Mental Health :Your Health Concerns

An anxiety attack is commonly thought of as an out-of-control or extreme bout of fear –or terror. Anxiety and panic in the brain show up as chemical reactions and nerve impulses . Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances in the brain can contribute to susceptibility to and severity of panic attacks. While not necessarily a cure , vitamins and nutritional supplementations can thus play a salutary , even vital role in improving the brain’s ability to function properly in regards to anxiety and panic .

Note also that stress tends to eat up the body of nutrients, or the diet may be nutritionally out of balance or fail to deliver sufficient amounts of nutrients the brain needs   in handling anxiety. Prescription drugs taken for anxiety can also deplete the body of certain nutrients.

Vitamins and supplements useful for lessening panic attack follow, not necessarily in the order of importance. If a ” such as the above can be found to remedy anxiety and panic disorders, they may be preferred to the negative side effects common among drugs. However as always, if you take drugs to treat your panic, anxiety, or depression, consult your doctor in regards to possible negative effects of combining the drugs with specific nutritional supplementation.

1) B-vitamins do best when there are enough of each kind present, hence the frequency of multi-B supplement products. B vitamins are needed in many metabolic reactions in the body, some notably in nerve cell metabolism . Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is known to have a calming effect on mood . Inositol (B 8) and niacinamide — the latter being an amide of niacin (B 3) and not to be confused with it — are useful for enhancing GABA functions in the brain.

2) GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric acid is an amino acid which inhibits or decelerates nerve cell signals from the limbic to the cortex portions of the brain. During panic attacks, the limbic system, and amygdala in particular, signal the cortex speedily and relentlessly. GABA supplementation, especially with inositol and niacinamide, help put the brakes on the reaction. GABA is found throughout the central nervous system.

3) Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands ( on top of the kidneys). The body’s need for vitamin C increases under stress . Known for having a tranquilizing effect in higher doses, perhaps because it ( along with glutamine) helps bring down the production of cortisol, one of the hormone the body produces in reaction to stress.

4) Magnesium supplements, taken in conjunction with calcium, helps reduce muscle tension and spasm . Magnesium can lower blood pressure and is beneficial in proper nerve function and the body’s use of B and C vitamins .

5) Taurine is an amino acid with a like effect to GABA. Useful for epileptic and spastic conditions.

6) Tryptophan is the amino acid found in the meat of turkey that helps one feel sleepy . Niacinamide helps with the construction of tryptophan, known to help with insomnia — if one’s anxiety disorder is accompanied by sleep problems . Tryptophan is used in making serotonin, a neurotransmitter used in controlling mood. Some with obsessive compulsive disorder improved after taking tryptophan. 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is an intermediate step in producing serotonin from tryptophan. It is also available on the market and has been known to reduce symptoms of anxiety .

7) Tyrosine or L-tyrosine is an amino acid used in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and epinephrine useful in controlling anxiety and depression. Dopamine has a tranquilizing effect. Tyrosine should not be take when patients are on MAO inhibitor drugs.

Note finally that while vitamins and nutrition may be helpful, additional methods for ” and panic are usually needed and together prove more effective than vitamins and nutrition alone

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