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How Can Stress Cause Neuropathy? – Anxiety Symptoms and Stress Management

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Stress is common in many health conditions. One is neuropathy, a nerve disorder that can cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet. Neuropathy is often caused by physical factors such as injury or disease. But stress can also play a significant role in its development and progression. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. They can damage nerves and lead to inflammation and cell damage. Over time, this can contribute to developing neuropathy and other nerve-related disorders. Besides physical changes, stress can also affect mental health. It leads to neurological symptoms of stress, such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. All of them can contribute to nerve damage and neuropathy. But many strategies exist for managing stress and reducing its impact on the body. They include mindfulness practices, exercise, and relaxation techniques. By taking these steps to manage stress, you can help protect your nerves. After reading this article, you will be able to maintain burning sensation anxiety.

Can Stress Cause Neuropathy?

Stress is not a direct cause of neuropathy, but it can exacerbate existing nerve damage. It also contributes to the development of nerve damage. Chronic stress can affect nerve function, such as:

  • inflammation;
  • decreased blood flow;
  • increased oxidative stress.

Also, stress can lead to poor lifestyle choices contributing to nerve damage. For example, stress can cause people to:

  • eat unhealthy foods;
  • drink alcohol;
  • smoke cigarettes;
  • engage in other unhealthy behaviors that can damage the nerves over time.

Furthermore, stress can cause or exacerbate conditions leading to anxiety and peripheral neuropathy. As a rule, it can be diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic illnesses. For example, stress can raise blood sugar levels. As it damages the nerves over time and leads to diabetic neuropathy.

It’s important to note that stress may contribute to neuropathy, but it is not the only factor. Various underlying conditions, including diabetes or autoimmune disorders, can cause neuropathy.

neurological symptoms of stress

Neurological Symptoms of Stress

The most common symptoms of nervousness are fever, headache, and body shivering. This malaise results from stress, whether a fight with a loved one or a deadline at work. It is not uncommon for strange, unexplained symptoms to appear after stress. And you cannot resolve this by going to a therapist. The following neurological symptoms of stress can be:

  • Your body gives the first signals when the symptoms of nervous stress are not yet noticeable. You become more irritable and distracted;
  • If you do not give your body a rest and do not put your nervous system in order, apathy will appear;
  • The next stage is insomnia, which worsens your general condition;
  • Then you may experience headaches and weight fluctuations. It can be strong gain due to stress overeating or vice versa, significant weight loss due to lack of appetite.

And the problem is that by getting rid of certain symptoms, we ignore the cause of the stress itself. That’s why it’s important to listen to your body. You should not ignore the symptoms of an emotional cause of neuropathy. It is important not to forget that self-treatment does not lead to anything good. So you should contact specialized doctors to understand the root causes of symptoms. 


Stress can cause tension headaches, the most common type of headache. Tension headaches are usually mild to moderate in intensity. They are often described as a band squeezing around the head. Headaches can be due to muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.


Chronic stress can lead to exhaustion and fatigue, even if you get enough sleep. Stress can disrupt the normal functioning of the adrenal glands. They produce hormones that regulate energy levels. This can result in feelings of fatigue, burning sensation, anxiety, and a lack of motivation.


Stress can trigger feelings of anxiety, worry, and nervousness. They can affect your behavior and thinking. Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as:

  • a racing heartbeat;
  • sweating;
  • shortness of breath. 

It can also cause you to avoid certain situations that trigger anxiety and peripheral neuropathy.


Chronic stress can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness. They can contribute to depression. Study shows that stress can cause a decrease in the production of serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. This can lead to depression and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.

Memory problems

Stress can interfere with your ability to focus and remember things. It makes concentrating difficult. This can cause you to forget important details or tasks. Memory problems can affect your work or school performance.

Digestive problems

Neurological symptoms of stress can lead to digestive problems like stomach pain, bloating, and constipation. Stress can cause the release of hormones that affect the digestive system. So it leads to inflammation and discomfort.

Numbness or tingling

Chronic stress can cause a pins-and-needles sensation in your extremities. They are possibly related to nerve problems. Burning sensations and anxiety can cause the release of hormones that affect nerve function. It will lead to numbness or tingling sensations in the hands, feet, or other parts of the body.

Types of nerve pain caused by anxiety

Anxiety can cause different types of nerve pain, including:

  1. Generalized pain. Anxiety can cause generalized nerve pain, a dull, aching, or burning pain. You may feel it throughout the body. This type of pain is often described as a “pins-and-needles” sensation. It can be accompanied by tingling or numbness.
  2. Muscle pain. Anxiety and peripheral neuropathy can cause muscle tension, which can lead to muscle pain. This type of pain can be felt in the neck, shoulders, back, and other body parts. Muscle pain can be dull or sharp, making it difficult to move or perform normal activities.
  3. Neuropathic pain. Emotional causes of neuropathy  can cause neuropathic pain. This type of pain can be sharp, shooting, or burning and can be in the hands, feet, or other body parts. Neuropathic pain can also cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area.
  4. Gastrointestinal pain. Anxiety can cause gastrointestinal (GI) pain. It is due to nerve dysfunction in the digestive system. This can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort. GI pain can also cause changes in bowel movements, such as diarrhea or constipation.

Anxiety and Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects:

  • the nerves outside of the brain;
  • spinal cord.

Anxiety is not a direct cause of peripheral neuropathy. But anxiety and stress can exacerbate neurological symptoms of stress and worsen the condition.

People with anxiety tend to have neuropathic pain more than those without anxiety. This may be because anxiety can cause health problems, such as:

  • increased sensitivity to pain;
  • decreased blood flow to the nerves.

Also, anxiety can make it harder to cope with the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. For example, anxiety can cause muscle tension and pain, exacerbating neuropathic pain. Burning sensation anxiety  can also interfere with sleep. So it makes pain management and other symptoms of peripheral neuropathy harder.

stress management techniques

Stress management techniques to improve neurological condition

When stressed and anxious, it is difficult to manage emotions. But breathing exercises help to relax and cope. There are various breathing techniques, such as: 

  • deep breaths;
  • slow exhalation. 

They can quickly affect the person’s mental state. Also, you can try breathing exercises in different positions or relax in bed or a chair. Breathing exercises can be used for a short break or to go to sleep. People who exercise regularly can easily maintain neurological symptoms of stress. They have better stamina, and are more stress-resistant and enduring. Lack of sleep is a major cause of stress and health problems, which leads to poor mood and well-being. Even positive thinking helps the mind to be in a better mood. You have to focus on your mental and physical health and learn to listen to yourself and your body. And you can read about other techniques to deal with anxiety and peripheral neuropathy below.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a technique that involves focusing on the present moment. So you need to accept thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve well-being.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises involve taking slow, deep breaths to promote relaxation and reduce stress. One example is diaphragmatic breathing. It involves breathing deeply from the diaphragm rather than from the chest.


Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote relaxation and reduce stress. It has been shown to effectively reduce pain and improve physical function in people with neuropathy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of therapy for the emotional cause of neuropathy. It can help change negative thought patterns and behaviors that may contribute to stress and anxiety. It can also help improve coping skills and promote relaxation.

If you have peripheral neuropathy and anxiety, working with a healthcare provider is important. A neurologist can develop a treatment plan that takes both conditions into account. It may include medications to relieve anxiety and pain. Neurology consultations from Lone Star Neurology can also help improve your pain-coping skills.


  • Why does stress make neuropathy worse?

Stress can make neuropathy worse by increasing inflammation, reducing blood flow to the nerves, and causing changes in the nervous system that can contribute to neuropathic pain and other symptoms.

  • What helps calm neuropathy?

Some things that may help calm neuropathy include medications, stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation or yoga, regular exercise, and a healthy diet rich in nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Can stress mimic neuropathy?

Stress and anxiety can contribute to neuropathy symptoms. But stress itself does not typically mimic neuropathy. However, stress can cause symptoms similar to neuropathy, such as numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet.

  • Can I prevent stress-induced neuropathy?

Yes, some stress management techniques may help reduce the risk of developing neuropathic symptoms. It can be reducing stress through regular exercise or mindfulness meditation. It’s also important to manage underlying medical conditions contributing to neuropathy, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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  1. 23/09/2023

    Thanks for the information. Now I am aware of conditions and the cause.

  2. 04/11/2023

    Gracias por la información muy valiosa,
    Por la información que dan,ese es mi caso, sufro de mucho ardor en la parte alta del cuello y cervical,y me produce mucho estres,y cuando me pongo nerviosa ,me siento peor.

  3. 08/01/2024

    That’s awesome may God add more to your knowledge,so glad am glad I saw this message

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