Anxiety is an all-too-prevalent condition that affects millions of people on a daily basis. While some people experience anxiety as a result of something like a traumatic experience or because of a particularly stressful event, the vast majority of people experience anxiety because of biological and physical factors (generalized anxiety disorder). Things like your hormones, thyroid, weight, digestion, and other physical factors could be dramatically impacting the level of anxiety you are experiencing at any given moment of the day.
Hormonal and thyroid imbalance is one of the most frequent causes of anxiety. For example, when the thyroid is overactive/hyperactive (hyperthyroidism) people often experience symptoms of anxiety. But, though less common, people with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may also experience anxiety. An imbalance in progesterone and estrogen in women can also impact the body in general and increase anxiety. Additionally, if cortisol is out of balance in the body, whether too high or too low, it may increase anxiety. Needless to say, many people experience a hormonal imbalance without even realizing it and thus they may not realize what the true source of their elevated anxiety is.
Anxiety can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s health when left untreated so it is important to seek the root cause of anxiety and begin treatment. While most physicians will reach for the prescription pad and prescribe anti-anxiety medication, it is worth exploring whether or not you can first treat and manage your anxiety naturally. One of the best ways to begin balancing your body’s hormones and treating anxiety naturally is with nutrition and exercise. A healthy, well-rounded diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins as well as consistent exercise will begin to balance your body’s hormones.
In addition to making positive nutrition and exercise choices, it is important to reduce stimulants and other substances that may impact the body’s ability to retain hormonal balance and overall health such as caffeine, alcohol, drugs, etc. Further, it is important take a comprehensive look at overall health to determine whether or not there may be other underlying health conditions that could be impacting the body’s ability to manage anxiety. Some naturopathic approaches to holistically treating anxiety include nutritional supplements such as Magnesium and L-Theanine. Additionally, treatments such as acupuncture, acupressure, massage, naturopathic manipulative therapy, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and more may aid in the treatment and management of anxiety symptoms. If you are experiencing generalized anxiety and want to explore natural ways to treat and manage anxiety, speak to an experienced naturopathic physician to learn about holistic treatment options.