Handle your Anxiety, Depression and Stress Naturally
You can handle your anxiety, depression, and stress naturally
Anxiety, stress, and depression are very common complaints that drive patients to see their doctors. These can be debilitating conditions but it’s exciting that effective and natural treatment is within reach.
Statistics regarding anxiety and stress:
- The National Institute of Mental Health states anxiety disorders affect 18% of adults but more current estimates state closer to 30% of U.S. adults are afflicted with anxiety, this larger number considers individuals who don’t seek help or are misdiagnosed.
- Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion each year.
- According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders in developed countries account for more disability than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
- The lifetime prevalence of mental illness is around 1 in 2 individuals.
- It’s estimated 43% of North Americans take mood-altering prescriptions regularly. Paxil and Zoloft, are two of the most popular ranking in the top 10 of all medications prescribed in the U.S. Sales total about $5 billion.
- Anxiety disorders are twice as common as clinical depression.
- A 2017 report from the American Institute of Stress cites studies revealing job stress to be the major source of stress for American adults, with Its incidence escalating.
- The price tag of job stress is over $300 billion per year.
Anxiety, stress, and depression – the symptom or the cause?
Symptoms such as anxiety, depression and stress are often the result of a health imbalance rather than the cause of it. It can be difficult at times for the patient to make the determination of cause vs. effect because anxiety, depression and stress can be disabling and overwhelming.
Here’s an example. Imagine you’re exhausted all the time. Even when you sleep through the night you feel exhausted within a few hours of arising. If this has been going on for a while you’re not going to be happy about it. Imagine further that you’ve been to a doctor or two and none of them can find anything wrong with you.
Are you going to start feeling a little down about this, perhaps a little anxious about what may be wrong?
Is it stressful?
I think you’d agree the answer is “yes” to both of these questions. You’re certainly not going to feel happy about being exhausted. As time passes with no relief you could start to feel a bit depressed, anxious, or stressed. Are those feelings the root cause of your problem? No, the root cause is whatever is creating the fatigue. Remember the fatigue came first. Therefore it is the effect of the longstanding fatigue creating depression, anxiety, or stress.
Do some people have anxiety or depression as their primary symptom?
Absolutely. Does that mean they need psychiatric medication? No. Studies reveal, year after year, that such medications do not cure anything. In fact, placebos work as well, and the risk of dangerous, life-threatening side effects outweigh potential benefits.
If you’re reading this and you take such a drug and feel better, I’m not negating that you do. What I am saying is this: in our experience, once the true root cause of your anxiety, depression, or stress is discovered, the likelihood of being able to wean off the medication (under doctor supervision) is quite good.
What does traditional medicine say about anxiety?
Traditional medicine has this to say:
Mayo Clinic: “The causes of anxiety disorders aren’t fully understood. Life experiences appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits also can be a factor.”
It can be discouraging to be told you have a health condition for which there is no known cause, especially when it’s a problem that impacts you daily, sometimes altering your very ability to function in life.
Anxiety, depression, and stress can interfere with how you relate to friends, family, coworkers, and your ability to achieve your life goals.
Functional or Root Cause Medicine pinpoints underlying causes that can play a role in the causation of anxiety, depression, and stress. They include:
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Thyroid imbalance
- Food sensitivities – including gluten
- Malabsorption or Maldigestion
- Leaky gut
- Hormonal imbalance
- Infections or toxins
The list is long, but no item is difficult to handle and all can be addressed naturally. The key is diagnosing which is the exact root cause of your stress, anxiety, or depression.
The 3 most common root causes
Based on my clinical experience the top 3 most common causes are:
- Food sensitivities, including gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
- Adrenal fatigue and sex hormone alterations
- Digestion imbalance, including intestinal infections, leaky gut, or toxins.
What you can do right now
- Elimination Diets – there are elimination diets you can find online, most of which have similar allowed and disallowed foods. It’s easier to do this process with a trained clinician but I know that’s not always possible.
You want to follow an elimination diet for at least 4 weeks before you slowly reintroduce foods. How to reintroduce the foods you’ve eliminated can also be found online. Proper reintroduction is a critical part of the process. Of course, if you’re not feeling well at any point during the process, consult your physician immediately.
- Discover food sensitivities that specifically cause nervous system irritation – certain foods in particular cause neurological inflammation and cravings, chief among these are gluten and dairy. The elimination diet mentioned above will help you determine if this may be affecting you but it’s important to know that if you do have a sensitivity to either one, you may feel worse before you feel better when you eliminate that food. Sometimes knowing this is all that’s required to not be concerned, but if you are in a delicate frame of mind it would be best to make these changes in the capable hands of a clinician who really understands how to work with such reactions.
3. Balancing the adrenal glands (stress glands) is not something you can guess at. Like hormonal imbalance, you really would do best getting the gland and sex hormones measured with a lab test. Interestingly, one of the most stressful impacts on adrenal function is continuing to eat foods you are sensitive to. We see then that points 1 and 2 above have a strong influence here.
4. Digestive imbalance, whether from leaky gut, the presence of infections, microbe imbalance, or toxins, is a big area. Yes, it would be best to find a clinician who is an expert in treating such conditions, but there are some steps you can take on your own.
Food choices that include fresh, whole foods, predominantly plant-based can go a long way to alkalizing the gut, feeding the good microbes, and even crowding out any bad ones. Fermented foods, ample clean water, exercise, probiotics, good fats, minimal (but adequate) protein, mostly plant-sourced, and complex carbohydrates in the form of fruit, vegetables, beans, and legumes, are all things you can add on your own to move your gut health in a better direction.
The gut-brain connection is a strong one, and we are appreciating more and more how our mood is affected by what we choose to eat and the overall health of the gut.
Finding the right doctor
If you can find a clinician expert in treating such symptoms naturally, that’s always best, and here is what you should expect:
First, an extensive history is performed. Based on the extensive history, an in-depth examination is performed, and the root cause(s) is suspected. This “working diagnosis” is borne out by functional and traditional lab tests.
Have you ever been frustrated by lab tests that fail to show anything wrong? If so, you’ll love Functional Lab tests – they are highly sensitive.
Root Cause Medicine appreciates that anxiety, depression, and stress actually indicate an imbalance. The list of causes above gives you an idea of what might be your underlying problem.
Each root cause(s) identified, then needs to be corrected. The process does not need to belong, even if you have suffered for a long time.
Why doesn’t traditional medicine offer these solutions?
Our medical model is based on disease and it tends to focus its efforts on the area of complaint. Adrenal fatigue is not an adrenal disease. Digestive or hormonal malfunction isn’t diseased there either – it’s a malfunction, very different.
The news is good!
It delights me how willing the body is to heal itself once you provide for it the correct tools.
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety, stress, or depression, you know you aren’t you. You aren’t productive; you often feel you are disappointing your spouse, children, or coworkers. It’s a horrible feeling.
Please know this: there IS a root cause for anxiety, stress, and depression. Finding the true cause is not difficult if you have the right tools at your disposal and know the right questions to ask the body.
If you’ve been suffering for a long time, this may sound unbelievable; I appreciate that. But with a root cause medicine approach, the solution can be truly in your grasp.
Help is at hand
Do you suffer from depression?
Do you know anyone suffering?
I would truly love to help and the good news is we have excellent success treating depression naturally. Diet is certainly a mainstay of our program, but so too is the evaluation for food sensitivities, infections, toxins, and hormonal imbalance.
Each program is tailored to the individual and their particular imbalances that are creating the symptom of depression.
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.