Dr. Michael Kane
It might be a sign of the times or a coincidence, but the number of patients who have listed anxiety as a chief health concern seems to be much more frequent of late.
There are some patients that have been to their physicians first and have been given a prescription for either a seratonin- re-uptake inhibitor like zoloft, prozac or a benzodiazapam drug like xanax . I am often amazed but not surprised that no other options of treatment are offered to these patients and that the first line of treatment is pharmaceutical.
Some of these patients are desperate for a solution and begin taking these medications without realizing that they have significant side effects and can be very difficult to discontinue. Offered no other options and the promise that simply taking a pill can relieve their complaints, these anxiety sufferers are ready for relief.
A Naturopathic Approach-
Constitutionally speaking, some of us are prone to anxiety or worry. If in your health history you have had bouts of anxiety with increased stress you are certainly aware of this propensity. For others, the onset of anxiety can be the result of some life events or a metabolic shift that has caused this change.
Regardless of your history, naturopathic treatment can be a very power full approach for the treatment of anxiety.
It may seem obvious, but often having a good listener who is willing to provide an unconditional space for your concerns and help direct you to sorting through the emotions is critical. It is like an emotional management tool, letting off the pressure can be a good stress management tool
Meditation- supporting the para-sympathetic nervous system is a goal in treating anxiety. Activities like meditation, yoga, tai chi, and hypnotherapy all have been shown to increase this systems influence and help you de-stress.
Reactions that are associated with blood sugar regulation can have an effect on the nervous system and anxiety levels. some people have a reactive hypoglycemia. This can happen in reaction to eating foods too high in carbs or having a high glycemic index. The body produces insulin in response to this and can in some people create a hypoglycemic reaction. Limiting sugars, caffeine and simple carbs can help. Eating small frequent meals through out the day would assist with this issue.
Rescue remedy this is a Bach flower remedy used for anxiety and stress.
Bach flower remedies are homeopathic combinations to energetically support the systems of this body. This one is specific for stress.
B6 and Magnesium- both have a role to play in the body's ability to relax. Often these two nutrients are low especially in woman who take oral birth control pills.
5htp- a form of Trypthophan acts in the body as a building block on the way to serotonin production. Remember serotonin is that neurotransmitter that can help us better deal with stress and bouts of depression.
l- theanine- is an amino acid that is a precursor to another anti-stress neurotransmitter called GABA. This has been a very useful nutrient that I've used this to help people get off some of the more addictive drugs like the class of benziodiazapam drugs.
Nervine botanicals- skullcap- kava- valarian, there are a multitude of plants that have shown to have a relaxing effect on the nervous system. There might be specific ones or even combinations that would help you. Ask your doctor if you are interested.
As a rule it is our job to help you do the least invasive thing to get your body back on track. When faced with panic attacks and anxiety, it is clear that the need for relief is required sooner then later, but jumping onto a drug route can often leave you with more then you bargained for.