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3 Root Causes of Your Anxiety and How to Start Overcoming It with Nutrition

Girl coping with anxiety

Nowadays, anxiety isn't sparing anyone and it's occurring more often than we would like, feeling harder to control. Between the multiple roles we play throughout work, home, and trying to maintain a social life, we are in demand and over-stimulated. For most of us, we're addicted to stress and it's a vicious cycle we're unconsciously repeating.

Over the past few years, mental health has been a topic that everyone is starting to take more seriously and anxiety and depression are grouped right into that category.

In this article, we will explore:

The Hormone Imbalance Likely Causing Your Anxiety

There's so much talk in the wellness space about Estrogen Dominance, but that is actually not the imbalance I want to talk about in this article. After working with so many women who put their superwoman cape on day in and day out, the largest imbalance I see is a Cortisol-Progesterone imbalance.

Cortisol is our main stress hormone. Due to modern-day living, many people are feeling the effects of elevated cortisol. When cortisol is out of balance, our body sends signals in the form of symptoms like high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, low libido, and fatigue. With cortisol being the main driver, it places our nervous system into "fight and flight" or survival mode for much longer than we need it to be.

As the body will always prioritize surviving, this decreases our body's ability to produce progesterone. Progesterone is not only the hormone of gestation, but also the hormone of contentment-keeping us cool, calm, and collected. Chronic stress or imbalanced cortisol levels deplete the important nutrients, vitamins, and cofactors that go into producing sufficient progesterone levels, hello to not-so-happy periods.

With that said, cortisol levels also increase adrenaline which increases with the more stress we experience. Adrenaline makes us feel hyper, anxious, and irritable, raises heart rate and blood pressure, and can contribute to more blood clots, and imbalanced blood sugar.

The Role Your Blood Sugar and Nutrition Plays in Anxiety

When our blood sugar levels drop too low, it can trigger the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol. These hormones can then lead to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and irritability.

On the other hand, when our blood sugar levels spike too high, it can also lead to anxiety. This is because high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, which can then interfere with communication between the brain and the body. When blood sugar goes up, this can increase belly fat, contributing to insulin resistance over time.

Whether dealing with anxiety or not, it is important for overall hormone balance to maintain a stable blood sugar throughout the day. It will make a difference in your mood, how you respond to stress, energy levels, menstrual cycle, thyroid health, and sleep quality.

Signs of imbalanced blood sugar can include:

  • Being Hangry

  • Always needing a snack or candy to get by

  • Headaches or shakiness if a meal is delayed or skipped

  • Decrease in eyesight

  • Brain fog, losing train of thought, unable to focus

  • Fatigue

  • Frequent cravings

  • PMS

  • Waking through the night

  • Frequent infections

What an Overstimulated Nervous System Looks like

When our nervous system is overstimulated, it can manifest in a number of ways. What does this look like in real life? High stress and panic attacks, busy mind and poor sleep, multitasking and inability to relax, losing your cool on your loved ones, subconsciously tightening your stomach, and poor digestion/bloating.

The list could go on, which is why the first thing to address in your anxiety is how you are responding to stress. Here is what an overstimulated nervous system looks like:

  • Physical symptoms: racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating, muscle tension, headaches, stomachache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue.

  • Emotional symptoms: anxiety, fear, irritability, anger, sadness, feeling overwhelmed.

  • Behavioral symptoms: difficulty concentrating, fidgeting, pacing, difficulty sleeping, avoiding social situations.

An overstimulated nervous system driven by chronic stress, imbalanced blood sugar, and hormone imbalances creates multiple nutrient deficiencies such as B vitamins, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc, and other minerals. It also decreases the body's stomach acid, slowing digestion, and nutrients supplied to the organ that is so important to hormone balance - the liver.

Gather the Data

A simple blood work panel (Complete Blood Count and Metabolic Panel) can shed so much light on nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, gut and liver health, underlying infections, and so much more to help connect the patterns and fill nutritional gaps when viewed from a functional and holistic lens!

So next, I'd love to share with you two simple, but powerful ways to start managing the hormones that contribute to anxiety and an overstimulated nervous system.

2 Powerful Ways to Start Managing Anxiety

This can be done by finding what brings you joy to counter a high-stress work/home environment and creating morning and evening routines to provide a sense of control and stability in your day(the nervous system loves to feel safe).

We live in times where stress is unavoidable, but we have the ability to make a choice to slow down, breathe, and find what works for mental, emotional, and physical health.

Balancing Blood Sugar

Having a well-balanced blood sugar but being intentional about our meals and balancing our plates can counteract the effects of stress that are deep-rooted in the gut & liver, contributing to hormone imbalance. We build this foundation in my 28-Day Reset Group program and it can be life-changing! It is possible to eat without stress.

Finding Routine

As a busy mom, for me, routine equals peace. Whether it's a morning devotional, mid-day walk, after-school routine with an adrenal-loving mocktail, deep breathing, or shower time with no interruptions - find pockets of steadiness and areas where you can feel stability.

Join the Her+Well 28-Day Reset, where you will get the foundation you need to create the support for a body that can adapt to stress and anxiety, using functional and holistic nutrition!

Nutrition Reset for Hormone Balance and Anxiety

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