How to treat anxiety naturally?
Today I would like to focus on anti-anxiety treatment tools; these are actionable information you won’t find anywhere.
There is a lot of anxiety in general right now due to the fact we are currently experiencing a global pandemic and an economical crisis, as a result, we are all affected and rather anxious.
These tools I am discussing today with you will help to relieve some of anxiety you may have developed as a result of current situation.
This information is designed to help these people who have been diagnosed with all forms of anxiety disorders.
As you educate yourself in existing treatment options, please discuss any changes and additions to your current treatment with your leading doctor.
This is not a medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your physician at your next appointment.
- Anxiety is the most common of all mental disorders, currently affects about one in 13 people worldwide witch is about 7.3 % of population.
Interestingly, this mental disorder is more prevalent in Western counties.
Anxiety is characterised by feelings of worry, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Traditional treatment includes counselling and medication, including antidepressants.
In today’s post I focus on other ways to deal with anxiety – a holistic nutritional intervention.
Every doctor’s goal who treats patient with anxiety is to ultimately get you well enough so you are off pharmacological medication, as these, as much as these are extremely helpful, especially in the initial stages of your treatment, and especially when you may experience the more severe types anxiety, these medication carry out a lot of side effects as well as dependency risks.
- All pharmacological Anti-anxiety medication in general has strong scientific evidence on its effectiveness and potential risks.
- Nutritional anti-anxiety remedies have in general less scientific evidence behind them, however these remedies that I have chosen for to know off today, have a reasonable amount of research behind them and can be very helpful. Nutritional remedies don’t carry out too many negative side effects and are relatively safe to use.
Your aim is: changing your brain chemistry and this is achievable via so many ways, through medication, exercise, psychotherapy, meditation, and nutritional or herbal remedies.
The first steep to your recovery, is awareness, then a willingness to change, sourcing your support tools and networks, and implementation of acquired helpful recourses and strategies.
Before I go into specific nutritional remedies, let’s look at anxiety’s common causes. As you may wonder… why on earth have you develop an anxiety disorder?
You may not have seen, this, is coming to get you!
In general combination of genetics, environmental factors, family history, personality type and personal history are all important and taken into consideration.
A history of anxiety in your family may contribute to it (but this doesn’t mean that you will develop anxiety).
More common causes are a build-up of stressful events in person’s life.
- Abuse of any kind at any point of life; an exposure to emotional, physical or sexual abuse is high predictor in developing some form of anxiety in childhood and as well as adulthood.
- Other factors such as experience of negative life events like negligence, trauma, grieving of the loss of the loved ones, or a major life events such as divorce, becoming a parent, moving countries, relationship problems, loss of job and financial worry.
- And then there is a substance abuse of alcohol or drugs as well as living with severe illness, or chronic health condition that can all contribute to development of anxiety.
And if it happens that you lived through some of these common stressors, the chances are that you developed anxiety disorder, no mater how strong you thought you were.
Don’t blame yourself for this now; it is not your fault that you have been through a rough time and your body is now out of balance.
The question is, what are you going to do now, and how fast you are going to act to get yourself back on track and become the healthier version of yourself… the one that you remember you have been before anxiety manifested… Let’s bring the healthier version of you to forefront.
The fact is once anxiety developed, it usually further complicates person’s life, if left untreated, it can interfere with daily activities, career and interpersonal relationships. In worse case scenario, it can debilitate person’s life.
It is important for everyone to know the common symptoms of anxiety, so in case when you, or your loved one develops anxiety, it is quickly spotted and treated correctly.
Before the person spirals into developing of unhealthy coping strategies that will further complicate the recovery and cause a lot of havoc in person’s life.
What are the common symptoms of anxiety?
Well, depending on what the type of anxiety you developed, the symptoms vary.
Since there are many different Types of Anxiety Disorders from panic attacks, social anxiety to phobias.
In general, one may start noticing a withdrawal from activities. Lots of activities… the activates that would help you to combat the anxiety as well. It would be so great, that you understand, you need to keep moving and doing things, even tho you feel that it is the last thing you want to do right now. You just want to lie down and hide… but unfortunately that’s not a successful treatment strategy.
It’s good to rest but there is need for a decisive action.
- The Physical symptoms you may notice an bea panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, sleep problems, and feeling wounded up and being edgy. And obsessive-compulsive rituals like washing hands.
- The Psychological symptoms are: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, ruminating thoughts, or obsessive and compulsive thoughts.
- The Behavioural symptoms are: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on your work and social life.
There are many ways to reduce anxiety naturally, let me first go through lifestyle and diet advice, and then I will follow up with recommendations on specific nutrients.
- On the top of my list I put eating a healthy Mediterranean style diet:
Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, high-quality meats, fish, nuts and whole grains can lower the risk of developing anxiety disorders, but diet alone is not enough to treat them, it is however your steeping stone and a basic requirement to obtain recovery. Yes, you are what you eat.
It is worth to notice that 90 % of your neurotransmitters such as so called happy feeling neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in your gut, as well as some B vitamins, hence looking after your gut health is extremely important.
If you for example have anxiety disorder and unresolved gut health issues, with lots of symptoms of bloating, indigestion, diarrhoea, or constipation, you know that you need to look into resolving your gut health issues as a part of your overall recovery plan.
You will not be able to produce most needed neurotransmitters that make you feel good if your gut health isn’t there. That’s a basic requirement for good brain health.
That is as important as dealing with your earlier traumas through psychotherapy.
You need to address both to be able to change your brain chemistry and not be reliant on Pharmaceutical medication forever.
- Studies show that consuming probiotics and fermented foods has been associated with improved mental health outcomes. You would like you to in-cooperate at last 5 fermented foods into your diet and have them rotating daily.
- Limiting Coffee may be important as excessive coffee intake may worsen feelings of anxiety in general in many people; and especially those who have developed anxiety disorders.
- Abstaining from alcohol: Anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse are strongly linked, so it will help if you stay away from alcohol as much as possible.
- Exercising often: Regular exercise is linked to a lower risk of developing an anxiety disorder, and certainly helps a person with anxiety disorder feel better thanks to the endorphins release which is a happy hormone that reduces pain and boost pleasure, resulting in a feeling of well-being.
- Meditation: One type of meditation-based therapy called mindfulness-based stress reduction has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. You may try that too.
- Practicing yoga has also shown to reduce symptoms in people diagnosed with anxiety disorders.
- Aromatherapy may also help, especially regular use of lavender oil in a diffusor.
Let’s have a look at nutritional Supplements:
- Vitamins such as Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D and E have shown to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety.
This is because deficiency of these vitamins contributes to development of anxiety and depression symptoms.
It would be wise to run a blood test and checking if you have any of these particular Vitamins deficiencies and supplement these vitamins that you shown to de deficient in.
If you have confirmed deficiency of any of these vitamins, I would supplement these individually, because the dosage will be higher and it will take less time to solve the problem but even taking a good quality multivitamin supplements daily has shown to reduce the generalised anxiety disorder.
- Supplementation with Inositol, which is also referred to as Vitamin B 8, this substance is a carbocyclic sugar that is abundant in brain and other tissues, and mediates cell signal transduction in response to a variety of hormones, and neurotransmitters.
Studies shown that supplementing with 12 – 18 grams of Inositol a day helps to control panic attacks and the fear of public places or open spaces.
One study found that inositol is as effective as a prescription medication. However, larger clinical studies are needed before inositol’s effectiveness for panic attacks can be proven.
- Looking at the minerals, you would like to pay attention to Magnesium and Zinc.
Similarly to the vitamins that I described before, studies show that these minerals deficiency directly contributes to the development of anxiety disorders and depression.
You can run serum zinc level test (which is a blood test) but it may be tricky with assessing magnesium deficiency as serum levels of magnesium have little correlation with total body magnesium levels.
In other words it may be difficult to assess Magnesium deficiency but supplementation with it doesn’t carry any significant side effects.
When you supplement with these minerals, please take these at different times, away from each other, as Mg and Zn will compete for absorption in your digestive tract when taken at the same time.
You could take 50 mg of zinc in the morning and always with food to reduce the potential for nausea, as zinc can cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach.
You are looking at taking 350 mg of magnesium in the evening before sleep.
- Another supplement that can be helpful is Omege 3 fatty acid, commonly known as fish oil.
If you are depleted in Omega 3 fatty acids, then you may notice an improvement in relation to anxiety when taken these orally as a supplement of 1,5 gr of omega 3 fatty acid a day.
Now that is not a dose of fish oil, it may take about 3 gram of fish oil to deliver 1,5 gr of omega 3 fatty acid. Always check the label and try to find good quality fish oil that is purified.
- Another good supplement to think of is L- Lysine that is is an essential α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins.
Supplementing with L-Lysine will have direct impact on neurotransmitter serotonin.
It shown to suppresses serotonin receptor-mediated anxiety and especially when combined with another amino acid called L – Arginine,
It has been documented these when taken together normalize hormonal stress responses in humans with anxiety disorder.
Reducing overall cortisol levels and promoting feeling of wellbeing, and better handling of stressful situations.
You are looking at oral treatment with L-lysine (2.65 g per day) and L-arginine (2.65 g per day). These supplements are available in powder form and you can mix them with water, and have these away from food. There are not reported side effects when taking these supplements.
- The next supplement that you need to know of is GABA , an amino acid produced naturally in the brain.
GABA functions as a neurotransmitter, facilitating communication among brain cells. GABA’s big role in the body is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which in turn has a broad range of effects on the body and mind, including increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a boost to sleep.
Low levels of GABA are linked to: Anxiety or mood disorders, Epilepsy and Chronic pain.
You can purchase GABA as a supplement, naturally it if found in fermented foods. Hence it is great to eat these 5 fermented foods I recommended earlier to optimise your gut health, as these will also deliver GABA.
You can supplement GABA in doses as small as 100-200 mg 3 times daily, up to 750 mg a day.
At any time when you are diagnosed with Anxiety disorder, it is important to check for PYRROLE DISORDER which is a genetic condition that may presents with symptoms of Zinc and vit B 6 deficiency. Many patients with anxiety and other comorbid mental health issues may in fact suffer from pyrrole disorder. So ask your doctor to check for that.
These were your anxiety essentials.
If you would like a personalised nutritional consultation, do not hesitate to book one on one consultation with me via my website Dorotatrupp.com.au.
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