October 13, 2022

Physical symptoms of anxiety and stress: what happens under anesthesia

The electrocardiogram (called EKG or ECG) can reveal your stress state based on the heart rate and heart rate variability

Psychological stress and anxiety have a real impact on your physical body, and they exhibit very real physical symptoms. These physical symptoms are even observed under anesthesia when you're having surgery in the operating room. This makes sense because there is so much psychological stress before, during, and after surgery, and it's quite observable in many patients even when they have anesthesia medications affecting their brain. What exactly happens to your body under anesthesia, and how can severe mental stress cause complications? 

I call my patients the night before surgery to help relieve some of these fears and anxieties because it makes the surgery experience so much more comfortable, and even safer sometimes. The safety can be in the form of lower risk of blood clots, pain, and nausea. The comfort can be from less anxiety and acute pain transitioning into chronic pain.

The good news is that so much of our psychological stress can be controlled before surgery, and often without extra medications. Mental health matters, even when you're unconscious under anesthesia, because the body keeps score of what happens to it whether you are awake or asleep, or even unconscious. Patients have incredible potential to tap into their inner healing in these stressful scenarios, where they can heal their mind as much as their body, even under anesthesia.

Visit Dr. Kaveh in San Francisco to experience how psychedelic medicine can help you overcome depression, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain.

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