Anxiety is considered to be one of the most prevalent mental conditions in North America. 12% of Canadians suffer from it every year. Anxiety is a term that encloses several medical conditions with similar or the same symptoms, although various people react in various ways. The symptoms can range from mild to quite severe panic attacks.
The DSM-IV claims that anxiety disorders are diverse and include: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), specific phobias, depression and mixed anxiety.
The symptoms of anxiety can include various mental symptoms like excessive worry, nervousness, and insomnia up to genitourinary symptoms like frequent urination and gastrointestinal symptoms.
There are also other symptoms which include excessive sweating, hot and cold flashes, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, and even suicidal thoughts!
Medical experts usually include medicines like citalopram. It is a serotonin inhibitor also used to treat depression.
Other medicines that are used in these cases can include benzodiazepines, but they are mostly used in the short term to manage some quite serious symptoms.
You must get the complete history of the whole case so that you can treat the condition. You must know the details about hormonal symptoms, past medical history and sleep, digestive symptoms and diet.
You have to know how to identify the root cause of anxiety if you want to include a naturopathic diagnostic process. Naturopathic medicine treats anxiety holistically which is very different from conventional medicine which mostly focuses on dysfunctions in the brain.
The 5 Root Causes of Anxiety
Chronic stress mostly appears by the production of the hormone cortisol. It affects more than half of North American adults these days.
Chronic stress is connected to adrenal fatigue, which later leads to an inability of the body to deal with stress properly. The adrenal glands rely on adrenaline and noradrenaline to deal with stressful events instead of producing cortisol.
These hormones cause the person to be in the fight or flight state with symptoms like mental worry, sweating, muscle tension, rapid heart rate, dry mouth and rapid respiration.
- Malnutrition and Hypoglycemia
Our body needs protein, vitamins and minerals so that it can perform its chemical reactions. The lack of any nutrient when you’re healing anxiety is like you’re trying to build a house without bricks.
Serotonin, dopamine and hormones like cortisol, need tyrosine and tryptophan so that they can create their synthesis. What they also need are builders so that they can make neurotransmitters, like zinc, B-vitamins, magnesium and iron.
Stress interferes with cortisol production and may deplete the body of these nutrients, which increases dairy requirements. If you don’t get enough of these nutrients from food, you will need supplementation so that your body can function optimally.
The blood glucose levels are rising and falling because of a high-carb diet and it can lead to hypoglycemia. That’s a condition that mimics the symptoms of anxiety, like sweating, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, irritability and dizziness.
- Digestive Issues
Serotonin is mostly active in the brain, but according to many studies, up to 90% of it is created in the intestinal tract, so any disruption in the digestive cells can lead to the appearance of digestive symptoms like mood swings, but also IBS.
Inflammation in the body can be caused by foods sensitivities and intestinal issues and that all impacts the nervous system. According to researches, overactive immune system and low levels of inflammation in the brain may lead to mental conditions like depression, but also symptoms like memory loss, headaches, as well as difficulty concentrating.
- Hormonal Imbalance
The high exposure to toxic estrogen make many North American women suffer from estrogen dominance. That’s a condition manifested by lack of progesteroneortoo much estrogen in the body. This condition is manifested through symptoms like irregular periods, PMS, acne, weight gain, fibroids, painful and heavy periods, but also an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
Progesterone and estrogen control the secondary sex characteristics, but they also affect the brain. Hormonal imbalance is something that can lead to anxiety and irritability symptoms. It may even aggravate the present anxiety.
- Core Beliefs and Mental Schemas
Emotional memories or mental schemes experienced alongside strong emotions may often be caused by anxiety and other mental conditions. If it’s left untreated, it affects the everyday life.
They lead to anxiety symptoms when they’re triggered, so it is very important to find out the real symptoms for that so that you can treat any mood disorder.
Holistic Solutions for Anxiety
It’s important for the holistic solutions to rely on true diagnosis, but also:
- Check for food sensitivity and hormone levels like estrogen, cortisol and progesterone
- Develop a strategy for dealing with stress; set some healthy boundaries and reduce your work hours
- Get a thorough history along with the blood work, and check the iron and B12 status of the patient
- Add more protein in their diet and reduce the carb and sugar intake, but also alcohol and caffeine
- Identify their core beliefs and address them with the help of Narrative therapy, Coherence therapy, CBTand mindfulness training
- Search for activities that lower stress; go for long walks, start yoga or meditation, or walk in nature
- Balance the hormones by adjusting birth control dosage, limit yourexposure to toxins, and treat estrogen dominance
- Take supplements like probiotics, remove food sensitivities, and consume a diet low in pro-inflammatory foods.