By: Kirian Taylor
Some people are anxious about being anxious. This may sound like a bizarre statement, but often those experiencing this symptom cannot pinpoint a specific reason - they simply feel a bit anxious or worried.
If long-lasting, people with anxiety may experience experience symptoms such as palpitations, headaches or panic attacks. They feel out of control, and unable to take positive action to avert the possibility of another bout of panic. If these symptoms are severe, it will be best for you to visit your doctor for some advice and help.
However, many people with mild anxiety are happy to learn that there are a number of ways in which they can help themselves.
Yes, adrenalin Ė a chemical released from the adrenal glands in response to a threat to the person to whom those adrenal glands belong!
Adrenalin activates a ĎRed Alertí in the body, sending blood coursing through the heart and lungs to enable you to run or fight better; it opens up sweat glands so that you donít overheat doing that running or fighting; it liberates stored sugar from the tissues to power the muscles; and it causes the heart to beat faster to pump oxygen around the body.
For a moment there, you could box with Rocky, but your body canít keep this up and as when adrenaline levels fall again, a reaction sets in - your muscles feel weak and shaky, your heart beats irregularly, you feel breathless, dizzy, damp and sweaty and unable to co-ordinate.
Now, this adrenalin business is great if faced with the aforementioned mad dog (or boss), as it will get you away from the danger or power your leap to a place of safety. It is, however, the release of adrenalien in response to non-threatening physical factors (ie. stress) which causes the symptoms of panic that can ruin lives.
These are the most common factors. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine wonít help. If they are taking a substantial place in your daily life (which is particularly likely with caffeine), the adrenal glands can become very sensitive and jumpy.
If you take vast quantities of sugar, the body tries to deal with it by tucking it all away quickly into the tissues. Thus the amount of sugar in the bloodstream falls, and adrenalin is released to push blood sugar levels up again. Not only will you feel panicky but also your energy levels will fluctuate madly. If lots of this sugar is accounted for in your large intake of coffee, prepare for the negative effect to be doubledÖ
Blood sugar levels can also drop if you havenít eaten within the last few hours. Women are especially guilty of this, going for long periods of time without eating and then wondering why they feel so nervy, jumping at shadows and craving sugary foods.
Dehydration is possibly one of the most common factors. If you are dehydrated you will experience a dry mouth and palpitations, and think that you are fearful. Many patients tell me that they no longer wake up at night with palpitations once they are drinking the regulation 1.5 litres of still water daily, and cutting out the coffee (which has a dehydrating effect).
Herbs and Nutrients
The nutrients that your nervous system needs to make it more resistant to panic are magnesium and vitamin B. There are also some herbal remedies which may help if you are a bit anxious.
Some hints to get you started