Why do anxious feelings create the need to go to toilet frequently?

117 Answers.
Last Updated: 03/20/2018 at 11:50am
Top Rated Answers
July 21st, 2015 6:32pm

Being nervous or anxious can make you need to go to the bathroom frequently because the nervousness can make your stomach turn or hurt. When I get nervous or am excited or scared about being in public places, I tend to have to look for the nearest restroom.

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March 19th, 2018 7:50am

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October 27th, 2015 10:29pm

Good question; there is actually a biological reason for this! Many animals (mammals particularly) including humans have something called the "fight, flight or freeze" response, an autonomic reaction to fear. Thousands of years ago, this response would have been useful to us because we lived in a way that put us under certain dangers in which the ideal response would have been to either fight or flee what was terrifying us: for example in the case of running away from a large, angry bear moving towards us. When we perceive a danger, we get anxious/scared. The danger prompts our adrenal glands to release a hormone called adrenaline, which travels all around our body and can cause all kinds of different responses evolved because initially, they would have helped us to survive certain threats. One of these responses was feeling the need to urinate/defecate, or even involuntarily doing so in the most extreme situations. At one time, this was a helpful response to us as: a) It would make us lighter and able to run away faster, and b) It would quickly deter certain predators and possibly slow them down. Obviously, in today's world, the response is no longer so useful at all and can actually cause considerable problems and even make someone more anxious. However, the evolutionary response remains to a considerable extent and we have to seek out different ways to cope with it.

May 29th, 2015 1:42am

If you feel anxious and have the need to use the restroom often when you become anxious, you may be experiencing your stomach muscles tightening which press down on your bladder/bowels and cause you to feel that urge to use the restroom. This is a normal reaction for most people, even though some may not feel the urge to use the restroom, being anxious can cause tightening of muscles in the body.

December 28th, 2015 7:43am

I swear that this happens to me a lot. This is because during anxiety your heart beats fast, your breathing gets faster and this way you will go to the toilet frequently

May 12th, 2016 12:37pm

It's the first thing that pop into our mind when we need to be alone. Anxious = need to be alone = toilet.

April 30th, 2016 10:32am

Anxiety can cause stomach upset,digestive problems,digestive illnesses,collitis,irritable bowel syndrome,ulcers,frequent urination all of which can cause the need to go to the toilet frequently.

July 21st, 2015 2:45am

Eh, I'm no doctor, but here goes a biological explanation. If you have severe, and we're talking straight-up disruptive anxiety, odds are you are spending a lot of time with a heightened heart rate and BP measure. Combine this with some moments of adrenaline on a particularly rough day? When you're body is stressed like that, it has to work harder, quicker to keep the BP and HR up to snuff. Those fast processes make fast waste. There's just the cold, hard, facts.

March 31st, 2016 6:32pm

It's not about the toilet itself..it's more about being alone in a place where no one will bother you .. In this case this special place is the toilet cause it is the most isolated place in a house right ??

April 23rd, 2016 2:49am

Because when we feel anxious or nervous, Our bladder muscles tighten up which make us have to use the restroom frequently, Depending on how nervous or anxious you become on a daily basis.

May 22nd, 2016 3:39am

The physical feelings of anxiety are caused by the "fight , flight, or freeze" part of the brain firing off prematurely. During this time your body prepares itself, as if it had to run away from a threat (like a safer tooth tiger) thanks to our evolutionary history. Your heart beats faster to get more blood to your vessels, your breathe faster and your digestion slows down to direct that extra energy towards your muscles. When your digestion slows down, and gets altered frequently due to anxiety attacks IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome) can develop where you need to use the bathroom frequently. For me, I get lots of bloating and stomach pains if my anxiety attacks occur frequently enough. But I recommend seeing a doctor about it, if it is causing you too many problems.

May 8th, 2016 12:32pm

It is usually because I always feel like something is wrong. so i go to make sure nothing is wrong .

March 18th, 2016 5:21pm

With anxiety, it can cause mixed emotions and feeling within your body, and can cause the body to react randomly sometimes. Your mind is being flustered, and your body can be confused, which can cause you to need to use the restroom a bit too frequent. The person may not know to how to control it, so they have the need to go.

April 22nd, 2015 12:10pm

It's all to do with your fight-or-flight response. It sends lots of blood to the parts of your body you might need/makes the muscles contract (eg brain, arms, legs) and withdraws blood from the less important areas and makes them relax (bladder, stomach, colon). This is why being nervous makes people feel they need to/need to wee, poo and puke.

April 15th, 2016 4:44pm

It may be that your body has spead up do to the flight or fright response. Following this needing to use the bathroom is a way of getting out of a suitation

April 28th, 2016 3:04pm

A lot of people use it kinda like a crutch. (I know it sounds odd but IT'S NOT.) You feel safe in the bathroom. There is no one that can get you. You've locked the door and you can finally be yourself.

April 22nd, 2016 9:17pm

Usually with anxiety your muscles tense and contract, which can cause that need to frequent the restroom. It's normal, just try and breath through the anxiety. Focus on your surroundings and your present self and that you are ok in the moment.

March 23rd, 2016 2:42pm

Anxious feelings make your stomach turn and hurt. This makes your body think you need to go to the bathroom.

April 29th, 2016 4:40am

When we feel anxious our bodies go into whats called "fight or flight" mode which simply means if there is a danger we either fight or run! Of course with anxiety there isnt always an immediate reason for the anxious feelings but out mind and bodies are predispositioned to go into "fight or flight" mode. So needing to go to the toilet frequently is simply the bodys way of evacuating "non essential" contents as it needs adrenalin to either fight or flee!

June 18th, 2015 2:34am

It's part of the body's whole reaction to anxiety. Anxiety causes several stimulating hormones to be released in the body, many of which are diuretics meaning they make it so that you need to use the bathroom.

September 1st, 2015 12:51pm

Because anxiety makes your blood prioritize the brain and the big muscles instead of the interior organs. This means that the food is not being properly digested before it leaves the body.

April 8th, 2016 8:01pm

It's often how the body responds to those type of things. Just like when you get stressed, you can get a headache or your heart suddenly beats faster than normal.

May 4th, 2016 11:47am

There are several beliefs for what causes frequent urination from anxiety, and the likelihood is that all of these factors play a role: Muscle Tension – When you have anxiety, your muscles get very tense. This tension puts pressure on your bladder, which in turn makes you feel like you need to urinate more than you would otherwise. Light Overload – It's also possible that, because anxiety is a misfiring of the fight/flight system, your body may simply be lightly overloaded. The fear is not intense enough to cause immediate urination, but it may make it harder for you to feel like you can hold it back. Also, those with anxiety are more prone to focusing on different sensations unintentionally. There are often times when you may feel the need to urinate slightly but your body has no problem ignoring the feeling and holding it back. It's nothing to worry about though, it happens to everyone :)

August 18th, 2016 1:18am

I compare anxiety and the need to use the restroom to playing hide and seek as a child. You find the perfect place to hide and feel comfortable but once the person who is seeking says they are coming you get really nervous and anxious. You start to fidget, maybe shake some, and probably feel your muscles contracting. Between the sudden jolt your body is feeling and the muscles trying to respond this type of excitement could be why we feel the need to use the restroom when anxious.

March 17th, 2016 12:15am

To get out of the situation causing anxiety would have to be my guess. I've never really had that issue before so I'm not too sure!

May 21st, 2016 9:10pm

Excitement probably, your body releasing fluid to deal with the feeling. Quite a few people can relate to what you mean by this and wonder too.

September 18th, 2016 7:51pm

It is psychology: I don't know the scientific reason but I wanted to assure you that it happens to me too. Whenever I can't sleep at night and whenever I get nervous about not being able to sleep, I always go to toilet in 10 minute periods. It's frustrating - but remember, you are not alone! :)

March 18th, 2016 5:02pm

Brain has a way of reacting to stress. Our body is controlled by the mind which in turn is governed by our emotions. So when you are stressed you get anxious. Being anxious puts a lot of pressure on the brain which leads to stress on the organs. So is panic attacks manifested in different ways like racing heart or visiting toilet, feeling light headed, shivering, loss of voice, fainting etc.. Basically the brain gives up due to stress and so the other organs try to relieve you of the stress in the way they function.

May 14th, 2016 4:05am

Anxiety creates an overall tension throughout the body. As the bladder tenses, it contracts and is able to hold less. Therefore, you end up using the bathroom more frequently.

May 20th, 2016 9:27pm

Maybe because when you are anxious. You tense up your mucles. And your bladder is a mucle. So that may make you have to go to the rest room more frequently.

June 2nd, 2016 6:01am

nervous or anxious can make you need to go to the bathroom frequently because the nervousness can make your stomach turn or hurt. When I get nervous or am excited or scared about being in public places, I tend to have to look for the nearest restroom.

April 10th, 2016 9:56am

Panicking and having fears make us feel the need to go to the bathroom more frequently because the anxiety that we're feeling puts stress on our bodies as well. Stay calm and keep yourself healthy.

May 4th, 2016 6:38am

Anxiety is linked to several parts of the brain and the levels of certain chemicals in the brain. When our anxiety is triggered our bodies go into fight or flight mode which initiates some changes in the body for example heart beats faster to enable more blood to get to your muscles that you might be using to run! Part of this fight or flight response is that the brain tells the body to get rid off anything unnesseccary in order to be lighter in case of fighting or flight. There is a lot more information about this on the internet if you Google anxiety and fight or flight response. I Hope that helps!

May 20th, 2016 9:34am

Fear is what makes you want to go to the toilet frequently. Because scientifically speaking as simple as possible the adrenal glands secretae adrenaline when you are scared and the adrenal prepare the body to act in an emergency and the sphincter in the bladder opens up when you're in extreme fear beucase of adrenaline. So anxious feelings have some impact on your kind like fear so that's what happens.

June 2nd, 2016 5:28am

Hmm... Everyone is different. Those who suffer from "anxious" feelings may all experience different feelings and symptoms. If you feel that you are going more frequently than normal or usual, perhaps talking to your family healthcare provider might be a good idea and get you the answers that you seek. Good Luck!

June 3rd, 2016 6:51pm

Cause it increases heart rating, so does blood pressure, so our bladder is faster to react and make us go to the toilet more frequently

June 5th, 2016 2:35am

Being anxious alone affects all parts of the body. Your body responds to different moods. So it is normal to have to "go" or feel sick if you are anxious, sometimes meditation, or reading, or spending time with family or pets can lower the anxiety levels and may reduce the amount of times needed to use the restroom.

August 7th, 2016 7:30pm

The anxious feeling create that feeling because the adrenaline and blood is travelling to the necessary parts of your body your brain thinks it needs to either fight the problem or run from it. This is the flight or flight response. :)

September 3rd, 2016 12:27pm

When you're anxious, that's your body going into flight or fight response. Motor functions are prioritised over things like digestion and bladder control, which is why you might feel shaky and need to pee.

September 28th, 2016 7:06am

Because it's your nerves. That your body reaction so mostly likely you'll make a few trips okay????

October 13th, 2016 12:53am

Yes, our anxiety affects our bodies in many different ways, creating many uncomfortable symptoms such as frequent urinating

August 18th, 2017 4:33pm

Anxiety is related to the Central Nervous System and everyone has different ways of somatization. Vomiting, going to bathroom frequently and other symptoms are common when you are anxious

October 28th, 2017 2:57pm

Great question! Many people know the feeling of an upset stomach when they're anxious. There is a biological reason behind this experience. You may have heard of the fight/flight response. When your brain perceives a threat, the amygdala sends out an alarm that triggers a cascade of neurotransmitters to be released (adrenaline and cortisol). These neurotransmitters activate the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a key role in that fight/flight response. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it has many effects on the body, such as increasing heart rate, increasing respiration, and even rerouting blood flow to power major muscle groups in the arms and legs. In this case, it is causing digestion to suddenly stop which often leads to stomach pain and cramps. While it may have been advantageous for your ancient ancestors to urinate and defecate when faced by a threat (making them lighter/faster and less palatable to certain predators), it can definitely cause issues for you in modern times and it becomes important to learn skills to cope with the anxiety triggering that upset stomach.

June 29th, 2015 3:35pm

I think that anxiety triggers the fight or flight response, where it is an advantage to evacuate your bowels incase you need to do either.

December 1st, 2015 3:56pm

Maybe it makes you more sensitive or you might go to toilet frequently to subconsciously try to distract your mind from your anxiety

March 18th, 2016 11:20pm

it does that because your scared or desperate something and when that happens you would need to go a lot more frequently.

April 7th, 2016 7:11pm

anxiety causes our adrenaline system to kick in and this causes your body to try and excrete unnecessary fluids so it can slow down non fight or flight systems

May 15th, 2016 9:01am

In my experience my anxiety shows up sometimes as an upset stomach and that causes me to sometimes frequent the restroom.

May 18th, 2016 9:19pm

The scientific reason behind needing to go to the toilet when anxious is that the body activates the stress response (fight or flight) and a part of that involves the body removing waste products as quickly as possible, so you wouldn't have to whilst fighting or fleeing. An example would be that if you were being chased by a bear, you would be more effective a either fighting or running away if you didn't need to stop to go to the toilet in the middle of it.

May 20th, 2016 12:51pm

My theory is basically that anxiety tells us to go to the bathroom because we can avoid other people in there. My anxiety makes me hella gassy (to the point of agony) so I usually have to go lie down (away from people) to make it go away. In my experience, a good way to avoid that is to make sure you've gone to the bathroom (no. 1 AND no. 2) before you enter a stressful situation, then anxiety can't make you do much. Except throw up. Which would be unfortunate.

May 26th, 2016 10:43pm

It comes down to the fight/flight response - your endocrine/adrenaline system is activated. and that makes it easier to run from danger according to evolutionary biology.

May 27th, 2016 2:58am

Often anxiety is caused because you are burdened about the things that you cannot control. The lack of control is difficult to handle or cope with. It creates stress and sometimes fear. Therefore, going to the bathroom is something that you can control and may offset some of the feelings and anxiety of not being in control.

May 28th, 2016 5:06pm

Anxiety and stress create issues in your stomach and gut. That's why some people might feel sick when they have a panic attack. If your gut is off, you bathroom schedule will be off too

June 1st, 2016 4:08pm

Because when you're anxious you're body is too. When you're brain can't relax, it causes other issues.

June 11th, 2016 1:49pm

When you feel scared, your body activates your stress response/fight or flight response. This response sends signals to different places in your body and one of those signals is about getting rid of bodily waste as quickly as possible - so you don't have to deal with it when your fleeing/fighting. That's why anxiety can make you need to visit the toilet more often.

June 16th, 2016 12:12pm

Anxiety can cause muscle contractions that may press on the bladder and bowels making one feel the need to expel waiste more frequently

June 16th, 2016 11:59pm

Anxiety usually causes people to tense up. When the muscles around your bladder etc are tensed up, it leaves less space in there. Less space means more frequent trips.

June 18th, 2016 5:19am

The stress caused be anxious feelings I think causes our bodies to act to remove all toxins within the body. So when high stress freaks the body out, it tries to rid of the bad thing by making us pee or sweat.

June 23rd, 2016 8:35pm

When you are anxious your body goes into the fight or flight response, this goes back to the times when humans used to fight wild animals. They would have to either choose to fight the animal or run. Part of the fight or fight response is to get Rid of any excess waste that your body doesn't need, hence you needing the toilet a lot:)

June 28th, 2016 12:17am

This is a physical symptom of some anxiety disorders, albeit an uncommon one. Our bowel movements are tied in to some pretty deep physiological systems. Animals release their bowels in high-stress situations, like when they are attacked or feel threatened enough. We are animals, too. The physical system is tied into the psychological system.

June 30th, 2016 9:09am

Anxiety has been shown in several studies to affect the gastrointestinal system. The stomach, intestines, and the muscles controlling defecation and urination are affected as well, becoming inflamed. This causes spasms, diarrhea and/or constipation, and pains in the stomach area when one becomes anxious, causing a more frequent need for going to the toilet.

Recent Answers
March 16th, 2018 5:30pm

Its a flight or fight reaction. When you're faced with a stressful/difficult situation, muscle tension occurs at your stomach/bladder, causing urges to make toilet trips.

March 4th, 2018 8:26pm

The gut is heavily connected with anxiety-like effects, and so the frequent need originates. There are a lot of studies that show the gut-anxiety connectivity.

March 1st, 2018 6:49pm

It is part of the fight or flight response of the body that make our digestive system react like that

March 1st, 2018 7:20pm

Our bodies and our psychological well being are tightly knit. Our emotional health can trigger a number of bodily functions as a method of relieving stress, and going to the toilet is one of them, and it is completely normal. Another implication is vomiting. That's why people who are really nervous, sometimes vomit.

February 28th, 2018 8:22am

Anxiety is more than an emotional issue, it causes physical reactions. Our bodies enter a fight or flight mode and going to the toilet is part of that. When this happens, as hard as it is to deal with, try to cut back on your liquid intake but still make sure you are remaining hydrated. It will eventually even out.

February 15th, 2018 6:36pm

When your brain feels scared, it will try to find a way out of whatever situationit is scared of, and what is the easiest escape? The restroom. Your brain will tell your body it needs to use the toilet, and trick you into thinking you really have to.

January 31st, 2018 9:45pm

Could be a flight or fight response. When an anxiety-provoking situation occurs, our sympathetic nervous system starts up (e.g. accelerated heart rate, sweat), causing a fight or flight situation, where we either stay still (typically freeze), or run away from the problem. Making your bladder feel full is one way the system creates that 'flight' for you, so you can escape the situation.

January 31st, 2018 8:15pm

Adrenaline is pumped by the body when you feel anxious, and that puts pressure on the bladder. It's the fight or flight response. It's just a natural body response.

January 24th, 2018 6:47am

Has to do with your brain and the fight or fight that is going on inside of the persons head this can act in different ways depending on the person dealing with anxious thoughts.

January 10th, 2018 2:03pm

One can feel the need to go to the toilet often when they are feeling anxious because the nervousness can make your stomach turn or hurt, also the fight or flight system is activated, pressure builds up inside of the body which can make stool feel like it needs to come out.

January 3rd, 2018 11:42pm

Anxiety causes the body to over work, because the brain is trying to calm its self down, for some the brain makes the body want to urinate, for others it might be something else. It’s usually contractions around the stomach and gut area.

December 15th, 2017 12:29am

The toilet is a place where there is no people around. A small secure place where you are alone and can calm down.

November 22nd, 2017 6:57pm

There’s a whole lot of science behind that. Basically when we’re anxious, adrenaline is released in the bloodstream, which increases the heart rate. Higher heart rate means blood circulating through the body at a faster pace – going through the kidneys and being filtered at a faster rate. Faster filtration results in an ‘increased need to go to the toilet’. In short: 1. Anxious = adrenaline released (response) 2. Adrenaline in blood = Heartbeat increased (response) 3. Increased heartbeat = blood flows at a faster rate than usual 4. More blood flow = blood passing kidneys faster 5. Faster circulation through kidneys = faster filtration 6. Faster filtration = more pee

October 27th, 2017 4:26pm

I get that feeling quite often at work. I feel as though it is in large part because I want to be alone for a minute or two. It also creates a sense of immediate relief. I've never let the fact that I go to the bathroom a little more often then others get to me. It is what it is and if that is how I need to cope, then I will take those couple minutes to myself.

October 22nd, 2017 2:51am

I find this happens when my body gets overwhelmed with the emotions associated with stress or anxiety. Gastric issues are a very common side affect of these types of situations. The mental tension we feel unfortunately can cause tension in our organs. So when the gastric muscles are tensed, they tend to want to release anything that may be in there. The more you relax and the anxiety goes away, the less frequent these episodes occur. Having over the counter medication on hand is always a good idea if this is one of the main side affects of your anxiety/stress.

September 2nd, 2017 5:56pm

The activation of the sympathetic nervous system also commonly reffered to as the flight or fright response results in the physical symptoms we attribute to anxiety. Namely tremors,palpitations,pupil dilatation,dry mouth and frequency of urination.

August 11th, 2017 2:51am

Frequent urination is a common anxiety symptom. anxiety and nervousness can be interpreted by our body as stress. The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat. One of these changes results in our body's attempt of dispelling all waste product from the body.Its a perfectly normal response to anxiety, and relaxation techniques and avoiding situations that stimulate your anxiety can help prevent this.

August 10th, 2017 3:52pm

No idea lol but I'm pretty sure if you talk to a doctor or a family member they will have the answer .

August 10th, 2017 9:25am

Anxious feelings result in frequent toilet visits and bowel problems because nervousness disturbs your metabolism. Stress triggers physiological changes, digestion among them.

April 12th, 2017 1:50pm

There were found to be links between anxiety and your digestive bacteria, so it's a normal symptom. It's a reaction from your body, just like when you get scared your heartbeat increases. Anxiety has reactions all throughout your body, including your gut.

March 29th, 2017 12:28pm

This is due to the increased fight or flight response. When we are anxious our bodies think that we might need to improve our ability to fight or escape, getting rid of any waste is an effective way to do this

March 11th, 2017 12:58am

Anxiety is a result of the flight and fight response in our bodies. In order to 'flee' or 'fight' against the threat the body undergoes in this state of release, in order to facilitate escape or fight.

March 10th, 2017 1:16am

This feeling is completely fine and natural. Anxiety comes from our ancient ancestors as its a natural sensor for danger which in turn kept them alive. Part of the response is to prepare to body to run or or fight which results in many changes in your body. However one of these is to make our body as light as possible which means clear your bowels and your bladder of the stuff you body no longer needs. So this is why humans today get a similar effect when we are anxious or scared

March 8th, 2017 7:56am

I am not a doctor. But a guess is that anxiousness (stress) have a correlation to increase in stress hormones. They work in way that prepares the body for fight or flight situation. One of the parameters these hormones affects is the increase in waste secretion (the more energy the body uses during stress, the more by-product needed to be removed). Thus the frequent visit to the toilet

February 20th, 2017 2:59am

Anxious feelings send adrenaline into your system- your brain's 'fight or flight' mechanism. Unfortunately, adrenaline messes with the digestive system and the way water and food are processed. This can cause the urge for frequent urination or even diarrhea. Many people with Anxiety often also experience chronic IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which can be controlled by seeing your doctor for the best recommended treatment.

February 16th, 2017 12:28am

Being nervous or anxious can make you need to go to the bathroom frequently because the nervousness can make your stomach turn or hurt. When I get nervous or am excited or scared about being in public places, I tend to have to look for the nearest restroom.

February 15th, 2017 4:13pm

I feel anxiety and stress are related. A part of the stress response changes includes causing the body to eliminate waste as quickly as possible. Many people feel the urge to go to the washroom when they are anxious or stressed. It is a common anxiety and stress reaction.

December 15th, 2016 2:06am

(Overly simplified) When you feel like you are threatened and your fight or flight response is triggered, one of the things your body does is make you pee now instead of later. The idea behind it is that if you do end up having to fight for your life, or run away, better pee now when you detect danger instead of waiting until you're in the middle of it. Like any physiological response, it varies in degree. If you just feel a little freaked out, you'll feel an urge to pee. If you see a car about to T-bone you for real, you better have a change of underwear in the glove compartment.

November 13th, 2016 5:09pm

The question can be perceived in two ways,one: it may be because you find your space, where there aren't many people, and you have a place to breathe and vent your anxiety a bit. Two: The need to go to a toilet is a physical reaction to your anxious feelings. It's really in the mind, as you don't usually need to go in those situations.

November 10th, 2016 1:10pm

Anxiety is a form of excitement, though usually related with stress. It causes the system to constantly stay in "flight or fight" response causing immense strain on the normal functioning of the body. Due to this sympathetic and parasympathetic hormones are released which increase one's urge to go to the toilet. Also it causes the adrenal glands to function at high rates and thus as adrenaline increases under stress, it has to be removed from the system as well, hence the urge to go to toilet frequently. Hope it helped :)