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FREE VIDEO E-COURSE
Recently Dr. Hagmeyer completed a FREE VIDEO E-COURSE to help people suffering with symptoms such as depression, anxiety and fatigue understand the root causes of these symptoms. You can access these videos NOW by clicking.
Anxiety is a huge problem for millions of sufferers around the world. Rather than using strong prescription anxiety medication to treat your anxiety disorder, finding natural remedies and natural ways to relieve your anxiety can be a gentler and safer approach in the long run.
Prescription medications often have strong, uncomfortable and undesirable side effects and a long list of long term problems. Natural remedies can have little to no side effects.
There are easy, natural changes you can make in your life that will help with controlling anxiety.
5 Steps You Can Take To Overcome Your Anxiety And Get To The Root Cause- Feeling Good Again Is Within Reach.
If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or panic disorder, I want you to realize that while at times you may think you’re the only person suffering, what you should realize is that it is the most common type of psychological disorders that people suffer from. In fact it’s so common that Anxiety disorders affect about 6-million American adults. Clearly your not alone! These numbers are staggering………..and it only points out that we have a huge problem on our hands that is not being fixed with anti anxiety pills.
Now………….. whether you’re a man or a woman, anxiety and Panic disorders can be quite scary. In every effort of trying to get to the root cause of what’s causing your anxiety you may have bounced from one doctor to the next, hoping that the next doctor or the new doctor will do something different, but……. every new doctor either only adds more medication or changes the kind of medication your on, and while the prescription pad may help alleviate some of the symptoms, in a very short period of time the receptors in the brain habituate (or get use to the medication) and now your back to feeling lousy again. It becomes a medication merry go round.
Lets get into some of common Metabolic Causes of Anxiety,Depression and Panic Disorder that I regularly see in my practice and the things that you can do that will help eliminate or correct your anxiety disorder naturally.
Sex Hormones and Anxiety
The first area if you are experiencing anxiety, depression, panic disorders you want to consider is Sex Hormones- your sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone have influence brain and nerve function Women are twice as likely to suffer from panic disorder than men, and so if your a woman and you experience symptoms like an Alternating menstrual cycle lengths……meaning that your cycle is shorter than 24 or longer than 32, you have pain, cramping, heavy bleeding, Acne, facial hair, hair loss, hot flashes and mood swings, you don’t have a period you have PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids,- these are all at the very root a hormonal imbalance and if you have these……………. and you have anxiety then there is a hormonal component to your anxiety that needs to further investigation.
Due to this link between estrogen and serotonin, women are especially susceptible to mood disorders when they experience a sudden drop in estrogen levels (such as during pre-menstruation) some woman notice increased anxiety during during perimenopause and menopause.
Next,this imbalance can cause neuroinflammation and oxidative stress/damage leading to premature aging of the brain and aging brains are less effective at producing neurotransmitters. During pregnancy, high levels of estrogen can improve mood; but right after the baby is born, estrogen levels drop off, reducing the amount of serotonin in the mother’s brain and Sometimes this is the catalyst for postpartum depression.
Not only do we see estrogen affecting serotonin and dopamine levels, we also know that when the body is under stress, the body responds by increasing cortisol output from the adrenal glands and this brings us to the connection anxiety and mood disorders has with adrenal glands.
Adrenal Glands and Anxiety
Cortisol has what’s called a rhythm like the one you see here in this graph. Cortisol should peak or be the highest in the morning hours and then steadily decline through the day with the lowest levels at night so you can fall asleep. That’s not what we see with people suffering with anxiety. We see high levels or elevated levels throughout the day and especially at night if they suffer with insomnia.
Inflammation and Anxiety
Time Magazine featured an article on the front cover titled Inflammation the silent killer. The link between heart disease, alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer. Low Cortisol (like that seen in more extreme cases of adrenal fatigue) is also associated with low blood sugar-Anytime we have too much or too little blood sugar this can have an impact on the way amino acids are transported into the brain having an impact on Neural health- memory learning mood, sleep, this is because cortisol impacts GABA levels, Serotonin levels and Dopamine Levels. This is why it’s so important to get check the adrenal glands using salivary testing.
Thyroid Disease and Anxiety
A blood test while accurate can still miss valuable information that can only be appreciated through salivary testing. So we have covered how sex hormones, adrenal hormones can affect anxiety let’s talk about the 3rd area that needs to be evaluated in connection to anxiety, and that’s our Thyroid. Every cell in your body has thyroid receptors and responds to thyroid hormones. Even your heart and your brain. This is why Thyroid symptoms can range from A to Z. The problem with thyroid disease today is that it is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed hormone disorders in the world today.
Largely because of the way most traditionally trained endocrinologists and General Practitioners test the thyroid and the lab ranges they have come to over rely on and depend on. Normal levels don’t necessarily mean you have healthy thyroid level. If you suffer with Thyroid disease you probably know firsthand what happens when your thyroid is off- when the thyroid is off it affect your mood, focus, concentration, sleep, and without a doubt (in almost all the patients) I have ever worked with anxiety and depression — is a common denominator in all of them. Whether you suffer with anxiety or depression is largely dependent on your T3 levels and T4 levels. (very important to have both T3 and T4 levels tested) but that’s a whole other video that I have done. If you have an overactive thyroid because you are either over medicated or because you have hyperthyroidism or undiagnosed autoimmune Hashimoto’s you will experience the following:
- Inward trembling, Insomnia and the racing thoughts again, due to high levels of T3 and T4.
On the opposite end of the thyroid spectrum, is a condition where your thyroid is underactive (this again could be autoimmune Hashimotos, or could be that your body can’t convert T4 to T3 also known as Low T3 syndrome.
If this is happening you may experience:
- Brain fog
- Loss of focus and loss of concentration and bouts of Depression mixed with anxiety.
Here is where you will want to work with a holistic doctor who will properly test your thyroid looking at a variety of thyroid markers and be able to get you back on track. So we see that anxiety can be linked to thyroid problems, it can be linked to adrenal gland problems, blood sugar problems and it can be linked to sex hormone imbalances. Another important area of consideration when you suffer with Anxiety and Panic Attacks is Neurotransmitters synthesis- and this is big part of our dietary consumption. digestion and absorption of proteins.
My opinion is that whenever a patient is experiencing anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, loss of focus, excitability, it is SO important to also look at an amino acid profile. Amino acids come from the breakdown and metabolism of proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks that produce thyroid hormones, and all of our neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA, Melatonin, all the tissues in our body are made from proteins.
High levels of excitatory neurotransmitters like (Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Glutamate and Dopamine) can cause you to feel jittery or panicky or have inward trembling. This is where testing amino acid precursors is beneficial in my opinion.
The same can be said if you have and low levels of the calming or inhibitory neurotransmitters (serotonin or gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA) Low levels of GABA, can cause feelings of anxiety, in addition to restlessness and tension. This is why Doctors prescribe Xanax, Lunesta, Ambien.
On the flip side, If Dopamine, levels in your brain are too high, (again Dopamine is excitatory NT) you can also experience anxiety, fear, inner rage, and panic attacks. This might happen if your being overmedicated with medications that increase
Now there are many things that influence the way these NT act on the body and it’s important that we realize thats its important for us to understand why we may have too much or too little of these NT. Sometimes we can’t make NT because of fluctuations in Blood sugar, Neuro-inflammation and Insulin surges.
There is a huge connection between how these amino acids get transported into the brain and our bodies Insulin Response to sugar. Too much or too little sugar affects our brain from making NT. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s not always a deficiency of a particular NT that’s causing the problem, In cases with anxiety I am often suspicious of a genetic defect of the GAD 65 enzyme. GAD 65 stands for (Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase). This enzymes job is to convert glutamate (excitatory) to GABA. which is calming.
Some people’s Immune systems can attack this enzyme leading to low levels of GABA and high levels of glutamate. You don’t want high levels of glutamate. Start reading your food labels and avoid those things with glutamate, glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate and some of the hidden names that food manufactures have disguised MSG. Tryptophan and Tyrosine are amino acids that need to be transported across the blood brain barrier. In the brain Tryptophan gets converted into serotonin and Tyrosine can get converted into dopamine.
But sometimes these amino acids (Tryptophan and Tyrosine) can’t cross the blood brain barrier because of something called a (Large Neutral Amino Acid Transporter)or because of certain vitamin cofactors that we are missing in our diet.
Sometimes our bodies are not breaking down proteins into amino acids and this is why an amino acid profile I mentioned earlier can be so helpful, this is also why gut health is so important.
So the point I’m trying to make here is that’s it’s not only a NT deficiency you’re dealing with! it can also be the metabolism of proteins, digestion, autoimmunity, blood sugar surges, COMT, MTHFR genetic snps, behind your anxiety, panic and depression. This is where working with a Functional Medicine Doctor will be able to help you! this is a very different approach than just whipping out the prescription pad and giving you an anti-anxiety medication. With all of that being said, It is very important that if you are taking these medication that you never quit taking them without the guidance of your prescribing doctor. Do not try to stop these on your own.
Gut Health and Anxiety
The next area that has just a massive impact on brain health is that of the GUT. Most people would not automatically think about their gut when they think about brain or psychiatric health… Part of the problems lies in that when it comes to any health problem we don’t look at the body as united system (we don’t look at it holistically) but rather separate compartmentalized systems. And then when treatments is rendered, its rendered to the part of the body where the symptoms are- This is an outdated approach to maintaining, correcting and restoring health problems.
In my clinical experience, outside of the adrenal glands, blood sugar levels, Thyroid hormones and male and female hormones, the gut is also a major player for people suffering with anxiety, panic attacks or depression.
Food Sensitivities and Anxiety
Many studies have linked depression to the kinds of gut bacteria, other studies have shown that the gut or inflammation in the gut causes brain deterioration, and other studies continue to show a connection between the microbial balance and anxiety. Other studies these days show how Food sensitivities like gluten, corn, dairy, oats, yeast can induce inflammation in the brain.
Studies have shown that gluten can decrease blood perfusion to the brain. meaning…….less blood flow(oxygen) to the brain. If you suffer with anxiety and depression you owe it yourself to work with a Functional Medicine doctor who understands all of these connections we have talked about today.
Summary If you feel that you have been trapped and you are a prisoner in your body I want you to realize that there is so much more you can do. Your health doesn’t start or end with a prescription pad. You need to make dietary changes, lifestyle changes and you need to take supplements that will help support your bodies biochemistry. Don’t spend the next 5 years getting sicker and being put on more medications. Schedule a consultation and let’s get you tested for these things, and then develop an approach that will help you get your life back. You deserve it!
Sally Overcomes anxiety with Dr. Hagmeyer’s help…
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