How to Adapt a Holistic Approach to Anxiety Management
If you’re suffering from anxiety, it may be a sign that something is “off” within your body. As they say, no one suffers from a prescription pill deficiency, so pills aren’t always the answer. With that said, there may be times when prescriptions are necessary, but this is typically the exception instead of the rule.
Even if you’re already taking anxiety medications, you may be able to rely on them less after some time on a holistic program. If this is your goal, be sure to talk to your doctor to ensure that you’re safely weaning off the medication.
What does holistic mean?
The word holistic means that you’re treating the “whole” person instead of just the symptomatic parts. Modern medicine is designed to do quite the opposite. With doctors who specialize in very specific areas of the body, we often don’t get to the root of the issue.
It’s clear that the mind and body are connected. This is why you experience physical symptoms of anxiety. In reverse, physical symptoms can also have an immediate effect on your mind. This is why you feel so glum when you’re sick.
A holistic approach to anxiety management considers that there may be various root causes of your anxiety, and that anxiety may even be a symptom of another problem.
Potential causes of anxiety
When something is wrong within your body, anxiety may be the natural result. There are a few conditions that are likely to lead to anxiety. The following causes of anxiety may be hormonal or nutritional. If you have anxiety and think you may also suffer from one of the following conditions, talk to your doctor about getting the right tests.
Estrogen deficiency – This is common among women in menopause, and it can cause anxiety. But you don’t have to be in menopause to experience low estrogen. In fact, one study suggests that women with lower estrogen during their menstrual cycle may be at greater risk of developing anxiety disorders.
Estrogen dominance – Too little circulating estrogen may increase your chances of developing an anxiety disorder, but the same is true for too much estrogen. When a woman has estrogen dominance, they have a deficiency in progesterone. At least one study has shown that balancing estrogen with progesterone can help eliminate estrogen dominance and reduce anxiety.
Hypothyroidism – Studies have shown that anxiety disorders are common in patients who have thyroid dysfunction. Hypothyroidism, in particular, can lead to anxiety by slowing down cellular metabolism, which results in a drop in the calming gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Adrenal fatigue – An overload of stress and poor lifestyle choices can fatigue your adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are responsible for managing stress, so this is crucial. And when your adrenals get fatigued, they may not be able to produce enough cortisol to handle stress. Research shows that people with anxiety disorders also have low levels of circulating cortisol.
Nutritional deficiencies – Getting enough of the right nutrients can help you manage stress, and it can also help fight the symptoms of anxiety disorder. There are at least 10 nutrients that are directly related to stress management, and the more stressed you are, the more you’ll deplete these nutrients. So if you’re dealing with anxiety, try to get more of the following in your diet:
- Vitamin B6
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, and E)
If you’re looking into treating your anxiety without medication, finding its root cause is a good start. Once you have a better picture of what’s going on with your body, you can look into natural treatments for what ails you. In the end, your body will be healthier and you will be happier.