Friday, November 9, 2012

Anxiety Treatment

There is something to be said about getting second opinions, and trying new health professionals.

About 3 years ago I was going to a Naturopath for prolotherapy for my wrist pain. It helped, for a while. At the same time I was suffering from brutal panic attacks and anxiety. The Dr recommended Rescue Remedy as a way to help me cope and it worked, most of the time.

Over the past month my anxiety has come back. It’s been draining, and with winter setting in, will be harder to combat. A lack of vitamin D is a problem and Seasonal Affective Disorder is something a lot of Canadians go through, even if they don’t realize it.

I decided that going to my medical doctor likely wouldn't do much for me since there is no medical test for anxiety and I don’t really want to be on anything resembling anti-depressants. I don’t believe I’m there and would like to deal with this naturally versus pumping more medication into my body. The closer we get to maybe starting a family, the more I’m pushing for getting off all the medication I've been put on for various problems. Most of them are “safe” for fertility and baking a baby, but I’d prefer to not have the risk if it can be avoided.

I went to a different naturopathic doctor this time and after a 1.5 hour consultation, she has made a small difference. We talked about my past, present and future plans. She told me that although my environment maybe giving me symptoms of anxiety and causing stress, it’s not the underlying problem. Rescue Remedy may help the symptoms, but it’s not the solution. “You can’t change your environment, you can adjust your perspective and how you deal with it”.

She has determined that my body is a little backwards. It’s low on serotonin, which also means it’s low on melatonin production. Cortisol is high based on my stress levels which could be pulling progesterone from my body, leading to other womanly issues. I have a lot of trouble sleeping because of the first two chemicals being imbalanced. I have incredibly horrible periods where I’m more likely to take a day off work than come in dealing with the pain, nausea and heaviness because of the second hormone being less than it should be.

Her first course of action is to help me sleep. More sleep = better coping function = less anxiety = happier me. I’m taking one 5-htp capsule in the morning to help produce serotonin which in turn helps my body naturally create melatonin. It will also help even out my mood throughout the day. An hour before bed I’m to take 2 Phosphatidylserine capsules. This will stop my body from using cortisol at night, keeping me awake and my brain doing circles. Allowing my body to use the melatonin it created all day.

It’s been 4 days and I've slept well 3 out of 4 nights. I feel lighter mentally. It’s still too soon to say that everything is “normal” but I definitely feel like it’s tipping the scales that way. Still a long way to go, but every day is getting brighter.