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Overcoming Anxiety and Panic

Updated: Apr 20

I am seeing a huge increase in anxiety and panic attacks in my clients and my own family. I don't think there is enough available information on the subject or guidance on how to treat it. This is a functional approach to anxiety and panic.

Anxiety is a multifaceted issue and needs an intentional, targeted plan of attack.

Some of the main drivers of anxiety and panic are :

  • Stress hormones

  • Gut imbalance

  • Blood sugar dysregulation (insulin resistance, high insulin)

  • Sex hormone imbalance (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone)

  • Poor sleep

  • Poor stress management

  • Nutrient deficiencies

Your nervous system is king when it comes to managing anxiety. The sympathetic nervous system is designed to help us survive. While it is vital, it shouldn't be the mode you are constantly in. This is your fight/flight/hide mode. It purposely raises blood sugar, blood pressure, slows digestion, slows a fertility, basically all functions that are necessary while being chased by lion.

Many habits we have promote sympathetic mode. For instance, not sleeping well and not taking time to rest but powering through with another cup of coffee or energy drink. We deplete our body's need for nutrients by consuming highly palatable, food like substances with artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, msg, and other chemicals or body can't recognize as nutrients. We consume foods we are sensitive to, slather chemical ladel products on our body, and allow ruminting thoughts to steal our joy. Our body constantly thinks we're fighting for our lives!

We have to be intentional about getting back into parasympathetic nervous system mode. This is were we rest, digest and heal. Healing can only take place here. We can't expect to feel calm, lose weight, have good skin, sleep well, have clear thinking, fertility and digestion if our body is just trying to survive.

The fastest way to increase cortisol is to not sleep well. Poor sleep promotes high cortisol and the body and we wake up in the morning already primed for anxiety . Cortisol is needed in the morning to get your blood pressure up, to lower inflammation, keep blood

sugar in check or to fight autoimmune activity, but it gets dysregulated because the body thinks you need it too early or too high. High cortisol states creates feelings of anxiety and keeps us from being able to sleep. Sleep helps us process our feelings and experiences, so without it we have difficulty calming our thoughts. Good sleep hygiene will go a long way in helping you sleep. You can read about that here.<