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Anxiety - The Reason Why You Feel Out Of Control

by Greg Newson 7 min read

Anxiety - The Reason Why You Feel Out Of Control

What Is Anxiety

Anxiety is believed to affect 13 - 18% of the worldwide population. This figure may be misleading as many sufferers don't report their Anxiety to their doctor and try to deal with it the best way they can themselves.

Dictionary definitions often describe Anxiety as 'extreme feelings of uneasiness or fear in response to an imagined or real threat.' Which, for a sufferer of Anxiety, doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what is really going on inside them.

There are many physical and emotional symptoms associated with Anxiety; below are some of the more common ones.

Chest pain Inability to sleep
Choking feeling Increased heart rate
Compelled to perform routines repeatedly Irritability, angry
Crying Loose bowel motions
Depression Muscle tension and pain
Difficulty concentrating Nausea
Dizziness Numbness and tingling
Easily losing patience Perfectionism
Excessive sweating Pounding heart
Excessive thirst Preoccupied or obsessed with one subject
Extreme worry Pulsing in the ear
Fatigue Restless, jumpy
Fear of impending doom Shortness of breath
Feeling like you are going crazy Smothering feeling
Headaches Thinking constantly about worst outcomes
Hot flushes or chills Trembling
Hypertension Upset/nervous stomach
Hyperventilation Verbal or physical aggression

What Causes Anxiety?

Causes of Anxiety vary between sufferers, below are some of the more common reasons.

Low GABA Levels

GABA is the body's naturally occurring tranquillising and calming neurotransmitter and works by dampening the overactivity of the excitatory neurotransmitters, especially Glutamate. When GABA is low, excitatory messages shoot unimpeded throughout the brain, leaving a person feeling as though they are out of control and have millions of excessive thoughts racing throughout their mind. Low GABA is a major cause of Anxiety, Panic Disorders and Night Time Waking.

Sad News for Coffee Drinkers

Caffeine can reduce brain levels of GABA, which compounds Anxiety, especially for those sufferers with lower than usual GABA levels. Tea on the other hand, while containing caffeine also contains a unique amino acid called L-Theanine, which negates the adverse effect that caffeine has on brain GABA levels. Good news for tea drinkers, but not so good for anxious coffee connoisseurs.

Alcohol - Long Term or Binge Drinking Leads To Anxiety

Ever wondered why you get a little anxious or panicky a day or two after a big night on the town? Chronic alcohol consumption, or binge drinking, reduces the number of GABA and Benzodiazepine receptor sites within the brain. These receptors uptake GABA, hence a reduction results in lower than normal levels of brain GABA.


In the second half of a menstrual woman's cycle, the hormone progesterone rises preparing the uterus for implantation of the egg. Progesterone is also the body's anti-anxiety hormone. Unfortunately, if progesterone levels are low, the hormone prolactin can elevate. The role of prolactin is to inhibit progesterone, prevent menstruation and prepare for breast milk production. Elevated prolactin leads to PMS-A, and the resultant symptoms of anxiety, in the last two weeks before menstruation. GABA is the natural inhibitor of high prolactin.

Overstimulation of the NMDA Receptors

NMDA Receptors are required to maintain alertness, learning and long term memory. Similarly, as with low GABA, if these receptors are over stimulated, sufferers feel as though their mind is out of control mind and they can't quieten their excessive thoughts. Three main contributors can increase NMDA Receptor overstimulation.

Aspartic Acid: is an amino acid commonly found in food, but food alone is not enough to overstimulate the NMDA receptors. Two potential sources of aspartic acid that can cause overstimulation are excessive consumption of nutritional supplements containing aspartic acid. i.e. amino acid powders or minerals bound to aspartic acid including magnesium aspartate, potassium aspartate, calcium aspartate, and zinc aspartate. People suffering from Anxiety generally don't tolerate these type of supplements well. By far the most significant potential cause of NMDA Receptor overstimulation is the artificial sweetener Aspartame, which goes under the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel or AminoSweet. Aspartame additive (Number 951), is comprised of the two amino acids, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid plus methanol. Methanol in its own right is a highly toxic alcohol, which causes neurological severe health problems and in excess, death.

The take-home message here is to; avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague, re-evaluate amino acid supplementation and look for alternative minerals not bound to aspartic acid.

Glutamate: Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that helps maintain wakefulness, learning, and memory. When needed, Glutamate converts to GABA, with the help of vitamin B6. However, low levels of vitamin B6 can cause an increase in Glutamate levels, resulting in the overstimulation of the NMDA receptors. GABA is the break for excess Glutamate production. 

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): is a common food flavour enhancer and label additive (Number 621). It comprises of the sodium salt of Glutamic Acid (Glutamate), which when ingested converts back to Glutamate. Excessive amounts of MSG can lead to excess Glutamate and the overstimulation of the NMDA receptors.

Stress, Adrenaline and Cortisol - Common Causes of Anxiety

Adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands as a stress response, when the body perceives that it's under threat. This survival mechanism was essential for our forefathers in helping them to avoid a warring tribe or escape the deadly clutches of a Sabre-Toothed Tiger. However, for most of the time, this stress response laid dormant, awaiting the next trigger. Fast forward to the 21st Century, where stressors harass us constantly; money problems, traffic, too much work, bad news, scary movies, electromagnetic frequencies, nutrient dead food, lack of sleep, rushing from A to B, being late for an appointment.....the list goes on. This overstimulation of adrenaline causes the body to become hyper-vigilant. Which, in turn, creates symptoms such as a racing heart, an overactive mind, insomnia, being overwhelmed, excessive worry, shortness of breath, feelings of being unable to cope and feeling out of control. Sound familiar? Excessive stimulation of adrenaline causes Anxiety, Panic Disorders and allows stress to flourish.

The adrenal glands produce cortisol to buffer the toxic effects of adrenaline. Where cortisol can initially be a friend, constant stress drives up levels, leading to multiple health problems. Excessive amounts of cortisol destroys the amino acid Glutamine, the precursor to GABA. It also increases the urinary excretion of magnesium and dramatically depletes Tryptophan, the precursor to vitamin B3 and Serotonin, our happy brain chemical. Low GABA, Magnesium, vitamin B3 and Serotonin, are all major driving factors contributing to Anxiety.

Your Mouth Could Be The Key To Anxiety

Studies have shown that people with mercury amalgam fillings have a greater disposition to Anxiety than people without mercury amalgam fillings. The studies also found that people with fillings had significantly less pleasant, satisfied, happy, secure and steady feelings and had more difficulty making decisions. 

How To Treat Anxiety?

Self Help For Anxiety

The first strategy anyone suffering from Anxiety is that they should try and implement some self-help regime.

Breathing: Deep breathing, particularly in and out throughout the nose. This type of breath activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which helps to reduce adrenaline and cortisol, while increasing GABA and Serotonin, making it an essential long-term strategy for the management of Anxiety. Try the 5 x 5 x 5 technique - breath in for a count of 5, then out for a count of 5 and do this for 5 minutes. You'll be amazed by the results. 

Exercise: Regular exercise decreases adrenaline and cortisol, while increasing endorphins, the little brain chemicals that make us feel good. Don't think of it as a chore, but a chance to reduces stress and manage Anxiety. Do the type of activity that you enjoy, whether that be walking the dog, swimming, weights, team sports or running. 

Meditation: Like exercise, meditation reduces adrenaline and cortisol, and increases Alpha Brain Waves which have anti-anxiety effects. Meditation is anything that allows you to relax and focus on one thing at any given moment, including Yoga, Ti Chi or watching ants crawl up the wall. As long as you remain immersed in that moment, that's meditation. 

Healthy Diet: Foods found in nature are full of abundant nutrients, which are required to keep the body functioning at its optimal level. A diet high in alcohol, sugar, white flour products, additives, junk, fried and take-away foods, drain the body's nutritional stores, putting it into a constant state of stress. Whereas, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, grass-fed meats and wild-caught seafood, provide an abundance of nutrients to help the body maintain health, thus reducing stress. 

Nutritional Supplements to Treat Anxiety

For many sufferers of Anxiety the constant stress, lack of sleep, reduced exercise and the Standard American Diet (SAD) or Western Pattern Diet (WPD), leaves the body depleted of nutrients essential to treat and alleviate Anxiety. 

Need help reducing anxiety promotional banner 10% discount for Cortisol Calm, B-Calm and MagExcel using the code ANX10 at checkout.

Nutrients To Increase GABA

Many nutrients help maintain GABA, but there are some that are essential and without them it becomes challenging for the body to sustain adequate GABA levels. These essential nutrients are L-Glutamine, L-Taurine, Vitamin B6 and Zinc and can be found, along with additional GABA preserving nutrients, in the anti-anxiety, GABA producing formula, B-Calm. To learn more about increasing GABA levels naturally, please read this health article

Magnesium The Wonder Mineral

Magnesium is often referred to as the calming mineral and plays a significant role in reducing the body's stress response. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword, as stress depletes the body's magnesium stores, thus dramatically decreasing its calming effects. Eating a diet high in green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes helps to increase magnesium levels. However, for people suffering from Anxiety and stress, magnesium is essential and should be supplemented daily. 

Herbs To Reduce Anxiety and Lower Cortisol 

Thankfully, Mother Nature has provided an abundance of medicinal herbs that help with stress reduction, activation of the GABA Receptors and for treatment of Anxiety. Herbs such as St John's Wort, Skullcap, Bacopa, Withania and Ginkgo biloba work synergistically to reduce cortisol levels, negate the effects of adrenalin and thus reduce many of the symptoms of Anxiety. Cortisol Calm is a non-alcoholic herbal formula containing a variety of herbs needed to reduce stress, lower elevated cortisol and adrenaline, plus provide relief for depression, panic disorder, insomnia and Anxiety.

The information provided here is generally intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue, we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.

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