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Keep Calm and Carry On: The Naturopathic Approach to Anxiety

Updated: Nov 14


What ailment could a toddler, a high schooler, a new parent, a baby boomer, and

Spot the dog, experience alike? Anxiety is one of the most pervasive complaints

in our society, and at this unique time, it is top of mind. As a naturopathic doctor,

I offer natural long lasting treatment options, while digging deeply for the root

cause of these feelings.


Anxiety Defined

The oxford dictionary defines anxiety as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or

unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is a natural response, but

when it begins to interfere with daily activities like eating, sleeping, or working, it

is calling our attention.


Types of Anxiety

Anxiety comes in many different shapes and sizes. It can look like obsessive-

compulsive behaviors, phobias, posttraumatic stress, panic, avoidance of specific

activities and / gatherings, insomnia, and more. It is estimated that at least one

in ten Canadians suffer from anxiety, and the numbers are climbing now faster

than we can study. The first step is to acknowledge it.


Causes

In my practice, when patients present with anxiety, a number of physical issues

are assessed. Top investigations include:

o thyroid function

o blood sugar regulation

o food sensitivities

o nutrient deficiencies (including iron)

o drug reactions (including caffeine)

o cardiac function

o respiratory health (i.e. asthma)


A comprehensive work up also includes testing stress hormone levels (i.e.

cortisol), and urinary neurotransmitters (i.e. serotonin, GABA, and

norepinephrine). In addition, a family history is taken and an inquiry into a

patient’s lifestyle.


Anxiety Treatments

Commonly, a patients’ anxiety boils down to an intricate web of physical

imbalances, lifestyle habits, and genetic coding. A unique treatment approach is

tailored to each case.


Diet is always addressed including meal frequency, and consumption of

stimulants. Optimizing a patients’ sleep, establishing a work-life balance, and

incorporating regular movement are paramount to any anxiety busting protocol.

Cardio exercise is crucial, as well as deep relaxation from yoga, breath work,

and meditation.


There are several herbal remedies that work to balance anxiety symptoms.

Nervines like passionflower and chamomile and adaptogens like withania and

rhodiola are excellent choices. Supplements like L-theanine (from green tea)

and 5-HTP can also help balance neurotransmitters.


Finally bodywork is extremely effective to calm and relax an overactive nervous

system. Acupuncture and craniosacral therapy are invaluable tools in

addressing anxiety and patients can experience the benefit immediately.

Give us a call today to discuss how anxiety impacts your life, and lets get you