What is Anxiety and what are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal and natural response to stress, but when symptoms of anxiety become excessive or persistent, they can interfere with daily activities and well-being. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is a normal part of life, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can take many forms, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Symptoms can include excessive worry, fear, and nervousness, physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and sweating, and avoidance behaviors.
If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider, who can help determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan that may include therapy, medication, or lifestyle changes.
A functional medicine approach can help identify any underlying imbalances or contributing factors and develop a personalized plan to address them and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
- Increased heart rate or palpitations
- Shortness of breath or tightness in the chest
- Persistent worrying or negative thoughts
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Fatigue or muscle weakness
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Irritability or anger
- Avoidance behaviors
- Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
Here are 10 ways functional medicine can help with symptoms of anxiety:
- Assess nutrient deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies, such as low levels of magnesium or B vitamins, can contribute to anxiety symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner can help you identify any deficiencies and develop a plan to address them through diet, supplements, or other means.
- Focus on gut health: A healthy gut microbiome is crucial for reducing inflammation and promoting healthy digestion. Eating a diet rich in fiber, fermented foods, and probiotics can help support gut health and reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Incorporating stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help to reduce anxiety.
- Address hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as an overactive thyroid or adrenal dysfunction, can contribute to anxiety symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner can help you identify any hormonal imbalances and develop a plan to address them.
- Incorporate exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms and promote overall physical and mental wellness.
- Address underlying conditions: Medical conditions such as hypoglycemia, food sensitivities, or chronic infections can contribute to anxiety symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner can help you identify any underlying conditions and develop a plan to address them.
- Evaluate prescription medications: Certain prescription medications, such as beta blockers or antidepressants, can contribute to anxiety symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner can help you evaluate your medication regimen and make changes to minimize side effects and optimize your overall health.
- Consider herbal remedies: Herbs such as passionflower, valerian root, and kava have been used to reduce anxiety symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner can help you determine the right herbs and dosages for your individual needs.
- Improve sleep quality: Poor sleep quality can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. A functional medicine practitioner can help you develop a plan to improve sleep quality, such as adjusting your sleep environment, adjusting your diet, or incorporating sleep-promoting supplements.
- Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery, can help reduce anxiety symptoms and promote overall wellbeing. A functional medicine practitioner can help you incorporate these techniques into your daily routine.
Discover the root cause of your symptoms of anxiety. Contact us today to learn more about how the SMH Stress Resolution functional medicine package can help you.