Physical knot in stomach from anxiety?

I KNOW I struggle wth anxiety and just began buspar for it yesterday, but it seems like when my anxiety is at it's worst, like it has been for the last week where I feel in an almost constant state of panic, I feel a physical knot in my stomach. Like I know people talk about their stomach being in knots, but when I feel that way, I can actually feel a knot right where the tension is. I know my breathing is shallow, and I can tell I'm holding abdominal muscles in with tension and anxiety, so it feels like it's anxiety or panic, but it's almost like the muscles have truly made a knot there. When I push on it, I feel butterfly sensation much more intensely. The last time this kind of anxiety happened I was sure it was a physical thing wrong and went to the ER, had bloodwork, CT scan, abdominal X-ray and abdominal ultrasound done, as well as a follow up with the GI and an endoscopy. ALL tests were clear and normal. Within 2 weeks of it all beginning, it finally subsided and I assumed it was anxiety all along. Had a short reoccurrence right after Christmas which was 2 months later and it lasted for 5 days. Here I am again with the knot for a week now and it makes me feel physically sick to my stomach though I never vomit. I wake up each morning with super fast racing heart and shallow breathing where I can't get a deep enough breath and it's a panic attack for about 10 minutes and then it calms. But the physical knot and anxious stomach feeling never goes away during the day.

Just curious if anyone else can physically feel the knot of tension or if I'm just weird. I'm very thin, so there is no fat to hide muscles on me.

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8 Replies

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  • I had stomach issues as well and mine come and go! I am going to a GI doctor in 2 weeks for a check up but I had a vaginal ultrasound, complete blood work, and an abdominal pelvic ultrasound all normal. My issue is my digestion is all messed up! food in my poop all the time! Not to be gross. My doctor thinks it is anxiety but that is why I am going to a GI doctor.

  • I know I get constipated when I am anxious as well. It's like I knot the muscles up so much digestion isn't able to happen easily. I just found it weird that I can physically FEEL where the tension is. It's a knitted area in my stomach-right below the rib cage and a few inches above the belly button. It's just like it's a big brick of muscles not relaxing to let food go down normally so I feel sick when I do eat.

    Anxiety has always affected my diet, and I eat way less when I'm anxious. Kind of like the nerves on a first date and you just can't eat in front of them simply because you're so nervous. When I hit a bad spell of anxiety like right now, my appetite locks up. I feel hungry, but when I start to eat I feel sick because it just doesn't have the room to go down. The muscles are all tightly constructed and it knots up. Anxiety is a beast.

  • My stomach feels hungry a lot even when I am not hungry. Like yesterday I ate dinner good dinner and then it felt like my stomach was growling. My first GI appointment they said will be a consultation so I will be able to ask questions

  • My abdominal muscles can get really tense and you can feel actual knots. The worse one occurs under my right rib cage. It took a couple of months for that pain to subside.

  • Ty2020, I had that at one time before anxiety was even diagnosed.

    It was "spastic colon" from nervousness. It looked like an alien was

    moving inside my abdominal muscles..It did go away as well.

  • Thank you. It feels like heartburn, but at times feels like a rock is just sitting in my stomach stretching it out and not letting the food go down. It has been a week now. The last episode was 2 1/2 weeks. I started buspar for anxiety yesterday. I know it won't be instant, but I'm hoping it will take the edge off the anxiety so I can avoid this crazy stomach stuff. Because when there's physical stuff going on my mind goes crazy and tells me something is wrong which triggers the anxiety, which triggers the stomach...and on and on and on in a cycle. I've been avoiding meds for a while, but I'm ready to stop the cycle of anxiety and if it takes meds, that's what I'll do.

  • Hi sorry to hear you are having knotted stomachs problems.I to suffer from this when I get anxious feels like my stomach muscles are all tight and knotted and I don't feel hungry I take a diazepam 2 mg for a couple of days and this puts it right.its tension in the stomachs muscles caused by stress and anxiety I've hundreds of times over the years .trust me it does get better try not to worry .and hope buspar helps you to relax.

  • Thank you. I have taken xanax, but even half a pill makes me very sleepy and I have 4 kids so I can't do that. But since this has been going on for a week...I may have to do it. Did you only take 1 a day or more than one a day?

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