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"Can a stress test explain why I vomit when anxious?"


I am 31 and male. I have GAD. As of last year I've started to vomit when VERY anxious. Will a stress test explain why this keeps happening to me? Should I ask a doctor to run this test on me?


A "stress test" is a common term used for a variety of different methods of testing for cardiovascular health. This can refer to exercise treadmill tests, where individuals are asked to run for a period of time and their heart function is examined using and EKG or echocardiogram, or to a so-called "nuclear medicine test," where chemicals are injected which put a strain on the heart and the function is examined using a technique called spectrography. These tests are used most commonly to diagnose coronary artery disease.

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Given the description you have given of your problem, I believe you may have thought that a "stress test" is a test where you are put under psychological stress to examine your reactions - such a test is not part of the standard medical practice in the US today. If you are having symptoms of profound anxiety, the diagnosis and treatment is most often guided by a careful review of your symptoms by a licensed psychiatrist. If you are having worsening symptoms, I would suggest you pursue an in-person consultation with your psychiatrist to review your symptoms. Vomiting can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder, but it can also be a symptom of other medical conditions or of reactions to medications. If it is due to worsening GAD, your physician can help you identify treatment, which often includes therapy and medications, to help alleviate the symptoms.

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