I am not formally diagnosed with anything, but I have overwhelming feelings of anxiousness and worrying constantly throughout the week. Has anyone had these feelings and have had success with going vegan to help it? I am curious if it may have to do with my diet. I have been a vegetarian since 2008 and do eat dairy, but I try to cut it out as much as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been told to seek medical help, but would rather not be on medication and do this hollistically. Thank you!!
There are multiple different causes of anxiety some emotional and some physical which can make finding your root cause/s/ abit difficult. It can take trial and error and a good natural physician to diagnose what is causing the symptoms of anxiety. Some causes include adrenal gland dysfunction, low levels of nutrients needed for the nervous system such as vitamin B's, calcium, magnesium, zinc and so on. Lack of balancing neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, hyperthyroidism and hormonal imbalances can cause anxiety and panic attacks.
I'm getting my MA in psychology and looking towards incorporating a holistic healing practice into my future practice as a clinical psychologist. Eating vegan macrobiotic has done wonders for me. I had anxiety and have felt that macrobtioics has definitley helped me ease a lot of it. Trying eating a balanced macro meal for one week and see how you feel. That being said, I would suggest you go to so a psychologist to help you work through your problems if you feel that your anxiety is so bad that it is interfering with your everyday activites. Psychologists do not prescribe medication so don't worry about that aspect. Instead he/she will help you through talk therapy, and perhaps behavioral therapy as well. I think doing both macro and therapy will help greatly. I've been seeing a psychologist who is just wonderful.
Sara, My wife has anxiety and although I can't speak to anything about diet (she's been veg for 20+ years), I want to echo what Beverly said that a good caring psychologist that is perhaps more holistically oriented is going to help. Learning talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been a great help to my wife, also talking to a counselor and group therapy. They can really help you learn to understand and manage it. She's also reading "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burns that has really helped her a lot, and also she's found a couple of online support groups, they are called Anxietytribe.com and nomorepanic.uk.com. Ultimately, discovering the root cause of the anxiety may be something you'll want to explore someday, that can take time (could be childhood stuff, physical/chemical like powerlifer mentioned, etc) but its important. Good luck to you!
I also suffer from high anxiety ,have been my whole life, and have been seeing a psychiatrist the past year and she's been helping me get a handle on it. I also have ADD and that adds even more stress to the mix. I can't take meds as my body can't handle them so I have to go a more natural route with food and supplements.
My suggestions are:
magnesium - this is a natural stress releiver and very helpful.
GABA- acts as a natural tranquilizer and also very helpful with calming down. don't consume any caffeine or it will stop the GABA from working.
Zen- this is from a company called Allergy Research Group. The supplements consist of GABA and L-theanine.
calcium/magnesium/zinc/vit C/ primrose oil - this for me has been the best mix,taken together, of supplements that help me keep calm. you can get the cal/mag/zinc in one supplement.
L-theanine- this is from green tea and you can get it in a supplement alone.
lemon balm- tincture- a great one is by a company called Herb Pharm. Lemon balm is great for helping with sleep at the end of the day when anxiety can be high. Don't ever take this when planning to go out or to work. It really is to make you sleepy and relax.
jasmine essential oil - Aura Cacia is an easy to get brand that I use and it comes in a jasmine and jojoba blend. Rub this on your chest, and neck if you want, and it really helps with destressing. For me I've found rose oil helps too and I use the rose body oil from Dr. Hauschka (sp). It's pricey but I only use it when I can't wind down for sleep.
Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) - which you can get in a tea also helps. There's a company that makes a line of holy basil teas that are different flavors. It's called Organic India. The flavor I like is Red Mango. It's also caffeine free.
Also I'm sure you get this but cutting out caffeine is HUGE. Caffeine messes with your cortisol levels and thats where a lot of anger,stress, anxiety comes from. Also 13 hours after consuming caffeine your body is still dealing with it. Caffeine is not compatible with our systems. Like with coffee your body sees it as an enemy and the reason you get full of energy is that your body sees it as a poison and is trying to hurry up and get it out of the body quickly hence the heightnened energy.
If you already know about caffeine ok but this is also to educate other readers of this post. I know Alicia talks about caffeine in her book but I've also done some reading apart from her book and as a big coffee drinker from Seattle, aka the home of Starbucks, I've suffered needlessly over the years as I didn't know/understand the bigger affects of caffeine on my body and emotions. They don't tell you this stuff at the coffee bar. lol! ; )
But if one really wants caffeine I'd suggest, again like Alicia, green tea and also white tea. I'd go with white tea as I've experienced it's more calming and it has more of the good stuff in it. There is a compound in white tea that helps heal the brain and cortisol levels. If you can find it get some of Stash Tea's White Christmas white tea with ginger and peppermint tea bags. It's after Christmas so maybe you can find some on sale at a grocery store still? I chugged this stuff all day Christmas Day, great name and much needed due to all the family issues you know? ; ) , and it helped me out tremendously.
Also here in Seattle we have a great store called The Herbalist that makes great herb tinctures. The bottles are clearly labeled as to what each one does and a great one for stress is called Relax-U which works but I use it before bed. Also they'll make up a great tincture for you of Skullcap which also helps big time with stress. But this can also make you sleepy so try it at home first to see how you feel. They're not too expensive thankfully and you can order from them online.
Eliminating gluten really turned my life around in terms of anxiety. I used to have terrible anxiety and panic attacks until I realized I have food allergies. My gluten allergy in particular seems to play a particular role in causing anxiety, and after further research, it seems I'm not alone. It's also known for causing depression.
Maybe try an elimination diet and see if helps you. As another poster mentioned above, minimizing caffeine, namely coffee (another food allergy of mine) helped take care of the jitters.
Meditation is good for everyone. Even if you don't have an official anxiety disorder there is enough stress in our global community to affect anyone. Go online and check out "C PTSD - A WAY OUT". Zero in on a meditation technique taught there called "The Breathing Track". A friend of mine told me about how helpful it has been for his serious anxiety. I tried it and it helped just for relaxing. It would be great for professionals to discover this as well. Peace. Love. and Hope.