So many people are now struggling with anxiety. There are many reasons why people suffer from anxiety and I will cover some of the main ones.
Taking medication or drugs for anxiety can have quite a few side effects, that often aren’t mentioned. They can have side effects like paranoia, digestive disturbances, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. These drugs further deplete us of our nutrients, which puts us even further into ill health. I have personal experience of this with a family member.
I believe by trying to find your root cause of why you have anxiety, you can start to heal. The exact treatment/s that will help you will depend on the root cause/s of your anxiety. We’re all different, so a ‘one size fits all approach’ isn’t the way forward.
Symptoms linked with anxiety
There are many, but here are some of the main symptoms:
- Feeling nervous, uneasy.
- Panic or fear
- Sleep problems
- Not being able to stay calm and still
- Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
- Shortness of breath/ rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Tense muscles
- Having a feeling of impending danger, panic or doom
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or racing mind
Nutrients have a HUGE impact on mood and brain function. Modern medicine doesn’t focus on deficiencies of essential nutrients, many Dr’s believe that diet provides sufficient nutrition, which in many cases it sadly doesn’t.
Some of the main contributors to root causes of anxiety include a deficiency, excess or imbalance of the 4 main minerals (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium). Zinc, copper and manganese also play a role in anxiety. They are important for neurotransmitter health and brain function. Mineral hair testing is key to know what you are specifically dealing with, as we will all have different imbalances.
This study is just one example that found individuals with chronic anxiety had significantly higher levels of copper and very low levels of zinc.
A deficiency in B vitamins can contribute to anxiety, such as vitamin B6 and thiamine. (Read more in this study).
Omega-3 essential fatty acid has received attention for its possible positive effects on mood disorders such as anxiety, depression and panic disorders. Omega-3 is ‘essential’ because it must be supplied from food, as the body cannot make it. Good sources include salmon, tuna, sardines, wild game and walnuts.
Poor digestion – the ‘gut-brain’ link.
The gut is often known as the ‘second brain’. If you have issues like digestion issues, our brain health also suffers. This is another big cause of anxiety (and depression).
This connection goes both ways; an unhappy gut can send signals to the brain, just as an unhappy brain can send signals to the gut. Digestion issues can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress or depression.
How to improve digestion:
- Address any low stomach acid issues
- Remove any foods that you are sensitive to (temporarily)
- Repair and heal the gut lining
- Address any pathogens, heavy metals and parasites
- Repopulate the gut with good bacteria
Another cause for some people maybe histamines.
Histamines are chemicals that our immune system makes. They help to remove allergens out of your body. This can make you sneeze, eyes water, or itch but this is all part of removing the allergen. Histamine also triggers a response of the cardiovascular system that increases the heart rate and causes feelings of high anxiety.
Some foods are high in histamines. (e.g. tomatoes, aged and fermented foods and alcohol (especially red wine). So some of these foods may make your symptoms worse.
A few stress relieving activities
Yoga or mediation
Yoga, tai chi or mediation can help some people, although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! Even just doing a few yoga positions at home, may help (e.g. legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose or corpse pose).
EFT (or Tapping) Emotional Freedom Technique.
Tapping on “meridian points” on the body, derived from acupuncture can release ‘energy blockages’ that cause ‘negative emotions’. Some people like it, some don’t. It’s worth a try! I wouldn’t say it works long term for me, but when I’m doing it, it is certainly relaxing. There are plenty of You Tube videos on this, here’s an introduction to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRq8o1MEUtU.
CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and Mindfulness are positive things to help and try. Your GP may be able to refer you for CBT that’s free on the NHS.
Do things that make you happy, calm or laugh!
Anything really that takes your mind of things. Try watching a funny film, listening to music, colouring, going for a walk, swimming, having a long relaxing bath or meeting up with friends, whatever helps you relax. More ideas here.
Herbs like St. John’s Wort or Lavender help some people with anxiety. You could put a drop near your pillow at night, in a warm bath or diffuse them into your room. Flower Essences are another option. Bach rescue Remedy’s is a popular brand. Some say it can help us relax, focus and find calmness.
I came across this when trying for a baby. It really helped to keep calm while having IVF. You can use it anytime of day, but it can helpful if you struggle to get to sleep, wake up in the middle of the night, or during a panic attack. More info here http://www.buteyko.co.uk or a good book on it here.
I have not covered ‘all’ of the reasons that may cause anxiety, just some of the main ones. Mineral imbalances together with gut issues are some of the most common causes of anxiety that I see and I would recommend looking into these first. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I offer a free 15-minute consultation.