Anxiety is often trivialized by someone who has not had the experience of anxiety or an anxiety attack. It’s no joke. Although people are trying to be helpful in “saying you just need to change the way you think about something”, or “try think about something else”, it’s often difficult to do that without the experience and knowledge of how to interrupt your own thoughts. Sometimes mindset advice does not help because anxiety is caused by an underlying physical imbalance or deficiency in the body. For example, over 85% of people with a diagnosed anxiety disorder also have a magnesium deficiency. There have also been links to vitamin A, vitamin D, iron and Zinc deficiencies in people with anxiety.
Before you run off and buy these supplements, there are a few things I want to say to you. The first being: I’m not a doctor. I don’t have medical training. All of what I’m writing about is my personal experience through the research I’ve done and trial and error.
The second is that I recommend that you talk with your doctor about being screened for mineral deficiencies, particularly with heavy metals because they can build up in the body and create their own set of issues. Depending on your doctor, you may get some push back on taking supplements not being necessary. That will be your decision to make whether you want to take them after consultation. For me, I wanted to try everything I could to help myself overcome anxiety so the decision to try one or two supplements at a time for several weeks and see if there were changes, was my decision.
The third thing I’d like to say is consult with your pharmacist if you are taking any medications. This is to ensure that it is not disrupting or enhancing the effect of the drug you are taking. They will be able to research drug and supplement combinations and its affects.
The fourth is, do you own research especially if you‘ve been diagnosed with an illness or disease outside of an anxiety disorder. Sometimes supplements can have adverse impact. So please do your research.
Magnesium. This is a necessary mineral for your health. Your body doesn’t need a lot of it, but if it is deficient, it can cause anxiety symptoms. Magnesium usually comes in a range of 100 to 500 mg. Take your preferred dose once daily.
Vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D can actually lead you to have other vitamin deficiencies, this can make anxiety worse. The supplement doses range from 1,000 to 2,000 IU. Liquid D3 absorbs the most easily in the body. This 1,000 IU can be taken once daily, or a larger dose can be split into twice daily.
Vitamin A. It’s been documented that some anxiety sufferers also have little vitamin A in their system. Particularly if the person is vegan and a regular supplement should be taken. This antioxidant has been shown to help decrease anxiety symptoms. Supplement dosage is 10,000IU and can be taken once daily.
Vitamin C. This is another antioxidant that helps support anxiety sufferers by preventing oxidative damage to the nervous system. Supplement dosage range from 500 to 1000 mg. once or twice daily. Please note that any more than this can cause diarrhea.
Vitamin E. If you are in a continual amount of stress or anxiety, it’s important that you take this supplement daily. Vitamin E is used up quickly in times of high stress. The dosage is 400 IU once daily.
Omega-3 fatty acid. This antioxidant is shown to reduce anxiety. When you think of omega 3s, you probably think of fish oil. You do not have to take fish oil in order to have this supplement. Fish have high amounts of EPA and DHA from eating algae which is a good and more planet friendly source of omega 3s. You can also supplement it from eating whole foods such as hemp, flax, and chia seeds to name a few.
B-Complex. Like Vitamin C, Vitamins B support the nervous system which may in turn help with symptoms of anxiety and stress. Dosage can be anywhere from 300 – 500 mg daily
L-theanine. This is an amino acid that is found in green tea and has a calming effect. Dosage is 200 mg once a day, or a couple cups of tea during the day can be beneficial.
Probiotic – There have been multiple studies on gut health and probiotics decreasing anxiety like symptoms. Make sure you are purchasing a refrigerated product that has a range between 15 to 50 billion CFU. It should also guarantee the potency up to the time of expiry.
GABA – This is an amino acid and a neurotransmitter. This neurotransmitter works by decreasing emotional reactions. I personally do not use it, but wanted to mention it here, because the research I’ve found is that in extreme cases of anxiety, it can be effective. If you have a healthy diet, your body probably already has all it needs to produce it on its own. The dosages range from 500 to 750 mg and can be taken at once or split across the day.
Next blog post on anxiety I will be sharing herbal supplements.
If I’ve left off a supplement that you have found helpful, let me know. If you start taking these supplements, let me know you progress.