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Anxiety

Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety or worry is normal to feel at times. However, when one feels anxious without reason or find it disrupts functioning in daily life it can be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder.

Conventional vs. Natural Therapies

Conventional treatment usually consists of anti-anxiety medications and psychotherapy. Natural medicines offer a much safer long term approach. Addressing underlying psychological and spiritual imbalances are the key to prevention.

Causes

  • Adrenal Disorders
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Depression
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Environment
  • Food Allergies
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Nicotine
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Street Drugs
  • Stress
  • Sugar
  • Super Supplement Medications
  • Thyroid Problems

Symptoms

  • Being Easily Distracted
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling a Lump in Your Throat
  • Feeling on Edge
  • Headache
  • Impatience
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Tension
  • Restlessness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Stomachache
  • Trouble Sleeping

Testing

Following are tests that can be give you an assessment of possible metabolic reasons for anxiety:

  • Neurotransmitter balance-urine test
  • Hormone analysis by saliva, urine, or blood (estrogens, progesterone, DHEA, cortisol, thyroid panel). DHEA and cortisol are of particular importance.
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Food allergy/sensitivity testing

TREATMENT

DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES

Things to include
Make sure to eat regular meals throughout the day as low blood sugar levels can worsen anxiety. Consume a diet with high quality proteins such as fish, turkey, egg, legumes, and chicken along with non-starchy vegetables such as salads, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans. An adequate amount of fat in the diet is important to reduce anxiety.

Things to cut out
Caffeine sources should be reduced or eliminated as they may worsen the symptoms of anxiety. This includes coffee, chocolate, and many teas. The same can be true of simple sugar products so it is best to reduce your intake of candy, soda pop, fruit juices, and white flour products. Avoid deep fried foods as they can interfere with your body’s ability to utilize essential fatty acids.

Good daily habits
Incorporate exercise, prayer, and positive visualization into your daily habits to prevent and reduce anxiety. Deep breathing is important to calm the nervous system. Take time out during the day to take long deep breaths, especially when you feel anxious.

PASSIONFLOWER

This herb has mild sedative properties and is effective for mild to moderate anxiety. A study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Therapeutics looked at the effect of passionflower on 36 people with generalized anxiety disorder. In a 4 week trial 18 people took passionflower extract at a dose of 45 drops per day plus a placebo tablet, and 18 took oxazepam (Serax) at 30 mg per day plus placebo drops. Researchers found that passionflower extract and oxazepam (Serax) were both effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

No significant difference was observed between the two compounds at the end of trial. While oxazepam (Serax) showed a rapid onset of action it also had more side effects such as significantly more problems relating to impairment of job performance. (Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Vazirian M, Shayeganpour A, Rashidi H, Khani M. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001 Oct;26(5):363-7.)

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