Yes, stress can cause physiological symptoms including loss of appetite. When you experience heightened levels of stress, your body produces cortisol (the “stress” hormone). This rise in cortisol triggers an increase in the production of stomach acid in some cases. Then, digestion speeds up and gives you the feeling of being full. In the long term, this is how stomach ulcers can start.
Some people feel stressed constantly throughout the day, and this can start transferring to physical symptoms. If anxiety inhibits you this much, it may be a good option to consider working on your stress levels. From an evolutionary point, our bodies are only meant to handle short bouts of high, intense stress. When our ancestors saw a tiger, the release of adrenaline and cortisol into their system served as a physiological primer for our fight or flight response. Our heart rate increases, we have more blood flow to our muscles (in case we need to sprint), and we experience heightened senses. But, this stress would last for a short amount of time and then our system would relax shortly after.
In our modern society, many people experience constant stress. Our bodies are not adapted to deal with cortisol and adrenaline all day. This is why stressed people can experience fatigue very quickly, and in the long run create higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
I find it interesting how people are always trying diets and exercise to take care of their body, but not many people try taking care of their brains. If you’re experiencing stress to the point that it affects your daily routine and causes you physical symptoms, it might be a healthy option to consider improving your stress. Stress is under your control – you just have to retrain your brain a little bit.
Since people are very habitual, we tend to go down the same “stress paths” on a daily basis. If we never intervene with our subconscious mind, we’ll continue to become stressed from the same things. There are some apps and courses that I’ve personally used to become more aware of my stress, track my habits, find out the root cause of my stress, and finally – eliminate my stress!
I know a lot of people experience stress everyday, and I really want to encourage everyone to help their minds out. I wish you luck on your journey to a better, stress-free life.