TEN IDEAS TO HELP YOU MANAGE ANXIETY

Anxiety can be especially problematic during the holiday season – the time from November to February, generally. It can be hectic for some people. During this time of year feelings can shift from joy to grief at a moment’s notice. What does anxiety look like, though?

For some it might be the stress of not feeling “thankful.”

While people are setting goals for the new year, others might feel a sense of anxiety and overwhelm about what is to come.

The holiday season, and especially the new year, might be viewed as a time to reflect on what has happened. Valentine’s Day, however, might trigger a sense of loss or awareness of what we do not have or what has not happened. 

If you are a person that finds yourself with more anxiety as the new year approaches, here are ten ideas to help you handle your emotions:

  1. Address your mental and physiological stress response. In addition to the many options you have to remedy anxiety in your physical body, you could also work with a therapist to help your behavioral response to stress.
  2. Don’t only look for the quick fix. Testing and treatment can provide a long-term solution by getting to the root of things. It’s more than just going to the doctor and getting anti-anxiety meds.
  3. What are your adrenals telling you? Testing your adrenals can pinpoint physiological reactions that make you more prone to anxiety, and can calm cortisol (stress hormone) by measuring your cortisol levels throughout the day.
  4. Consider what you are eating and how it affects your body. Organic acid testing gives you an idea about neuro-transmitter levels in the brain and nutritional suggestions to change your diet based on those findings. 
  5. Unhealthy patterns are meant to be broken. If your behavioral response to anxiety is not serving you well, I can refer you for Neurofeedback/ Biofeedback to get to the root of how your brain is accustomed to handling stress. With interventions, you can actually change your brain patterns and learn new responses.
  6. There is wisdom in nature. Supplementing your diet with combination formulas like Gaba, or methionine can help stabilize your stress hormones. Also, adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Passion Flower, Cava, Lemon Balm, or Lavender can be of use.
  7. Look for indicators of inflammation. I offer functional testing that can assess your nutrient levels. Inflammation plays a part in stress – Magnesium, Turmeric, Fish Oil targets and helps reduce inflammation in your body and help to lower anxiety at the root.
  8. Think about the root of your symptoms. I am different from other doctors in that I will look at the big picture of your illness and search for historical indicators or reasons for why you are experiencing anxiety.
  9. Move your body. This is a huge part of managing your anxiety. Movement helps release endorphins that fight off cortisol, naturally. AND…the added benefit of movement is that it burns off energy and helps you sleep better at night.
  10. Practice healthy sleep habits. How you sleep affects everything else from energy to mood. It truly makes a difference to your anxiety levels if you get good sleep at night.

If any of this resonates with you and you are looking for a way to move forward in the new year, please contact me for a consultation. I would be happy to help you manage your anxiety naturally and help you reset in 2023! Please call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.

HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE


histamine intolerance, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, IBS, naturopathic doctor, Guilford

Last night you let the babysitter order pizza for the kids.

For some crazy reason there’s one slice of pepperoni left in the box on the counter.

Thinking back to those college days…


Why does leftover pizza seem like a good idea first thing in the morning?


As tempting as it sounds, food left out on the counter overnight can wreak havoc on your body.

It’s called…


HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE.


Most people are born with an amazing defense mechanism to protect their body from the outside world. One of the built-in ways the body fights off invaders is to utilize histamines (found in food) that carry away allergens and other irritants from our eyes, noses and skin for instance.


Histamines found in foods can be:

  • NATURAL – Histamines are naturally found in fermented foods, meat, shellfish, alcohol, tomatoes, avocado, spinach, and nuts among others.
  • LIBERATED – Some foods interact with the body to liberate histamines, such as: chocolate, alcohol, bananas, strawberries, nuts, and citrus.
  • DEVELOPED –Histamines multiply in food that is “left over” and not properly disposed of or frozen after preparation. This is your warning to avoid that last piece of pizza and leftovers in general!

Sometimes we over consume, or our bodies over produce, histamines. We develop an intolerance to histamines when we cannot break them down efficiently. Histamines can become too much for our system to handle and we start to notice certain symptoms that are different from seasonal allergies; persistent. Over the long term, they are indicative of histamine intolerance, and are systemic which can lead to larger problems.


Histamine intolerance might initially look like:

  • Itchy skin and/ or hives
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, red or itching eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches


An abundance of histamines might cause more systemic damage like:

  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory intestinal disorders
  • Periodontal disease
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)


If you have been experiencing chronic immune responses that cannot be easily explained, Dr. Fisel can help you look into the root of your discomfort to alleviate your obvious symptoms and hopefully your overall histamine intolerance.


Initially, Dr. Fisel can analyze your unique situation using several assessment tools:

  1. Nutritional – We help tailor your nutritional habits to limit excess histamines
  2. Environmental – We can assess your environment and help you eliminate histamine stressors
  3. Lifestyle – Sleep and movement play a big part in your overall health – we can take a look at your patterns.
  4. Medications – We will help you assess what you are currently taking and advise you about interactions; we can recommend complimentary protocols to your existing regimen.


Dr. Fisel can help you find relief if you are battling with histamine intolerance. If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule your consultation.


RESOURCES:

Histamine Intolerance: A Common Cause of Chronic Complaints

Mast Cell Activation: Skin is Just Scratching the Surface

Anxiety, Cancer, and Music

As some of you may know, I’m an avid music lover, so I’m always excited when I see research that confirms the therapeutic benefits of music.

A new Cochrane research review shows how music can reduce anxiety, and may also have positive effects on mood, pain and quality of life.

Evidence from 1,891 patients taking part in 30 trials was examined-13 of the trials involved trained music therapists, while the other 17 trials studied patients who listened to pre-recorded music. The results showed that in comparison to standard treatments, anxiety levels were significantly reduced by music, based on clinical anxiety scores. Music was also shown to have beneficial effects for patients with chronic pain-heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure saw smaller beneficial effects.

Lead researcher Joke Bradt of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University in Philadelphia, US., explained

“The evidence suggests that music interventions may be useful as a complementary treatment to people with cancer.

Music interventions provided by trained music therapists as well as listening to pre-recorded music both have shown positive outcomes in this review, but at this time there is not enough evidence to determine if one intervention is more effective than the other.”

Bradt continues

“It should be noted, however, that when patients can’t be blinded to an intervention, there is an opportunity for bias when they are asked to report on subjective measures like anxiety, pain mood and quality of life.”

While additional studies may be necessary to confirm some of these findings, I would emphasize incorporating some form of musical enjoyment into your daily routine, whether you’re sick or not!

Acupuncture and Anxiety

In my practice, I’m always amazed at how effectively acupuncture is able to diminish the severity of anxiety, even for patients who experience panic attacks other extreme forms of this condition. A recent study measured the response of patients to acupuncture before operations, and how well it was able to reduce their anxiety levels. The results showed a marked decrease in anxiety levels after acupuncture was performed. Although this study applied exclusively to preopearative anxiety, it still demonstrates the efficacy of acupuncture in treating stress and anxiety.

Please don’t be afraid to seek out acupuncture if you’re burdened by chronic stress, as you’re otherwise overlooking a proven treatment that could end up being very effective in your quest to destress.
“Comparing the treatment effectiveness of body acupuncture and auricular acupuncture in preoperative anxiety treatment,” Wu S, Liang J, et al, J Res Med Sci, 2011 Jan; 16(1): 39-42. (Address: Department of Psychology, School of Aerospace Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China).

Natural Remedies and Anxiety-A Summary

The October 7th, 2010 edition of Nutrition Journal published a summary of studies investigating nutritional and herbal treatments of anxiety. 71% of the studies (15 of 21) showed that the nutritional and herbal interventions were indeed effective in the treatment of anxiety. Specific supplements tested which showed positive results included those containing extracts of passionflower, kava, combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine. Supplementation with magnesium showed promise, while St. John’s wort was not found to be effective as an anti-anxiety treatment. Another benefit with these therapies, as opposed to pharmaceutical interventions, is that minimal side-effects were reported.

If you’re suffering from anxiety or other mood disorders, it’s definitely worth pursuing “alternative” forms of treatment, as the risk of becoming dependent on anti-anxiety medications is very high. Clinically, I’ve found a number of these treatments, along with acupuncture and other modalities, to be just as effective or better than pharmacological interventions for anxiety.