The Causes of Anxiety Disorders — It is no secret that people with anxiety disorders are everywhere, but the precise reasons are yet to be discovered. Anxiety roots from many different things. You could be affected by stress in your environment, genetically predisposed, or you could blame your brain chemistry. The development of such disorder could be traced to these factors.
Sleep, or lack thereof, can be a culprit. We all know how significant sleep is to the body. At least 7 hours of night’s sleep is required to recharge our bodies’ batteries. Another thing to look into is your diet. Heavy eating can cause a cause fluctuation of your blood sugar, which stresses the body.
As much as possible, go for 5 to 6 small frequent meals a day. More to these, caffeine or sugar overload leads precipitates anxiety. Caffeine is known for being a strong stimulant, whereas sugar gives a rush that could bring about anxiety symptoms.
A lot of people mistake alcohol for an anxiety treatment, considering it’s a downer. However, it could cause some rebound effects if you drink one too many bottle. You should also take exercise into consideration, as it has an impact on your mental health. When you exercise, you get better circulation while getting rid of excess energy that causes anxiety most of the time.
Try to observe your own posture. A cramped and slouchy one could make you anxious without you even realizing it. That is because such posture could hamper circulation, leading to shallow and improper breathing patterns. Genetics has been found to play a significant role in one’s predisposition to anxiety disorders. Such illness can be passed on from generation to generation.
Furthermore, an abnormal level of neurotransmitters in the brain could also be a cause for an anxiety disorder. Neurotransmitters act as the chemical messengers in your body, and they deliver messages from a nerve cell to another. In case of an imbalance in the neurotransmitters, such messages will not be properly relayed to the brain. That being said, anxiety is bound to happen because of your brain’s messed up reaction to particular situations.
Additionally, anxiety disorders could be caused by trauma and stressful events in life. These could be in the form of abuse, loss of a loved one, getting divorced, and changing jobs or schools, just to name a few. Abrupt withdrawal from a certain substance, such as alcohol or nicotine, could also bring about anxiety. These are the leading causes of anxiety, but they could differ from a person to another. Is alcohol really a safe way to deal with anxiety? Is there a better way?
We all know that a drink can calm our nerves. For those of us who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, a couple of beers can be the fastest way to stop an episode. But do we really know what is going on inside our bodies, and where this can lead?
The Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Here’s the pathway to alcohol hell … and the way back:
1. The Road to alcohol hell
Picture office worker Mark — an anxiety and panic attack sufferer since his early teens. Mark soon discovers that having a few drinks stops his anxiety attacks in their tracks. He feels better equipped to deal with the stresses of everyday life, and starts to use alcohol as his “quick fix”.
Everything seems to be much better, but Mark has started to drink every day. Soon, he can’t deal with even the slightest stress without a drink, let alone his panic attacks. As Mark’s drinking becomes heavier, it starts to affect other areas of his life.
His boss doesn’t appreciate his mood-swings and bad behavior, and Mark loses his job. His wife can’t handle the strain any more, and she leaves him. This piles more stress on our poor friend, and he suffers more panic attacks as a result. So of course he hits the bottle even more, and the spiral continues.
What Mark didn’t realize was what was happening inside his body.
With each drink, the alcohol quickly depressed his central nervous system, increasing the chemical inhibitory neurotransmitter “GABA”, which has the effect of stopping the anxious feelings being produced. The alcohol is a fast-acting “anxiolytic”, or anxiety-reducer.
Unfortunately, the long-term alcohol use reduced the levels of the “GBzR” receptor in Mark’s central nervous system. This actually reduced the anxiolytic function in Mark’s brain over time. So whilst in the short-term the alcohol helped him relax, in the long run it actually made everything worse.
2. The way back from alcohol hell
But what should Mark have done in his situation?To break the cycle, you must understand what is happening in your brain when you drink to relieve anxiety. There is no denying it but lifestyle changes can make people cope better with anxious moments in their lives.
Diet plays a big role in causing worry and stress. Cutting down on sugary treats is often seen as a viable option in coping with worry. While there is no diet that can cause anxiety on its own; there are diets that may contribute to the development of anxiety. Let us learn how your cravings make it harder to have a calmer and clearer mind.
No direct Connection
With all due respect to what you read online, sugar does not directly make symptoms of anxiety worse. Modern studies conclude that the high sugar content in the diet does make coping a bit harder. It is improbable for diet to cause anxiety in the first place. This content makes some changes in the body which is blamed for the supposed link. It causes feelings that could make panic attacks worse.
It is addictive
Sugar can be an addiction. Getting less consumption of it hits can make you freak out and cause panic attacks. Your cravings are results of your addiction. If you have doubts that sugar can be addictive, try refraining from eating sugary treats and even refined foods like white pasta, white bread and white rice. Avoid eating any food that has simple carbohydrates and common table sugar in it.
It may sound not a big deal but you will soon find out how it can make your life become a living hell especially if you have been craving for simple carbohydrates or sugar all your life without you knowing it. If after a week you cannot stand not having your bagel or donut, then there you have it you are indeed addicted to sugar.
Lack of magnesium
Americans are suffering from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a mineral that is helpful in regulating blood sugar levels. It is also helpful in relaxing and calming the nerves. When people are lacking magnesium there is a tendency that people crave for sugar.
Magnesium deficiency often can cause nervousness, lack of sleep or insomnia, frequent migraines and even menstrual cramps. It is best to supplement the diet with magnesium. However you need to clear up with a doctor before taking any magnesium supplement especially if you are suffering from liver or kidney impairments.
It is about tryptophan
Tryptophan when combined with vitamin B6 and magnesium can create dopamine which makes people feel better. When the body is full of sugar it causes the pancreas to produce insulin to push the glucose into the cells. There is this thing about tryptophan and insulin. Insulin causes the tryptophan to be left behind which can be combined with its partners which can cause temporary relief from anxiety and even mild depression.
As the body crave for more sugar it can cause insulin resistance which can aggravate anxiety attacks and even fuel risks towards depression. Insulin resistance does not put the sugar in the cells but continues to elevate the blood sugar levels. This would make the brain to produce adrenaline to convert stored fat into sugar to feed the sugar-hungry cells. Adrenaline is a stress hormone which goes back to the problem that being prevented in the first place.
It is about the insulin
Sugar may not cause the anxiety but the glucose and the insulin release can cause fatigue, trouble thinking and even blurry vision. This may not be much but for some it can be a cause for worry and cause panic attacks and the fear associated may be magnified and the anxiety worsens.
It is also about the dopamine
A study also showed that rats that went on a sugar rush and fasted afterwards showed dopamine imbalance that fueled the anxiety levels. While the mechanics of this event has yet to be fully understood, but it is clear that sugar does not cause anxiety but it can make it harder to live with anxiety.
Modern medicine has known for years that today’s diet is loaded with starches and sugars which makes it hard for the body to cope with stress. It is time to make that paradigm shift. Maintaining a healthier diet is the key to lower the symptoms of anxiety that may lead to panic symptoms or attacks. A healthier diet allows your body to cope better, together with exercise.