Anxiety + Naturopathic Medicine

Anxiety + Naturopathic Medicine

March 6, 2016

Naturopathic treatment of anxiety

We all feel nervous or worried at times. This anxiety can be a helpful feeling when it motivates us or warns us of danger. An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, causes unexpected or unhelpful anxiety that seriously impacts our lives, including how we think, feel, and act. Anxiety disorders result from a combination of biological, psychological, and genetic factors:

1- Brain chemistry can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders: imbalances of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
2- The gut microbiota (the bacteria living in our digestive system) can communicate with the brain and thus modulate behavior. In fact about a third of Tryptophan and Serotonin, (the feel good molecules) are processed by these little bugs.
3-For some there is likely a genetic cause; a deficiency in a gene function called MTHFR has been linked with depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.
4-Nutritional causes also play a major role in anxiety; Vitamin D, B vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids imbalances can trigger the experience of anxiety. Other medical conditions such as anemia and thyroid problems can also cause symptoms of anxiety. Other factors such as caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications can cause anxiety symptoms.
5-Lastly traumatic life events such as the death of a family member, witnessing a death, war, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes may trigger anxiety disorders.

At our North Vancouver naturopathic clinic, our approach to anxiety is comprehensive. It involves identifying the individual causal factors and addressing them properly.