General Health Information
Everyone experiences anxiety some time during their life. Anxiety is a normal reaction in most cases. But when the anxiety is long-standing or interferes with functioning properly at home or at work, then it may need professional attention. Typical symptoms of anxiety include tension, irritability, frustration, hopelessness, insomnia, impaired concentration, inability to cope, dizziness, worry, stomach distress, troubled breathing, rapid heartbeat, and dry mouth. If not properly treated, persistent anxiety may lead to such conditions as high blood pressure, impaired immune system, and more serious anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and agoraphobia. While the exact causes of anxiety are unknown, it is thought that the brains neurotransmitters (chemicals that induce activity between brain cells) may be responsible for mood patterns. There is significant scientific research that suggests many natural herbs (including passionflower, valerian, and hops) may promote healthy brain neurotransmitters. Other herbs helpful in calming the nervous system include lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, and skullcap. St. Johns wort, which supports healthy mood, may also support nervous system function in some cases were depression is a factor.
Because prolonged anxiety and stress can adversely affect the immune system and wear down overall health, supplementing with daily vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants and essential fatty acids may also be beneficial. Important are the vitamins and minerals that help support the nervous system and minimize the effects of stress such as calcium, magnesium, and the B-complex vitamins.
Since anxiety has both physical and psychological components, various mind/body techniques such as meditation, relaxation, biofeedback, yoga, hypnosis, massage/aromatherapy, and exercise may be helpful. A healthy balanced diet that emphasizes fresh vegetables, whole grains, and proteins to nourish the nervous system is important. Avoid excessive alcohol intake, smoking, caffeine, sugar, and refined foods.
Dietary & Lifestyle
Pharmacist’s Supplement Recommendations
Vitamins and Minerals - all are important, especially B-complex, calcium, and magnesium
Herbs and Phytonutrients - kava, passionflower, valerian, hops, oat straw, chamomile, skullcap, lady slipper
Antioxidants - grape seed extract, vitamins C & E, coenzyme Q10
Essential Fatty Acids - omega-3 and omega-6
Wellness Centers Related to Anxiety
Additional Information on Anxiety