Posted by Ramneek S. Bhogal, DC, DABCI on Oct 29, 2021 1:07:07 PM
Around 25% of US adults have mental health concerns, and high levels of anxiousness are among the most common mental health challenges.
While many adults in the US are willing to seek professional help, we are some of the least likely to afford access to it. This is partially why the US has some of the world’s worst mental health-related outcomes.1
Those sobering statistics might not surprise you if you’re one of the many people struggling with high levels of anxiousness, irritability, and other emotional and health-related hurdles. These difficulties can range from minor annoyances to debilitating daily realities that can negatively impact our relationships.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Ramneek Bhogal about the importance of a holistic approach to addressing anxiousness and other mental and emotional health issues. Modalities like talk therapy, self-care, spiritual practices, and support from friends and family are fundamental to overall well-being. Nutrients and herbs that promote calm can also contribute significantly to your care plan.
It can be difficult to determine when your anxiousness has superseded the everyday stress we all feel. If you’re exhibiting any of the following signs and symptoms, you might benefit from speaking with your integrative practitioner about additional support.
Sleep issues usually have multi-layered root causes, including an overarching sense of fear, agitation, physical discomforts, and head tension. Appetite changes and other food-related issues can also impact sleep, as they contribute to blood sugar imbalances that can disrupt your natural circadian rhythms.
Stress and anxiousness have a profound effect on weight and metabolism. An inability to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight despite a healthy diet and exercise plan can be a sign of high levels of anxiousness. This has to do with the body’s stimulus and response mechanism, which secretes chemicals that can trigger changes to our metabolic health.
Signs of poor focus, attention, and memory also go hand-in-hand with elevated levels of anxiousness. Over the past year, screen time has been at an all time high for children and adults, causing these particular issues to skyrocket.
Increased perspiration and heart rate typically won’t occur unless you are experiencing heightened anxiousness. If you notice that you are sweating more or have a faster heartbeat than usual, your anxiousness might need professional support before it continues to escalate.
The following nutritional supplements and herbs for calm can help with your anxiousness, along with diet and lifestyle strategies.*
Experts are learning more about the fascinating gut-brain connection, and a healthy diet and certain nutrients and herbs can help the bidirectional interactions between brain and gut. Gut supports, such as a broad spectrum probiotic, Sacro-B, and L-glutamine, are all viable options for supporting anxiousness.*
B vitamins support methylation and neurotransmitter production, and the methylated form is often much more effective.* This family of vitamins promotes healthy metabolic processes—they are the building blocks for healthy neurotransmitter production, which play a huge role in stress and anxiousness.*
This key nutrient is often deficient in a Standard American Diet (SAD), and becomes depleted during periods of high stress. Opt for magnesium glycinate for its neurological down-regulating capacity, or magnesium threanate for its brain-specific supportive properties.*
Certain herbs and nutrients are commonly used in blends targeting anxiousness and sleep, especially valerian, passionflower, and L-theanine.* GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for calm and centeredness in the brain. L-theanine is an amino acid that also promotes dopamine and serotonin production.*
Adaptogenic herbs work as modulators of the body’s stress hormone, cortisol.* They work within the HPA axis to elevate low levels of cortisol, or lower high levels, depending on the body’s specific needs.* When the HPA axis is out of balance, anxiousness, irritability, sleep issues, and other discomforts can result.
In children, anxiousness might look like any sudden changes to appetite, mood or normal behavior, unprovoked irritability, extreme and frequent tantrums, nightmares, or bed wetting. Keep in mind that these certainly are not guaranteed signs your child experiences anxiousness, but could be worth exploring further if they are disrupting daily life at home for both your child or the entire family.
Supplements and herbs specific to children might include L-theanine, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and other calming nutrients and herbs recommended by their integrative pediatrician.*
While anxiousness seems to be on the rise, you have many tools to support a calm mind and body. Speak with your practitioner about a personalized plan to pair diet and lifestyle strategies with targeted supplements and herbs for calm and a more peaceful, centered state of well-being.*
 Tikkanen, Roosa, et al. “Mental Health Conditions and Substance Use: Comparing U.S. Needs and Treatment Capacity with Those in Other High-Income Countries.” Mental Health and Substance Use in U.S. and 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund, The Commonwealth Fund, 21 May 2020, https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/may/mental-health-conditions-substance-use-comparing-us-other-countries.
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