Relieve Stress and Anxiety Naturally in Chicago, IL
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety can significantly impact quality of life. While the conventional medicine approach focuses on balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, the functional medicine approach is to look for the root cause.
Often times, patients with moderate to severe anxiety will have the same symptoms as those of someone who is being robbed at gunpoint. Yes, you will get that same pounding heart, you will be paralyzed with an intense terrifying fear, you will get nauseous, get lightheaded and a bunch more symptoms soon to be explained.
Unfortunately, unlike the robbed victim who hopefully would be saved by a police officer, anxiety suffers continue to experience these terrible symptoms day in and day out. The anxiety victim soon becomes a prisoner within their own body not knowing if they will ever see the sunshine or the birds sing again.
You see, there are more than 19 million Americans suffering from all anxiety disorders combined. It’s normal to feel anxious or worried at times. Everyone experiences a certain amount of nervousness and apprehension when faced with a stressful situation. However, when anxiety becomes excessive or prolonged and begins to interfere with your ability to perform your daily activities, that’s when you can say one has crossed the road from simple worry to a full force illness.
Most people are convinced they are minutes from dying and experience something commonly called “impending doom”. They are frequent visitors to the local emergency room. Test after test continues to show that nothing life threatening is wrong.
Unfortunately, the anxiety sufferer is still not satisfied. Something has obviously been overlooked. So more tests are run only to once again find nothing wrong. Soon their family and friends begin to label you a hypochondriac. It must be all in your mind they say.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of anxiety can vary in combination or severity. They may include:
- Feeling of being keyed up or on edge
- Feeling a lump in your throat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impatient Feelings
- Being easily distracted
- Muscle tension
- Trouble falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
If you have anxiety you may feel on edge about many or all aspects of your life. For example, you may feel intense worry about your safety or that of your loved ones, or you may feel that something bad is about to happen, even when there’s no immediate danger. When you feel anxious, your body releases hormones that prepare you to react to a threat. This is called the fight-or-flight response. When anxiety gets out of control, this response can occur almost continuously, even at times when you seem calm.
Clinical Lab Assessments
Some of the following laboratory testing can provide information necessary for diagnosis and treatment. In addition, the tests listed may also give insight to functional metabolism and functional nutrient status in the body.
- Adrenal Stress/Cortisol Testing/Neurotransmitter Testing: Adrenal insufficiency can lead to a host of problems, including a weakened immune response, anxiety and panic attacks. Imbalance in the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPA) is involved in anxiety-related disorders. In this complex, adrenal functional abnormalities are relatively simple to identify and address. Plasma or salivary cortisol measurements can be used as a marker in the evaluation of stress syndromes that may relate to anxiety disorders. Some study has suggested that altered cortisol response to stress in panic disorders may complicate successful lifestyle intervention.
- Thyroid Profile
Elevation of thyroid antibodies has commonly been found in individuals with anxiety disorder. Correlations have been observed between thyroid laboratory values and anxiety. Assessment of thyroid hormone production, peripheral hormone conversion, cellular sensitivity response, thyroid hormone antibody activity can provide critical information for intervention with a goal of optimal function.
- Allergy and Food Sensitivity Response Assessment
Allergic responses to foods, inhalants and environmental chemicals, and other substances can cause a variety of responses that induce or aggravate anxiety. Screening can enable an individual to eliminate or minimize exposure to unfriendly allergens.
- Organic Acids
Organic acids analysis is a useful method for measurement of biochemical intermediates in urine. These intermediates can offer information about key enzyme functions and nutrient competence (amino acids, nutrient cofactors, minerals, and fatty acids). Elevation of vanilmandelate reflects elevations in epinephrine and homovanillate indicates norepinephrine elevation. High levels of these neurotransmitters are associated with physiologic inability to manage stress.
- Melatonin Level
- Rule out Progesterone deficiency or Estrogen Dominance
- Rule out Lyme Disease
- Rule out Mycotoxins (Mold)
- Rule out Pyroluria
Pyroluria is a known biochemical marker for life long anxiety symptoms. According to one alcoholism treatment center, one-third to one-half of alcoholics treated have this marker. High levels of pyrrolles systematically bind to B6 and zinc, preventing the use of these nutrients in the body and brain. The result is a myriad of symptoms, including severe inner tension, ongoing anxiety, poor stress control, fearfulness, and sometimes episodic anger.
- Obtain Magnesium Levels via RBC erthrocyte assessement
- Rule out Mercury Toxicity
- Amino Acids
Deficiencies or imbalances in amino acids can indicate fundamental reasons for numerous disorders. Amino acid malabsorption syndrome or imbalanced amino patterns reflect abnormal organ and glandular processes that have critical bearing on optimal function. Phenylalanine and tyrosine are precursors to the catecholamines and affect the capability to manage stress in anxiety disorders.