxiety disorders.
The inability to put aside worry, restlessness and stress that is out of proportion to the severity of the incident are among the symptoms.
Counseling or medicine, including antidepressants, are used as forms of treatment.


Anxiety Symptoms

  • Behavioral: hypervigilance, irritability, or restlessness.
  • Cognitive: lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts.
  • Whole body: fatigue or sweating
  • Also common:  anxiety, excessive worry, angor animi, fear, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling

Anxiety Treatment

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Anxiety and Depression Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.


6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.
Anxiety After Eating: Generalized anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.

After Eating Anxiety: Anxiety Eating

Feel anxiety after eating: Sometimes anxiety symptoms come on suddenly. You briefly exhibit a sense of serenity and relaxation. Then, a recognizable strain creeps up into your chest. Your hands start to perspire, you feel lightheaded and faint, and you have trouble breathing.

After experiencing anxiety for a while, you could begin to see a pattern. When you come across certain triggers, such as an important business meeting, a busy schedule, or irritation in your partner’s voice, you could notice your mood quickly shifts toward anxiety.

Some people experience anxiety after eating.

Finding effective techniques to deal with those you can’t avoid and learning to avoid common triggers are the usual first steps in managing anxiety symptoms.

Of course, eating is a trigger that cannot be avoided. But when it comes to anxiety after eating, the situation is typically more complex. Here are some of the likely offenders.

Why Do I Get Anxiety When I Eat? 5 Reasons Why

1. Eating Anxiety: Reactive Hypoglycemia 

After eating, and typically within a few hours, you will have low blood sugar if you have reactive hypoglycemia. It’s common for an increase in insulin production to be followed by a dip in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling agitated, agitated, and even a little bit confused.

Other physical modifications that resemble symptoms of anxiety may also be noticed including:

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • A racing heart
  • Increased sweating

Reactive hypoglycemia is frequently brought on by processed carbohydrates and foods high in sugar, but it can also be brought on by drinking alcohol or caffeine on an empty stomach.

2. Anxiety About Eating: Food Triggers

Anxiety while eating: Certain foods can provoke anxiety symptoms even if they don’t directly affect your blood sugar.

Some potential triggers include:

  • Cheese, cured meats, and other fermented foods contain the neurotransmitter histamine
  • Caffeine, which can disrupt sleep and worsen anxiety symptoms
  • Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils)
  • White flour, sugar, and other refined carbs, can cause adrenaline spikes that trigger panicky or anxious feelings
  • Alcohol
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3. Why Do I Get Anxiety After I Eat: Allergies and Food Sensitivities 

Food allergies can involve symptoms that range from mild to severe, and many can resemble those of an oncoming anxiety or panic attack.

You might notice:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Tightness or swelling in your throat
  • Tingling or numbness in your mouth
  • Nausea or stomach pain
  • Rapid heartbeat

These symptoms may not start to manifest for an hour or two after eating, but they can start to manifest very quickly. They frequently become active after exercise.

Food sensitivities, which are distinct from allergies, are common. Typical sensitivity sources include:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Sulfites and other food additives

Another important tool for determining whether these symptoms are related to particular foods is a food diary. More information on possible allergy causes may be gained by keeping track of symptoms for a few weeks.

Severe food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening illness that needs immediate medical attention.

If you experience any of the following anxiety symptoms soon after eating:

  • Sudden low blood pressure
  • Racing pulse
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

4. Anxiety When Eating: Lapsing Back Into Old Eating Habits

You might experience anxiety if you’re trying to change specific eating patterns or behaviors. Imagine that after 3 weeks of eliminating red meat from your diet, you still crave a cheeseburger. You decide that one burger won’t ruin your long-term health objectives and go to your favorite restaurant to have one.

You suddenly feel irritated and anxious after eating. You think, “I was doing so well.” “What if I start craving red meat constantly once more? What if I’m unable to abandon it this time?

5. Feeling Of Anxiety After Eating: Previous Negative Experiences With Food

Anxious feelings are frequently triggered by unpleasant memories, and food-related experiences are no exception. Say you were eating chicken tikka masala at your favorite Indian restaurant when you and your boyfriend got into a heated argument. Every time you eat that particular dish or even a different meal at the same place, that feeling of tension and fear can resurface.

If you had food illness from the sandwich buffet at work or choked on popcorn on a date, it makes sense that you might be hesitant to eat those items again.

Numerous sensations that occur during eating might also induce anxiety. Even though they only occur occasionally, feeling full, little indigestion or heartburn, or tightness in your chest after a substantial bite can all contribute to feeling uneasy after eating.

These “warning signs” may not actually indicate increased worry or stress, but they may still leave you feeling anxious — especially if you start to feel anxious about feeling anxious.

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Anxiety And Eating Disorders or Anxiety Not Eating

People who struggle with eating disorders frequently suffer anxiety related to food.

Even while it isn’t always a sign of an eating disorder, anxiety after meals can occasionally point to bad eating habits. Other crucial indications of an eating disorder include:

  • Anxiety around mealtimes, especially when eating with others
  • Guilt or other distress after eating foods you consider “bad” or unhealthy
  • Nervousness or guilt if you believe you’ve eaten too much
  • Anxiety after eating that persists until you exercise, skip your next meal, or purge
  • Extreme choosiness about foods you eat

Many complex factors contribute to eating disorders, including:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Body image issues
  • Weight stigma and bullying
  • Trauma
  • Family history
Mental health services We Level Up FL creates a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of chemical imbalances through anxiety therapy.
Anxiety After Eating: Mental health services We Level Up FL creates a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of chemical imbalances through anxiety therapy.

Anxiety Weight Loss Despite Eating

Anxiety symptoms can alter your metabolism, cause you to eat less, move more, have different bowel habits, and have more muscle tension, all of which may result in weight loss.

Shortness Of Breath After Eating Anxiety

People with issues like heart disease, digestive issues, or anxiety disorders frequently experience breathing problems after eating. Inconvenient respiratory sensations are referred to as dyspnea, which is another name for it.

Anxiety And Not Eating

Your body undergoes emotional and psychological changes as a result of anxiety to assist you to cope with the stress. You may lose interest in food as a result of these changes, which frequently affect the stomach and digestive system. If stress is the cause, once you start to feel more at ease, your hunger normally returns.

Anxiety Nausea Can’t Eat?

Your body undergoes emotional and psychological changes as a result of anxiety to assist you to cope with the stress. You may lose interest in food as a result of these changes, which frequently affect the stomach and digestive system. If stress is the cause, once you start to feel more at ease, your hunger normally returns.

How to Handle An Anxiety Eating Disorder: Anxiety And Eating

It might be challenging to deal with disordered eating on your own, but asking for assistance is never shameful. A therapist can provide understanding, and private assistance if you frequently feel anxious after eating and grow more and more focused on food, dieting, and the form and size of your body.

A Book to Help: ‘Eat To Beat Depression And Anxiety’

A ground-breaking guide that includes a six-week eating plan to get you started eating for better mental health, as well as a groundbreaking prescription for treating depression and anxiety and boosting brain function.

In order to increase brain-cell health and growth, reduce inflammation, and foster a healthy microbiome—all of which contribute to our mental well-being—Dr. Ramsey distills the most recent research on nutrition and the brain into practical advice you can use right away. He examines the 12 vitamins and minerals that are most important for your body and brain as well as which anti-inflammatory foods are best for your gut.

You can choose meals to support your road to complete mental health with confidence if you adhere to the strategies Dr. Ramsey uses with his patients.

Eating For Anxiety: What To Eat For Anxiety?

How to eat when you have anxiety? The foods to eat for anxiety are whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, whole-grain breads, and whole-grain cereals, which are high in complex carbs. Avoid simple carbs, such as those found in sugary foods and beverages. Take in a lot of water. Your mood can be impacted by even minor dehydration.

How To Stop Anxiety Eating? Anxiety And Binge Eating

You can take measures to manage desires when unfavorable emotions pose a risk of motivating emotional eating. Try these suggestions to help you quit emotional eating:

  • Maintain a food diary. Record your eating habits, including what you eat, how much, when, how you feel, and how hungry you are. You can see patterns over time that indicate a relationship between mood and eating.
  • Become stress-free. Try a stress-reduction method like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing if you believe that stress is a factor in your emotional eating.
  • Check your hunger levels. Do you feel physical or emotional hunger? If you last ate a few hours ago and your stomach isn’t growling, you probably aren’t hungry. Allow the craving to subside.
  • Get assistance. If you don’t have a strong support system, emotional eating is more likely to become your downfall. Count on your loved ones and friends, or think about joining a support group.
  • Be bored less. Distract yourself and replace your unhealthy activity with snacking when you’re not hungry. Visit a friend, go on a stroll, watch a movie, play with your cat, listen to music, read, or browse the internet.
  • Remove the temptation. Don’t keep comfort foods that are difficult to refuse at home. Additionally, defer your trip to the grocery shop until your emotions are under control if you are feeling angry or depressed.

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We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions.  However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time.

Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse. Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. 

A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment.

At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

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