Alternative ways of Treating Anxiety/panic attacks.

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/27/2009 11:03 PM (GMT -7)   
It is usual for people to think that anxiety or panic attacks are caused by faulty thinking. In other words that an illogical mind is the cause of our anxiety attack and that by talking about your anxiety it can enable you to change your thinking patters. This is what is called the psychosomatic approach to psychology, believing that the mind can cause emotional disturbances. In some cases this may be true as for instance when we are rejected in love , or in grieving, where some external event can cause us to be depressed and anxious. But in most cases of mood disorders this is not the case. The reason is that mood disorders can be caused by internal or endogenous factors such as biochemical factors. Let me explain.

When the body produces serotonin (a feel good neurotransmitter) from tryptophan - an amino acid found in food - it needs a whole array of other nutrients to complete this chemical transformation. Such things as vitamin B6, B12, vitamin C, folate, niacin, magnesium and zinc are required to complete the metabolism. What people tend to overlook is that any chemical transformation in the body needs fuel or energy to convert one set of molecules into another set of molecules, as in the conversion from tryptophan to serotonin. The body's energy is mainly derived from glucose, although other sources can also be used. Glucose is transformed to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), that we can consider like a battery or source of energy. If the body has problems converting glucose into ATP - as when we suffer from insulin resistance (in diabetes and hypoglycemia and a whole host of other silent disease), the brain - which is completely dependent on glucose as its only source of energy - is starved of energy and cannot operate!

A brain starved of energy will trigger the adrenal glands to secrete a hormone called adrenaline into the blood stream. Adrenaline functions to convert sugar stores in the body (glycogen stores in liver and muscles) into glucose. This will feed the brain again with energy and avoid brain death. But adrenaline is also a fight/flight hormone!!! Thus here we have a simple explanation as to why people with hypoglycemia (a prediabetic insulin resistance disease) and/or diabetes are at an increased risk of suffering from anxiety/panic attacks and depression.

Now it is known that hypoglycemia/diabetes is a nutritional disorder! The trouble is that conventional medicine tend to dismiss hypoglycemia as a medical problems until it becomes diabetes. It takes about twenty years for hypoglycemia to develop into full-blown diabetes. There are many other silent diseases that can contribute to depression or mood disorder in general such as hypothyroidism, Syndrome X, many of the many of digestive disorders that interfere with the normal absorption of nutrients such as Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease and allergies and food sensitivities.

It should be understood that if we have a biochemical abnormality interfering with the normal production of serotonin and leading to unexplainable mood disorders of all kinds it will affect our self-image and self-esteem. Thus a low self-esteem, leading to all sorts of social conflicts is not always the cause of mood disorder, but rather the other way around: a low self-esteem is often a sign of an underlying metabolic disorder, a concept difficult to accept by people brought under the umbrella of psychoanalytic school of thought.

A disturbance in serotonin production will often lead to problems of sleeping (insomnia) as serotonin is the forerunner of melatonin - the sleeping neurotransmitter.

I hope people will open their minds to a whole new field in the treatment of "mental illness" by evidence-based science of Nutritional Mecicine.
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Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 11/28/2009 5:52:52 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 11/28/2009 1:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes this may not be true for some or even a lot of ppl. But I would like to know possible reasons for how I feel, esp. if nothing is working. My docs never ask me how/what I eat, what supplements I take, or do any kind of analysis.
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