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Anxiety Attacks – A Good Mechanism Gone Wrong

We were in our favourite Japanese restaurant having our favourite gluten free lunchboxes. We were chewing on edamame and supping miso in anticipation of the main event. The family were in fine form bantering with each other.

I noticed the woman at the adjoining booth staring at me. The staring turned to vigorous pointing. I seriously wondered about her wellbeing. After a few minutes she came across.

“You’re that naturopath, aren’t you? My daughter suffers from anxiety. It is bad. It is ruining her life……”.

Masterfully, I move her to one side and whisper in her ear.

“Look my partner will kill us both if we carry on this conversation. It is her birthday and she takes birthdays very seriously. Here is my card, give me a call”.

Anxiety is a body’s normal response to a stressful situation. It prepares the body for action. Anxiety is actually a protection mechanism.  When it gets out of control, it becomes a problem.

Alice, the daughter, was diagnosed with anxiety. Things that would not upset most people made her terribly anxious. Her breathing increased, she got hot, she felt overwhelmed and it was interfering with her life, big-time!

We took a full clinic history, ran some tests, did some lab work to find out what was going on in Alice’s body. When all the results were in, I took Alice on a tour of her body to explain exactly what was going on inside.

It was not a case of just snapping out of it and toughening up. There were chemicals being released in her body and not being released that were tipping a switch that was causing her to feel the way she was.

In Alice’s case she was low in zinc, low in stomach acid and vitamin B6 so she was not converting her protein to glutamine. She had gut issues which is classic, because glutamine is key to healing the gut. She was also low in magnesium and vitamin C, so the glutamine was not converting to GABA, which is the calming neurotransmitter. It calms anxiety. To make matters worse, her anxiety was causing her body to chomp through the very nutrients that she needed to reverse the situation

We adopted a two-pronged strategy. We immediately gave Alice supplements to calm her anxiety, while providing her body with the nutrients it needed to make the things that she just did not have enough of.

Before you go racing to the supermarket to load upon vitamins and minerals, you might want to check out our website about how not all anxiety is the same and the many approach to addressing both anxiety and depression.

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