Lab Tests for an Anxious Person?
When someone is experiencing anxiety, usually the first thought is that it is generated primarily in the mind and that there are no other possibilities for the symptoms. After a thorough mental health exam, further exploration of the physical health is also important to make sure that a general medical disorder is not present in the body causing or worsening anxiety symptoms. Certain anxiety symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations (uncomfortable sense of your heart beating), rapid breathing, shortness of breath are also physical symptoms that could relate to the heart or lungs. It is for this reason that medical assessment is appropriate in certain cases.
Let’s discuss a few of the lab tests that possibly could be useful. Determining a fasting glucose level would help us rule out diabetes. When the blood sugar is too low or too high they can manifest as a mood or anxiety disorder. We would also like to test the thyroid, when this hormone gland is overactive anxiety can result. Testing your electrolytes including sodium, potassium and calcium are useful because abnormalities in their levels can result in anxiety symptoms. Testing for the function of the liver and kidneys is part of the assessment as symptoms of anxiety can be similar to the early signs of a disorder in these organs. Further testing based on the presenting complaints may include a referral to a cardiologist for more in-depth analysis of heart rhythms and other diagnostic testing.
© Neevon Esmaili 2016
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, Sixth Edition
Edited by Robert E. Hales, M.D., M.B.A.; Stuart C. Yudofsky, M.D.; Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A.
The Medical Assessment of the Adult Psychiatric Patient
Author: Neevon Esmaili, MD
Edited by Edmond Pi, MD
Acknowledgement: Ricardo Ramirez, MD
Neevon Esmaili, MD
Child Adolescent, & Adult Psychiatrist
Dual Board Certified
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