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Diagnosed With Anxiety Disorders. What Is The Cause?

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Posted on Tue, 6 Nov 2012
Question: In addition to anxiety being a symptom of mental health diagnoses other than anxiety disorders, anxiety can be a symptom of certain medical illnesses. What are some another conditions that closely mimic or cause anxiety.
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Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar (4 hours later)
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Anxiety can indeed be a manifestation of certain medical conditions. The possibilities are:

- Thyroid disorders, especially Hyperthyroidism
- Hypoglycemia
- Pheochromocytoma
- Hypoparathyroidism
- Cardiac dysrhythmias like ventricular and supra-ventricular arrythmias
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Hypertension
- Cardiac ischaemia
- Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)
- Seizure disorders especially Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
- Addison's disease, Cushing's disease
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
- Carcinoid syndrome
- Pulmonary embolism
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Substance-induced e.g. caffeine, nicotine, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, anabolic steroids, cocaine, MDMA or ecstasy, alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal, etc.

A medical cause of anxiety is more likely when the first presentation is after age 40, there is fluctuation in the level of consciousness, or there is evidence of autonomic instability. An anxiety disorder is more likely when the patient is concerned about losing control, has a family history of anxiety problems, first presents between ages 18 and 45, has a recent or anticipated life event, or has agoraphobia.


Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar

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Practicing since :2003

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Diagnosed With Anxiety Disorders. What Is The Cause?

Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Anxiety can indeed be a manifestation of certain medical conditions. The possibilities are:

- Thyroid disorders, especially Hyperthyroidism
- Hypoglycemia
- Pheochromocytoma
- Hypoparathyroidism
- Cardiac dysrhythmias like ventricular and supra-ventricular arrythmias
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Hypertension
- Cardiac ischaemia
- Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)
- Seizure disorders especially Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
- Addison's disease, Cushing's disease
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
- Carcinoid syndrome
- Pulmonary embolism
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Substance-induced e.g. caffeine, nicotine, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, anabolic steroids, cocaine, MDMA or ecstasy, alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal, etc.

A medical cause of anxiety is more likely when the first presentation is after age 40, there is fluctuation in the level of consciousness, or there is evidence of autonomic instability. An anxiety disorder is more likely when the patient is concerned about losing control, has a family history of anxiety problems, first presents between ages 18 and 45, has a recent or anticipated life event, or has agoraphobia.


Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist