Healing Anxiety from Functional Medicine
Inside: Heal Anxiety easily with Functional medicine by understanding the mechanism of how anxiety occurs and how to treat all those mechanisms with Functional medicine.
Nowadays, many people are suffering from anxiety, and day by day it’s becoming a common factor that affects the quality of life. Although it is normal to experience anxiety in fearful conditions from an evolutionary perspective chronic anxiety is something that needs your attention.
Generally, as per the conventional medication, it is believed that anxiety is caused due to imbalance in neurotransmitters, so medication is provided to balance it.
But, the functional approach focuses on finding the root cause behind anxiety i.e, it’s obvious that imbalance in neurotransmitters causes anxiety but there has to be a solid reason that causes an imbalance in neurotransmitters.
So, functional doctor partners with you to know the root cause behind the imbalance and focuses on solving that problem along with controlling the symptoms.
Mechanisms that contribute to anxiety
As per the studies, four major mechanisms may contribute to anxiety and become its root cause which needs to be evaluated for controlling anxiety.
1) Gut Issues
The health of the gut is directly connected to the health of the brain. So, if you have inflammation, parasites, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, fungal overgrowth, or dysbiosis in the gut then it will definitely affect your brain and causes inflammation that can lead to a variety of cognitive, mood, and behavioral disorders, i.e, it will not only lead to anxiety but becomes a major cause of depression too.
Other than this, the gut has 400 times more serotonin than the brain, hence it is a major hub of synthesizing neurotransmitters and not your brain. That’s the reason that your mood always uplifts when your gut feels better.
So, if you are suffering from Anxiety, keeping a check on SIBO, parasites, fungal overgrowth, dysbiosis and inflammation are important as these may be the root cause of your anxiety.
Healing your Gut with Functional Medicine
To improve gut health you need to eliminate the factors that contribute to poor gut health.
Your gut health may degrade due to unnecessary medication like NSAIDs, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), unnecessary antibiotics, and birth control pills.
Stress may lead to an imbalance of the gut microbiome that disturbs all the hormones of your body. So, keep a close check on your stress levels.
Let good bacteria enter your body by adding fermented vegetables to your diet. Raw, cultured, organic vegetables like pickles, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables like beets and carrots can promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Although if you are suffering from SIBO or yeast overgrowth then this food should be avoided till the issue gets resolved.
2) HPA Dysfunction and Adrenal Mayhem
The Hypothalamic - pituitary - adrenal axis (HPA) controls our response to stress and stress tolerance. It is referred to the context of flight or fights i.e if you see a leopard in front of you, your heartbeat may increase along with the increase in respiration and blood kind of rushing through our extremities.
All these psychological responses prepare our body to either fight or run away, this happens because of HPA Axis.
But HPA Axis has to get active only when such dangerous situation arises but due to chronic stressors like financial stress, relationship stress, work stress, our body is activating this system again and again leading to changes in the output of stress hormones like DHEA and cortisol and pregnenolone which in turn affects the secretion of other hormones and neurotransmitters.
Other than mental or emotional stress, inflammation stemming from Chronic diseases, hormonal imbalance, and infections also disrupt HPA Axis. Autoimmune disease, gut infections, chronic viruses, blood sugar imbalances, estrogen dominance, insomnia, and sleep disruption are some major causes of inflammation.
Healing HPA Axis with Functional Medication
Reduce Stress Levels
Reduce your stress levels to avoid activating HPA Axis. Meditate for 5-10 mins daily and focus on your breath. Also, adopt the practice of mindfulness by staying in present. It will help you reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
Move your Body
Movement helps to release tension from the body. It increases oxygen to your brain and counters the effects of stress hormones.
Follow a proper sleep/wake cycle that will drop cortisol and raise melatonin, hence keeping your adrenals and mood in control.
3) Nutrient Deficiencies
Our body needs a variety of Nutrients to efficiently perform its daily functions. Some nutrients are very important for mental health, these are Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, B6, Inositol, folate, B12, copper, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D.
If you have a digestive issue that makes it hard for you to absorb nutrients or you are taking nutrient-depleting medication like Birth Control Pill then you are at a higher risk of Nutrient Deficiency.
Medication that blocks acid, like PPIs and Tums, as well as those used in diabetics, can create nutrient deficiencies that trigger anxiety. Also, following a restrictive diet like veganism, vegetarianism, keto, or autoimmune protocol increases the risk of Nutrient Deficiencies.
Other than this, if your body is deficient in making amino acids due to a lack of proteins, it will affect the count of neurotransmitters.
Healing Nutrient Deficiencies with Functional Medicines
Appropriate Lab Testing
Go through lab testing to know which nutrients are deficient in your body and try to incorporate that into your daily routine.
Adopt a Whole Food Diet
A nutrient-dense diet will help your body to get all the essential nutrients that are important for daily functioning. So, optimize your gut health and absorption by adopting a whole food diet.
Incorporate Green Tea
L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes a sense of calmness and balance neurotransmitters.
Our body gets exposed to toxins all the time, over the course of time these toxins build up in our body and lead to an imbalance in the hormones. Especially it leads to an imbalance in the hormones that causes Trigger off anxiety.
I have seen several cases where people who have been exposed to lead or mold toxins have high levels of anxiety. and as soon as those people were treated for these underlying toxins their anxiety went away.
The worst part about underlying toxins is that most people don't even know that their body has been harboring these toxins for several years. The only way to know whether your body has toxins is by doing an advanced functional medicine test to check for them.
These four are likely to be the most common root cause of chronic anxiety and functional medication can help you resolve the problem from the scratch. Although it may take some time eventually it will heal your anxiety and you won’t need to depend on pharmaceutical management of your mood.
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