Anxiety is an emotion that we experience in response to stress. It manifests as fear and uneasiness which is usually accompanied by an increased sense of alertness along with physical symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and eventually fatigue. This can occur from simple everyday things like watching the news, trouble in relationships, public speaking, etc. Anxiety is a natural response and only becomes classified as a “disorder” when the feeling of anxiety becomes extreme and re-occurs frequently over a long period of time.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
When anxiety develops into a disorder, a patient may develop any of the following symptoms when the feelings of anxiety come on:
(Keep in mind that these vary from person to person)
– Fear (anything from butterflies in your tummy to a feeling of impending doom)
– Rapid heart rate
– Difficulty concentrating
– Difficulty falling asleep
– Difficulty breathing
– Terrifying, worrisome and/or racing thoughts that you cannot control
– Panic attacks
– Heart palpitations
There are many other symptoms that may develop and accompany anxiety attacks. These should be addressed with your healthcare provider. Remember that it is important to communicate with your healthcare provider about all the symptoms you experience, regardless of how irrelevant they may seem to you. The reason for this is that anxiety can have many underlying causative factors.
What Causes of Anxiety Disorders
– Genetics – This can be an issue as it can make you prone to having certain issues with neurochemistry.
– Stress – High levels of stress from unresolvable situations or long-standing issues can burn out your adrenal glands and deplete you of certain nutrients.
– Vitamin B1 deficiency – Vitamin B1 is known as an anti-stress nutrient and a deficiency can result in feelings of anxiety. Excessive alcohol consumption, use of birth control, and liver damage can lead you to deplete this nutrient.
– Low blood sugar – this can result in your body going into a state of panic. People who take blood sugar-lowering medications or who have issues with insulin resistance can experience this.
– Trauma – This can lead to obsessive thoughts and reliving of stressful events which can result in a type of anxiety disorder known as PTSD.
Unfortunately, from a statistical perspective, women are twice as likely to develop anxiety disorders than men.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
– Post-traumatic Stress Disorder – Anxiety the follows a significantly traumatic event.
– Phobias – Anxiety or fear of certain situations, activities, animals, places, etc.
– Social Anxiety – Anxiety or fear of socializing due to fear of being judged.
– Separation Anxiety – Anxiety from being away from a loved one, animal, or even object.
– Hypochondria – Anxiety related to health-related symptoms
– Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Anxiety characterized by repetitive and sometimes irrational thoughts which results in repetitive behaviors.
– Panic Disorder – An anxiety disorder characterized by panic attacks that can come on suddenly at any time and are recurrent.
Remedies For Anxiety (Evidence-Based)
Anxiety disorder treatment generally consists of counseling and the use of anxiolytic drugs, however, there are several clinically-proven anxiolytic herbs and nutrients such as:
This is an Ayurvedic herb with a long list of clinically-proven health benefits especially in the area of psychiatric and neurological health. Ashwagandha is proven to improve the way our bodies adapt to stress by keeping the stress hormone “cortisol” low while improving the conditions of depression, OCD, stress, mild cognitive impairment, and anxiety (See Study). Ashwagandha must be used in a dosage determined by a medical professional and not a “RECOMMENDED DOSAGE” that is written on a supplement bottle.
This relaxing herb has a long list of uses for patients suffering from insomnia, stress, and even pain. Passionflower is commonly prescribed by natural health practitioners for treating fibromyalgia, anxiety, insomnia, and stress. In a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, Passionflower extract was able to significantly improve the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. In comparison to Oxazepam, patients taking Passionflower had a lower incidence of job performance impairments (See Study).
This mineral is responsible for hundreds of processes in the body including nerve conductivity, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar regulation, and various enzymatic activities. Magnesium is known for its muscle-relaxing properties, however, in clinical research, it has proven to be a potent anxiolytic agent (See Study). Magnesium has many forms (glycinate, threonate, citrate, chloride, etc) – make sure to speak to a holistic health practitioner about which type is right for you. Also, keep in mind that the metabolism of magnesium is dependent on Vitamin D.
4. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 deficiencies can result in symptoms of anxiety, therefore, it should come as no surprise that supplementing or adding B1 rich foods to your diet can help in reducing this symptom. Vitamin B1 plays a crucial role in various biochemical processes including the formation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is also crucial for the formation of myelin as well as nerve function. Supplementation with Vitamin B1 in patients with a B1 deficiency has been found to be highly beneficial in reducing the symptoms of anxiety (See Study).
Dill is a very interesting herb, it has proven to be useful in hormone-related issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome as well as Diabetes and Gingivitis. However, the reason I chose to include Dill in this list is that it has proven to be useful in a very specific type of anxiety – Anxiety during labor (childbirth). This is crucial information since every day millions of children are born. It is a known thing that childbirth can be extremely painful and this knowledge leads to anxiety. However, there may also be other underlying causes of anxiety during labor. In a clinical trial, Dill was able to reduce anxiety during labor as well as the length of labor – making this herb a boon for mothers-to-be (See Study).
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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