With so many people suffering from Anxiety in this crazy, mad world of ours, are we any closer to getting to the core of what can alleviate it?
There is so much advice out there but what actually works for each individual? Perhaps by observing each person as a whole , when dealing with anxiety, in both the physical and mental state may be beneficial in getting to the root cause?
I think a lot of emphasis has been put on helping the “mental” aspect of anxiety but not enough on the biochemical dimension. Our nervous system has two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.The brain is the main unit and it is connected to the rest of the body by nerve cells which report back on pain, sensation and danger so that the body can respond and remain in a stable physiological state. With such a huge connection between the brain and the rest of the body, perhaps we should be paying as much attention to the latter?
The answer to helping alleviate Anxiety symptoms seems to be focused on seeing a Therapist who can talk to you and help ease your problems. But is this enough? Your brain may be a great receptor to all the advice you are given but what to do about all those physical feelings that go with Anxiety?
As a Biokinesiologist, I have seen how issues such as bad gut health, Nutritional deficiencies, Heavy toxin overload or exposure to environmental toxins can have a HUGE detrimental effect on the way our body feels and hence knock on effect on how our brain functions.
Lets take Heavy metals: so our brain is highly susceptible to a variety of toxic metals and due to its high fat content it can store toxic metals over long periods of time causing neurotoxicity. High levels of copper , for example, can be a huge driver of anxiety.
Then theres the question of Nutritional deficiencies and their relation to Anxiety. Magnesium is a very important mineral for, among other things, our stress response. It is usually depleted in anxious people because it is rapidly depleted through chronic stress. Zinc is required as a precursor to every neurotransmitter (chemical messengers important for our sense of happiness, ability to relax and feeling motivated) and hormone in the body. A deficiency is usually seen alongside high copper levels as the two are meant to be in balance. The B vitamins are also important for neurotransmitters production. Finally, good fats/omega 3s are crucial for the healthy functioning of our central nervous system and deficiency can result in low mood.
At times , our anxiety can lead to sleep disturbances, Insomnia, erratic energy peaks and slumps, appetite suppression and problems in our digestive systems… which leads to the question of Gut Health and anxiety: “Fire in the Gut = Fire in the Brain” If you have inflammation, parasites, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, fungal, or dysbiosis in the gut , then these are going to produce an inflammatory response that affects the brain. FYI there are 400 times more serotonin produced in the gut than in the brain!!
The gut is an organ that is a branch of our nervous system..The gut, our nervous system and the stress response (adrenals) are intricately linked and we now know that anxiety and the stress response disrupts our gut microflora and gut wall integrity. Antibiotics puts a real stress on our gut.
So food for thought! Any responses or insights be welcome!