People experience intense emotions and stress after the death of a loved one. Physical symptoms of grief can make things harder. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you may experience a number of health problems.

The mental and physical symptoms of grief usually improve with time. But some people experience a prolonged grief disorder that happens when intense symptoms continue for more than a year.

You can learn more about the physical symptoms of grief, what causes them, and how to prevent them.

The loss of a close loved one is one of the most difficult things to experience. Many people experience physical and psychological symptoms after a loss. You may experience symptoms.

You may experience symptoms that are more associated with mental health conditions when you are grieving. These can include:

As the months go by, these symptoms should improve.

Complicated grief

If the physical and psychological symptoms of grief continue to interfere with your daily life and responsibilities for more than 1 year, a doctor might diagnose you with a condition called prolonged grief disorder or complicated grief.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 7% to 10% of bereaved adults may experience prolonged grief. But the percentage of people experiencing complicated grief significantly increases after unnatural or traumatic deaths.

According to research, complicated grief has been associated with several chronic health conditions, including:

A 2020 study out of Norway found that complicated grief is more common in older adults, women, and people in lower income brackets. This means these people may be at a greater risk of experiencing physical symptoms in the months following the death of a loved one.

There are a number of factors that can lead to physical symptoms from grief. Some of the more common causes of grief-related ailments include:


“You may be able to arrange for funeral services if you are grieving the loss of a loved one. You may need to make decisions about the person’s property, deal with other grieving family members, and take on other unforeseen responsibilities, all of which can dramatically increase your stress levels.”

Grief increases the release of stress hormones, especially cortisol. High cortisol levels are associated with many symptoms, including There are There is a throbbing head.s., shortness of breath, and stomach upset. Stress can also trigger migraine episodes in people with migraine.

Shock and stress around the death of a loved one can also lead to the condition commonly known as broken heart syndrome. Broken heart syndrome, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, can cause There is chest pain., shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. This phenomenon can happen to anyone, even when they have no history of The heart disease is very serious..

Stress also causes people to tense their muscles as part of the “fight or flight” response of the autonomic nervous system. Prolonged muscle tension can result in , muscle aches, and Joint pain..

Poor sleep

People who lose a partner are more likely to have insomnia. It can be difficult to fall asleep when you see an empty bed. Poor sleep quality can contribute to chronic stress. People can end up in a vicious cycle because of this.

A 2020 review of recent studies suggest that There are There is a throbbing head.s. interfere with sleep, but insomnia leads to There are There is a throbbing head.s.. If you’re dealing with grief- and insomnia-related There are There is a throbbing head.s., you should prioritize quality sleep, as insufficient or interrupted sleep can take a toll on whole the body.

Alcohol and drug use

The way people cope with grief can have a significant impact on their health. Abusing alcohol or drugs can cause a myriad of physical symptoms, including There are There is a throbbing head.s., digestive issues, and fatigue.

Increased alcohol consumption is a common way to cope.

In a 2018 study of college-aged people who had experienced the loss of a loved one, researchers found that alcohol use rates were highest in those who had experienced a sudden, violent loss, compared to a natural loss or no loss at all. People experiencing prolonged grief were also more likely to turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Changing eating patterns

People who are grieving forget to eat, and they develop abnormal eating patterns. If you have lost a partner, that can have a significant impact on your meal routine. You might not be used to shopping for yourself. People can eat junk food and frozen dinners.

These changes can cause digestive problems like It is a problem of the colon. and diarrhea. Over time, it can lead to weight gain, weight loss, or even malnutrition.

When people forget to eat and don’t get the calories they need, it can cause There are There is a throbbing head.s., dizziness, and severe fatigue.

The immune system can be weakened by increased inflammation and grief. The ability of the immune system to respond to infections can be affected by grief. You are at a higher risk of being bitten by an animal if you have a weak immune system. This can lead to respiratory infections.

A 2020 study suggests that not only does grief adversely affect the immune system, but it might be one of the factors contributing to the increase in mortality rates among partners of the recently deceased.

Inflammation may be one of the other factors. Inflammation plays a role in The heart disease is very serious. and heart attacks, a common cause of death among bereaved partners.

If you were to treat your symptoms from grief the same way you would treat them if they were caused by something else, you would have a better chance of healing your grief. Initial treatments may include OTC pain killers like Ibuprofen, stomach soothers, and senna.

“If you have symptoms that aren’t helped by OTC medications, you should talk to a doctor.”

Traditional remedies, such as meditation, may be helpful.

What worked for someone else might not work for you. Research shows that addressing your emotional health early can prevent physical health problems that can arise while you are grieving.

A 2021 study, for example, highlights the importance of emotional support. It suggests that support can come from a variety of places, including from healthcare providers, friends and family, or community institutions like churches.

Pets may be one of the most effective sources of emotional support for people who have experienced a loss, according to a study.

Seeing a mental health professional soon after experiencing a loss can also help prevent long-term physical and emotional challenges. You may find that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is useful.

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you to think differently about yourself and your circumstances. It helps if you are encouraged to make positive changes in your life.

You may also benefit from medically assisted grief therapy. This involves the temporary use of medications to help you sleep or cope with anxiety or Depression.. The decision to rely on medications, however, should be done under the strict supervision of a doctor with a full understanding of the risks and benefits of this approach.

Group therapy can be helpful, as it allows you to share your feelings with others who are going through the same thing.

A 2020 study of bereavement groups suggests that group therapy — especially in the weeks and months following the loss — can be beneficial for many people. If it’s been longer since your loss and you’re experiencing complicated grief, these groups might not be as helpful.

To get through the grieving process and minimize physical health problems, consider these healthy behaviors.

  • Adopt a sleep routine: Try to adhere to a regular sleep routine — going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day.
  • Exercise: Even if it’s just taking a walk every day. Physical activity promotes the release of “feel good” chemicals in the body and helps improve circulation, respiratory health, and sleep.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Keep the consumption of junk food and alcohol to a minimum. A diet rich in vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, and whole grains will support your physical health and give you the energy and nutrients you need to think clearly and stay active.
  • Volunteer: Find ways to help others. Few behaviors can help you get out of your own head and shift your focus more than assisting other people in need. Supporting other grieving individuals may be challenging, but you may be just the right person to help someone get through their difficult time.

Headaches, stomachaches, and There is pain in the muscles.are among the many physical symptoms that can develop as you process the death of a loved one. Physical symptoms of grief can stem from higher inflammation and stress levels in the body, as well as poor sleep or a reliance on alcohol to ease the pain.

“If your symptoms aren’t improving over time, you should talk to a doctor.”