Anxiety has a strong physiological component. The physiological symptoms experienced by youth may be due to anxiety or a medical illness. For example, symptoms of panic attacks closely resemble the following medical problems: mitral valve prolapse, heart-rhythm disturbance, asthma attacks, and hyperthyroidism. Thus, a medical examination is important to conduct when trying to determine whether the symptoms are due to anxiety or a medical condition. When the prominent symptoms of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety, panic attacks, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms, appear to be the direct physiological result of a distinct medical condition and cause significant interference in the youth’s functioning, the youth may be diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition.
Anxiety has been associated with physical health conditions, such as sleep disorders, digestive or bowel problems, diabetes, headaches, respiratory problems, and teeth grinding. Anxiety may contribute to the worsening of some of these physical conditions and the youth’s overall quality of life.
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