How can a naturopath help with anxiety disorders?

Millions of Canadian adults suffer from anxiety, the most commonly diagnosed mental condition in the country. Unique for every person, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is often experienced as excessive, uncontrollable worry about a variety of topics in a manner disproportionate to their potentially posed risk. Chronic nervousness, agitation, a restless mind, muscle tension, racing heart, and sleep disturbance are common symptoms. At NEX Wellness, we commonly see patients that are experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorders. If you are wondering how a naturopath can help with anxiety disorders, then you have come to the right place. In this blog, we share some information about this topic.

NDs have a deep toolbox and evidence-based, natural therapies for anxiety disorders 

Anxiety can have a variety of root causes from genetic to biological to environmental. Common first-line treatments often focus on prescription medications and/or therapy. While pharmaceutical drugs can provide symptom relief, these same drugs often have limited effectiveness. Licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) excel at treating anxiety because they focus on treating the whole person, and on addressing the underlying causes of the condition. NDs have a deep toolbox of evidence-based, natural therapies including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, and behavioral medicine to draw from.

Identify the underlying causes of anxiety 

Naturopathic doctors begin by assessing the whole person. Initial appointments often last one hour or more and include detailed family history, medical history, discussion of diet, physical activity, environmental exposures, sleep patterns, and psycho-emotional stressors. There is a wide variety of underlying causes of anxiety. Naturopathic doctors consider:

Neurological imbalance:

The balance of chemicals in the brain helps control mood and can play an important role in anxiety. Your ND will look for imbalances in serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and norepinephrine.

Digestive/microbiome dysfunction:

The microbiome or ‘good germs’ that line your digestive tract play an important role in balancing your nervous, hormonal, and immune systems. Your ND may order a stool analysis test to evaluate the health of your GI tract. You can also expect a detailed discussion of your diet, and potential labs to identify food sensitives and nutritional deficiencies.

Evidence-based naturopathic medicine treatments 

Naturopathic doctors provide highly individualized therapies. They are trained in the pharmacological treatments commonly prescribed by conventionally trained MDs, and in some places, have scope for prescription of pharmaceuticals when necessary. When it is necessary to use medications, genetic testing can help determine which medications you will be responsive to with the least side effects. NDs lead with minimally invasive therapies that support the body to restore healthy function. 

There are many ways that a naturopath can help with anxiety disorders. If you are still curious about this topic, then we encourage you to continue browsing through our NEX Wellness website. Click here to find our contact information or speak with a representative.