Anxiety is becoming much more common, with 19% of adults experiencing anxiety every year. Symptoms of anxiety can be cognitive, emotional, or somatic (experienced in the body). Difficulty sleeping, feeling irritable or easily angered, being restless, worrying excessively, or having physical symptoms such as stomach pain/nausea, diarrhea, racing heart, or sweating can all be symptoms of anxiety. As a naturopathic doctor I will be able to assess and diagnose anxiety and provide many natural, herbal, and pharmaceutical treatment options. If you have ongoing anxiety your naturopath can help rule out other medical conditions that can cause anxiety, such as hyperthyroid, anemia, or COPD. Once physical causes of anxiety are eliminated, natural treatment of the symptoms can be very effective.
Some basic lifestyle habits can help support mood, such as having adequate hydration, stable blood sugar, and sufficient sleep. To begin with, aiming for one half of your body weight in ounces of water daily will help ensure your body has the water it needs to support its metabolic processes and detoxification. Eating regular meals and snacks with a balance of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs will help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day. Dips in blood sugar can trigger anxiety, so avoid skipping meals or eating large quantities of carbohydrates and sugars without protein, fat, and fiber to balance your meal. Lastly, getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night can help decrease anxiety as life just seems a lot harder when you are tired. If you struggle with insomnia, see my blog article on natural remedies for insomnia and schedule with a naturopathic doctor to discuss what is the best fit for you.
There are lots of supplements and herbs that can support anxiety as well. Lavela is an oral lavender oil supplement that has been shown to be as effective as SSRIs and benzodiazepines, the commonly used pharmaceutical meds used to treat anxiety. Other herbs, such as lemon balm, passionflower, valerian, and skullcap can also be used in tinctures to support relaxation and soothe anxiety. Lastly, flower essences are dilute extracts from various flowers used to regulate emotions and restore balance and resilience. A blend of flower essences called Rescue Remedy is often used for panic attacks and acute episodes of anxiety. If you think you would benefit from herbal support for mood and anxiety, please reach out to me and I can help refer you to a naturopath until I receive my license next year.
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