For most anxiety suffers, traditional treatments (including drug therapy and psychotherapy) serve as a Band-Aid, but never fully correct the physiological imbalance that causes anxiety in the first place. Fortunately, natural approaches exist to fight stress by replenishing the body of essential vitamins and supplements missing from the brain or nervous system.
Anxiety may surface in a variety of forms, ranging from brief discomfort and uneasiness to full-blown panic disorder. Depending on the patient’s condition, sufferers will generally be prescribed SSRI’s (selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors) such as Zoloft or Lexapro, in addition to a tranquilizer such as Xanax or Ativan to control attacks.
Unfortunately, the side effects that accompany these treatments can be just as life altering as the disorder itself. Anti-anxiety medicine has been known to cause drowsiness, short-term memory loss, severe weight gain and nausea. Furthermore, tranquilizers such as Xanax or Ativan are only temporary fixes for intense periods of panic. These drugs have no impact on the essential vitamins and minerals naturally found in the body that can cause anxiety when depleted.
Fortunately, there are a variety of natural vitamins and anxiety supplements that can be utilized to restore the body to optimal performance. Each vitamin or supplement listed below is a safe and natural alternative to traditional SSRI treatment or tranquilizers utilized for stress disorders:
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
GABA is naturally occurring amino acid that is produced by the brain and acts as a neurotransmitter (the same way SSRI’s are intended to do by blocking nerve impulses related to stress and anxiety). When GABA is depleted in the brain due to poor diet or stress, the nerves tend to “over-fire,” thus causing anxiety, panic and stress.
The simple way to correct this condition is by taking GABA supplements found at any health food store or vitamin supplier. In addition, research shows that replenishing GABA to the brain can also help fight depression, insomnia or other neurological conditions.
Supplementing the body with B-vitamins is essential for any person suffering with anxiety on a regular basis. Research shows that low levels of B-vitamins such as B-9 and B-12 are directly linked to mood changes and depression.
Furthermore, B-vitamins enhance and support the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine – all which have a direct effect on stress.
Complete B-vitamin supplements can be purchased at your local health food store or obtained naturally by eating whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, legumes, sweet corn, brown rice, berries and yeast.
Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium and Magnesium are natural remedies for brining the body back to a calm and de-stressed state. Calcium is a natural tranquilizer, while low levels of magnesium in the body is have been linked to increased stress, tension, nervousness and intense periods of anxiety and panic.
Because calcium and magnesium promote relaxation and calmness, supplements should be taken before bed to avoid drowsiness. Likewise, calcium and magnesium can be naturally added to the body by consuming dairy products, green leafy vegetables and whole-grain cereals.