By Cameron Stirling, Naturopath
Anxiety is not a disorder itself, but a symptom of a variety of physical and psychological disorders. To treat it successfully, we need to find the cause, not just give band-aid treatment. Common causes of anxiety include: Deficiencies of magnesium, folate or B vitamins, Hyperthyroidism, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Hypoglycaemia, Irritable bowel syndrome, Adrenal insufficiency and hormonal imbalance.
Females tend to produce more cortisol under stress, and during the pre-menstrual phase, and this disrupts neurotransmitters in the brain, contributing to anxiety. Also the Pill increases cortisol levels. The high histamine person sets high standards for herself, is driven, keeps her anxiety hidden from the world, and can “crash and burn”.
Emotions originate in physical sensations. A person might feel hot and cold due to an infection or have loose bowels due to IBS or be dizzy due to low blood sugar or have difficulty sleeping due to worry. She might interpret these sensations as anxiety and be “feeding” her anxiety via a vicious cycle.
So what we need to do is break this cycle. Instead of avoidance behaviours, one can learn to use coping behaviours like meditation, mindfulness, and better ways of thinking.
A psychologist can help with this. The physical symptoms can be traced to their cause and treated with diet and natural remedies, so they’re no longer a driving factor.
If you feel like anxiety is interfering with your life and you want a real solution, ask your doctor for some basic tests (liver function, blood count, thyroid function and urine analysis), and bring copies of the results to your consult with me.
I will do some other inexpensive tests to assess deficiencies, bacterial overgrowth and adrenal function and check your personal history and diet. Using your body’s innate healing capacity, and with the help of natural remedies and diet, we will be able to modify the driving factors and teach you some health-promoting habits. Anxiety can be a thing of the past!