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When deciding how to manage and support anxiety, emotional and psychological aspects are both causative and contributing factors. If you were never taught how to manage anxiety or suffered from it through childhood, it can be difficult to manage as an adult and becomes a lifelong journey.

Management needs to consider all variables and focuses on prevention where possible. There are a number of triggers including stimulant foods such as sugar, caffeine and anything artificial (i.e. sweeteners, preservatives, additives and colourings) For example caffeine addicts are more prone to anxiety as caffeine causes a surge in a number of neurotransmitters that initiate an anxiety response.

Nutritional deficiencies such as Zinc, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, and protein are common dietary triggers. Protein would have to be the most crucial aspect of treatment. As a simple rule if the diet is deficient in protein you are simply unable to acquire sufficient amino acids, which are the regulatory building blocks of brain chemistry. Protein requirements are calculated on a person’s weight. General recommendation is 0.8-1.2g protein per kg body weight and can be higher for those that exercise vigorously. Undiagnosed gluten intolerance or coeliac disease is a common finding as it prevent adequate absorption of nutrients which can cause both depression and anxiety responses in people.

Herbal medicines are wonderfully effective, however, the dosage needs to be higher than normal. The best herb is Kava (Piper methysticum) – There is a reason Fiji time is so relaxed!

If you’re in an acute episode, the quickest way out of it is to do some breathing exercises, consider self soothing strategies such as warm baths, wheat packs, scarves, and warm clothes; essential oils such as lavender or sandalwood; high dose magnesium as a relaxant and herbal medicines such Passiflora incarnata, Lavandula officinalis, and Piper methysticum. A cup of chamomile tea cannot be underestimated. The homeopathic Arsenicum album is also a good idea and Rescue Remedy can also be helpful.