I’ve written in an earlier blog about anxiety…its signs and symptoms and possible causes. I now want to explain my naturopathic approach to helping someone with anxiety.
There is so much that can be done naturopathically beyond pharmaceutical medication and psychology.
Most often, my clients will have already seen a GP. This is a good place to start. Your GP will hopefully assess your signs and symptoms and run some basic blood tests to determine whether other conditions might be involved.
When you come to see me, I will want to see these tests but I will also be taking a more integrative approach and looking at possible drivers that are not necessarily acknowledged or addressed in orthodox medicine. This includes things like:
- toxicity (including heavy metals)
All of these factors can drive anxiety or at the very least, make your symptoms worse.
So, depending on your particular signs and symptoms, naturopathic treatment might include:
- dietary modification (a diet low in protein, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc or high in refined carbohydrates can contribute to symptoms of anxiety)
- working on stress levels and lifestyle factors
- addressing hormonal imbalances
- treating digestive issues or gut infections to improve the health of your digestive tract and the absorption of nutrients
- looking for and rectifying possible signs of toxicity
- supporting good sleep quality and patterns (including addressing disruption of the important sleep hormones)
- correcting any nutritional imbalances or promoters of inflammation which might be underpinning problems with your thyroid, immune system or adrenal function.
You may know or suspect already that some of these issues are contributing to your anxiety but it can be difficult to unravel or work out what to do on your own. That’s where a naturopath with an interest in mental health can help. Together we can work on diet and lifestyle and I can support this with nutritional or herbal medicine where appropriate. Herbs such as kava and passionflower are wonderfully effective when indicated.
The point is anxiety medication can be very helpful in alleviating symptoms but it won’t do anything to address the possible causes of your symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment (along with supportive psychological care) can really make a long term difference to your quality of life.