For 10 years, I struggled with anxiety, IBS, migraines, hormonal issues, and constant colds and flus, and was on multiple antibiotics and medications while I was leading a Corporate wellness program at a multi-national bank – the irony!
I saw psychologists, endocrinologists and gastro-enterologists but nothing worked. I was honestly terrified I’d be sick forever! In fact, I’ll never forget the moment my gastro-enterologist telling me, “There’s nothing structurally wrong with you. It must be stress…”
I just couldn’t buy that. I loved my job, and yes, it was demanding but, I’d been a practising Hypnotherapist for years, and regularly meditated… Yet still, I had all these awful symptoms that I just intuitively knew were more than “stress”…
I’m grateful to share that 5 years later, I’m now free from anxiety, IBS, my hormones are balanced, my migraines gone, and I’m pretty much immune now to colds and flus, and if I do feel something coming on, I adjust my nutrition and supplements, because now I know how to support my body, rather than work against it.
If anxiety is something you’re dealing with, I’m writing this blog so you can see that you don’t have to be stuck with it forever!
From my experience, I saw that it can show up in lots of ways. One of the most common symptoms is a racing mind, with worrisome thoughts that feel impossible to shut off, a racing heart, or you’re bloated, gassy and uncomfortable, and – the one I hated the most – waking at 3am unable to go back to sleep!
Now that I’m a functional medicine health coach, I’m aware of powerful, natural, anti-anxiety remedies that work fast to alleviate and prevent anxiety — but none more life-changing than the one I’m about to share, the one that saved me so many times, when I just couldn’t get to sleep, or found it difficult to breathe, and couldn’t stop my heart from racing…
ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSE
However, before I share it, it’s critical to understand something:
👉 Without exception, ALL health issues, concerns, challenges, etc. stem from a root cause. If we don’t address, treat, and/or eliminate that root cause, symptoms will keep returning and likely get worse.
That’s why anti-anxiety medications are — and will always be — just a temporary relief.
It’s also why functional medicine is so powerful and effective for healing anxiety and ANY health issue — because it addresses the root causes of issues. 🎯
So, before I share my favourite anxiety-busting hack — which I’m happy to do — let’s ask this question:
What do you think is the root cause of your anxiety?
You’re probably thinking about work, money, your kids, the virus, or perhaps a chemical imbalance in the brain that just has no specific trigger for throwing your world into chaos…
Now that I’ve spent the last 5 years as a Functional Medicine Health Coach, I can 100% assure you that anxiety is a combination of:
– Internal Stressors, such as an imbalance of gut bacteria, or an overactive thyroid.
– External Stressors, mold exposure, or the one you’re most familiar with – Psychological STRESS.
Yes, stress and our 21st-century lifestyles have lots of unhealthy effects on us. But one of the most insidious ones that I hardly hear anyone ever talk about is this:
Over time, stress can leach precious, vital minerals from our bodies. This includes the all-important mineral magnesium.
Magnesium is quite literally a “miracle mineral” that is vital for everyday functioning — particularly with regard to stress management. Magnesium turns on the body’s natural healing mechanisms by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, and it helps dampen the cortisol-stress response.
It’s also required for just about every cellular and bodily function. In fact, depleted magnesium levels can lead to:
– Atrial Fibrillation (racing heart)
– Calcium loss (poor bone density)
– Ear ringing
– Hormonal imbalances
– Kidney stones
– Muscle spasms
– Restless Leg Syndrome
– Sleep issues
– The list goes on…
As you can see from this list, magnesium deficiency is linked to many health concerns, including anxiety.
That’s why every sleep-deprived, hormonally-imbalanced, stressed-out client that I now work with learns about the value of incorporating magnesium into their diet, or via smart supplementation.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FORM
Apart from including more magnesium rich foods into your diet, such as those listed above, supplementation is the simplest solution. Now before you rush off and buy a random bottle of magnesium, it’s important to choose the right form of this mineral.
If you go to a local supplement store, you will notice there are multiple forms of magnesium. From Epsom Salts to Magnesium Supplement capsules, they all come in varying strengths and bio-availability, i.e. levels of absorption.
But, all supplements are not created equal. Cheap supermarket and drugstore brands are a poor option as they can be very hard to break down and hurt your liver.
On that note, here are some key points to keep in mind as you consider a magnesium supplement:
– If your anxiety disrupts your sleep, magnesium citrate is my go-to. It starts working quickly to relax your body and turn off those whirring thoughts.
– You can also use a spray or gel to get magnesium directly into muscles, which can be soothing and calming.
– Dosing levels will vary based on your individual needs. I’ve found personal success with one dose in the morning, and one dose before bed, to keep me balanced.
– During more stressful times, where it’s easy to get distracted, I increase my dose gradually to what my body can tolerate — and practice more meditation so that I can become more mindful of certain triggers.
– It’s always best to work with a provider who understands supplementation and the difference between drug store and supermarket brands, versus high-quality, food-based, therapeutic-grade supplements.
– It’s also best to test your gut health with lab work and consult a functional health professional to understand if you’re absorbing nutrients and rule out any internal stressors.
When combined with changes in beliefs, behaviours, relaxation practices, and personalised nutrition, magnesium is a powerful tool in your anti-stress and overall-health-supporting toolkit.
I remember how much my life turned around once I’d worked with a Functional Medicine Practitioner to test and find out what was going on with my gut health. We removed the bad bugs, replaced with good bugs, repaired the lining of my gut, avoided inflammatory foods and alcohol, and within 3 months it was like I was a new person… full of energy, sleeping amazingly, no more panic attacks, and that feeling of hopelessness that had pervaded every hour of my waking day, had vanished…
Check out the video below where I talk about the Gut-Brain Connection on the Let’s Talk Mental Health podcast. I explain how working on healing this, can heal anxiety, depression, and insomnia, amongst many other health issues!
If you think you’d benefit from the guidance of a functional medicine health coach in stopping your anxiety in its tracks — and preventing it from returning — I’d love to help.