Butterflies in the stomach

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Butterflies in the stomach is the physical sensation in humans of a "fluttery" feeling in the stomach, caused by a reduction of blood flow to the organ. This is as a result of the release of adrenaline in the fight-or-flight response, which causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, consequently sending more blood to the muscles.[1]

Butterflies in the stomach are usually linked in culture and language to the sentiment of love and sexual/romantic passion to a desired other. One may feel butterflies in the stomach prior to meeting or confronting a love interest due to high levels of emotion and anxiety, as adrenaline and serotonin may be released when a love interest is concerned.

It can also be a symptom of social anxiety disorder. The symptom of this phenomenon is usually experienced prior to attempting to partake in something critical.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bennett, Howard (May 10, 2010). "Why do you get butterflies in your stomach?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ Pharmacotherapy Handbook, 9th edition by J. Dipiro., CHAPTER 66: Anxiety Disorders, Page: 675