Whilst modern life has enabled accessibility to a 24 hour lifestyle and social interactions, it also leaves us open to never-ending contact including work and unwanted after hours responsibilities (which MUST be complete before they build up).  This reduces opportunities for respite and increases our anxieties, inhibiting our ability to thrive to the best of our abilities.

Anxiety is seen as a psychological disorder, often presenting with the following characteristics:

  • Uneasiness
  • Worried thoughts
  • Fear
  • Panic
  • Apprehension, dread or terror
  • Feelings of tension
  • Uncertainty

Physical changes may manifest in:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dizziness and muscle tension.

The most preferred treatment of anxiety is currently pharmacological agents such as benzodiazepines, Beta-blockers and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI’s/antidepressants), though these also come with side effects such as:

  • Anticholinergic effects (Inhibiting the physiological action of acetylcholine, a chemical released by the nervous system in order to activate muscles)
  • Insomnia
  • Withdrawal and tolerance
  • Memory loss
  • Weight gain

In stress situations cortisol levels in the blood are elevated, which inadvertently triggers a rise in protein breakdown and mobilisation of fatty acids, to provide glucose for fight of flight response leading to hyperglycaemic state and insulin resistance. High cortisol levels have also shown a decrease in inflammatory and immune responses.

GABA is a neurotransmitter which helps regulate the body’s internal rhythm whilst helping people manage stress and maintain mental focus.  GABA elevates the production of alpha waves associated with feeling relaxed, as well as boosting mental alertness.  Feel good GABA-producing foods include:

  • Almonds
  • Tree nuts
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Brown Rice
  • Lentils
  • Oats, whole grain
  • Oranges, citrus fruits
  • Rice bran
  • Spinach
  • Walnuts
  • Whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran

As Naturopaths we have a dispensary of herbal and nutritional medicines with anxiolytic GABAergic activity, which may assist in:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Promoting sleep
  • Decrease insulin resistance
  • Adapt to stressful situations
  • Supporting patients while on prescription medications
  • …and so much more!

We also have the ability to give lifestyle and diet advice; we listen to your concerns and figure out what’s most important to you.

So if you are suffering from anxiety and would like to find out how we can help, call 9596 9930 and book a Naturopathic consultation.

(And remember, never cease taking your medication without speaking to your GP or the person who prescribed them to you first!)

 

 

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