Anxiety can be a scary and isolating situation, leaving you feeling vulnerable and fearful. Physical symptoms of increased heart rate, shortness of breath, increased sweating, and a heavy chest are often accompanied by intense fear and a spiraling of irrational thoughts.

It is very common to experience some degree of anxiety with an increase in stressful events in one’s life. In addition, however, long-term stress causes our adrenal glands (the stress-coping glands) to become weak, leading to heightened anxiety, low / irregular blood sugar levels and a decrease in coping mechanisms. Hormonal imbalances such as pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, and an over or underactive thyroid can also lead to anxiety.

Naturopathic medicine addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of anxiety. Specific nutrients such as chromium, vitamin B6, magnesium and a B vitamin complex address blood sugar, hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances. As anxiety attacks can be triggered by low blood sugar, a diet with a correct ratio of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat supplied by whole grains, sufficient protein sources, and abundant vegetables is essential to managing anxiety.

There are various naturopathic remedies to aid in panic attacks and constant low-grade anxiety throughout the day. Over my years in practice I have come to learn what remedies work well depending on where a person is at with managing the anxiety. In acute or chronic anxiety where anxiety is constant through the day, I may suggest a herbal remedy or nutritional amino acid to help dampen that constant anxiety response. If the anxiety is intermittent depending on stressors of the day, a homeopathic remedy may suffice to ease the anxiety. Through talking with my clients and listening to their triggers and stressors, I have learned to understand what the body needs to help quell the anxiety.

The mind-body connection can be positively strengthened with homeopathic drainage remedies and various breathing and yoga movements to promote relaxation. Correction of hypo or hyperadrenal gland function with herbal or nutritional remedies is critical for bio-chemical and emotional stability.

To encourage hormonal balance, specific oils and ground seeds can be used to help support the natural rhythm of a woman’s cycle. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor in serotonin production, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Vitex agnus (Chastetree) helps increase progesterone production in the body, a hormone that is often low relative to estrogen in PMS-related anxiety.

I am excited to be able to offer some natural treatment solutions that I have found over years of clinical experience work extremely well for anxiety and I would be happy to assess which areas of your health and lifestyle may be contributing to this condition. By addressing physical and energetic imbalances, your personalized naturopathic program will give you the tools for a positive, life-changing approach to anxiety.

Jennifer Bunzenmeyer Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

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