Conditions

Anxiety

Anxiety/Panic Disorder

Definition

Anxiety is a complex feeling of apprehension, fear, and worry, often accompanied by pulmonary, cardiac, and other physical sensations. It is a common condition that can be a self-limited physiologic response to a stressor, or it can persist and result in debilitating emotions. When pathologic, it can exist as a primary disorder, or it can be associated with a medical illness or other primary psychiatric illnesses (for example, depression and psychosis).

Causes/ Risk Factors

Susceptibility to anxiety disorders appears to be associated with multiple factors (listed below). When susceptible individuals are confronted with situations, stress, or trauma clinically significant syndromes may result. An imbalance of neurotransmitters and peptides in the central nervous system appears to be a factor. Noradrenalin, serotonin, and corticotropin-releasing factor, may all be involved. In general, the autonomic nervous system, particularly the sympathetic nervous system, regulates many of the symptoms.

  • Genetic vulnerability
  • Traumatic early life experiences
  • Anxious mother
  • Stress, depression, other psychiatric conditions
  • Life situations (social or financial problems)
  • Digestive disorder

Signs and Symptoms

  • Muscle tension
  • Irregular and/or fast heart beat
  • Hypervigilance
  • Shortness of breath (Dyspnoea)
  • Dizziness/feeling faint
  • Palpitations
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired concentration
  • Irritability
  • Excessive worry/sense of impending doom
  • Sighing respiration
  • Sleep disturbances

Treatments

In order to obtain optimal results, the patient might consider a holistic approach that integrates several treatments to address biochemical, physiological, energetic, emotional and/or spiritual imbalances.

Biomedical Treatment for Anxiety

Biomedical or Nutritional and Environmental Treatments include Diet, Nutrient Therapy, Detoxification and treatment of infections.

Consult a Biomedical Doctor, Naturopath or Nutritional Practitioner to investigate the needs of the individual to:

  • Improve gastro-intestinal health
  • Screen for food sensitivities and allergies
  • Address nutritional deficiencies
  • Determine impact of environmental toxins
  • Balance hormone levels (e.g. reducing oestrogen)
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Restore healthy sleeping patterns
  • Manage hyperthyroidism

To find a Nutritional or Biomedical practitioner near you, click here

Diet Tips for Anxiety

  • Avoid coffee, cola and other caffeinated drinks.
  • Reduce sugar and carbohydrates, as hypoglycaemia is a trigger for anxiety
  • Try a gluten/dairy-free and/or grain-free diet to reduce stress on the nervous system
  • Eat adequate protein to provide essential amino acids for healthy neurotransmitter production
  • Emphasise foods high in magnesium, such as green vegetables and nuts.
  • Eat small, regular meals to regulate blood sugar
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Consume wild/free range oily fish 2-3 times per week and supplement with purified Omega 3
  • Avoid known food allergens

Lifestyle Tips for Anxiety

  • Counselling may assist in restoring self-esteem, problem solving, and coping with life stresses.
  • Positive psychology strategies are self-treatment techniques to help control anxiety; many patients require non-pharmacological treatment and succeed with self-regulation techniques, including deep breathing, keeping a stress diary, learning objectivity and practicing resilience.
  • Massage, aromatherapy and spa therapies have been shown to reduce anxiety
  • Acupuncture is effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety
  • Regular exercise is crucial to reducing sympathetic nervous system overactivity and managing anxiety
  • Yoga, Tai Chi or other relaxing activities may also be useful
  • Recreational drugs should be avoided as they can aggravate symptoms and interfere with medications

Recommended Books

  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome
  • Nutrient Power
  • Primal Body, Primal Mind
  • The Better Brain Book
  • Grain-Free Gourmet
  • Paleo Comfort Foods
  • Healing Foods
  • Dangerous Grains
  • Supercharged Foods

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Definition

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) involves fatigue that is sufficiently intense and persistent to reduce normal daily activities by at least 50% for a minimum of six months. Women account for 70% of cases of CFS, with the typical patient being a Caucasian woman in her mid-20s to late 40s. The prevalence is 4 to 10 formally diagnosed cases per 100,000 U.S. adults (18 years or older). Women are affected almost twice as often as men.

Although not conclusive, CFS may be precipitated by infectious agents (for example, Borrelia burgdorferi), herpes viruses, Candida albicans, and parasitic agents. This may very well be a multifactorial pathologic entity with lifestyle and constitutional/psychological makeup contributing factors.

Causes / Risk Factors

  • Stressed immune system caused by recent acute illness, chronic health problems, emotional factors (anxiety, depression), or poor nutrition
  • Possibly environmental pollutants and contaminants

Symptoms & Signs

  • Sudden onset of severe fatigue, developing over a few hours to a few days and often after an acute viral illness
  • Low-grade fever and chills
  • Sore throat
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Myalgias and arthralgias
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Decreased ability to concentrate or remember
  • Allergies
  • General muscle weakness

Treatments

In order to obtain optimal results, the patient might consider a holistic approach that integrates several treatments to address biochemical, physiological, energetic, emotional and/or spiritual imbalances.

Biomedical Treatment

Biomedical or Nutritional and Environmental doctors and practitioners use treatments that include Diet, Nutrient Therapy, Detoxification and treatment of infections.

It is recommended that a patient consult a qualified Practitioner to assess their symptoms and case history and explore their dividual need to:

  • Screen for food sensitivities and allergies
  • Improve gastro intestinal health to support the vegas nerve and brain and immune function
  • Support neurotransmitter function
  • Supply fat soluble nutrients for brain structure and function
  • Reduce toxicity and heavy metal accumulation
  • Eliminate germs (bacteria, yeast, virus, parasites) to reduce immune response and nutritional deficiencies that can disrupt brain development and function
  • Address nutritional deficiencies/Provide essential nutrients
  • Regulate blood glucose and establish healthy eating habits

To Find a Biomedical or Nutritional Practitioner click here

Diet

  • Avoid known food allergens, an elimination diet may be beneficial for some people.
  • Foods should be well cooked and warm to facilitate easy digestion, avoid raw foods and cold drinks
  • Patients should avoid coffee, cola and other caffeinated drinks.
  • Diet should be low in sugar and carbohydrates, as hypoglycaemia is a trigger for fatigue.
  • Each meal should have protein to provide adequate amino acids for healthy neurotransmitter production and blood sugar control.
  • Emphasise foods high in magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and antioxidants, such as green vegetables and nuts.
  • Patients should eat small, regular meals.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

Supportive Programs and Lifestyle Changes

  • Short-term counselling can assist the patient in restoring self-esteem, problem solving, and coping with life stresses.
  • Acupuncture is effective in reducing the symptoms of fatigue.
  • Regular exercise is crucial to improving energy, at a level that is tolerated.
  • Yoga, Tai Chi or other relaxing activities may also be useful.

Recommended Books

  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome
  • Breaking the Vicious Cycle
  • Primal Body, Primal Mindd
  • Paleo Comfort Foods
  • Healing Foods
  • Supercharged Foods
  • Grain-Free Gourmet

Where can I find a certified practitioner?

Finding a well-trained Integrative and/or Functional practitioner requires research but is a vital step in treating complex and chronic illness.

Below are links to lists of practitioners worldwide. We recommend you research the scope, expertise and experience of any practitioners you are considering.

U.S. & Global

Institute of Functional Medicine
https://ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

Integrative Medicine for Mental Health
http://www.immh.org/find-a-practitioner/

Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs (MAPS)
http://www.medmaps.org/clinician-directory/

Australia & New Zealand

Mindd Foundation
https://mindd.org/

The Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM)
http://www.acnem.org/

UK

The British Society for Ecological Medicine
http://www.bsem.org.uk/resources/find-a-practitioner/


Disclaimer: Mindd Foundation does not endorse any specific individuals listed and makes no representations, warranties, nor guarantees and assumes no responsibility for any services provided. Mindd Foundation expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind as a result of using any products or services provided by those listed.
Mindd Foundation
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