Aug 07 2017

LCKL 085 – Kick Anxiety and Panic Attacks To The Curb Once and For All…

Are you tired of constant anxiety and panic attacks? Do you want to learn strategies and techniques to help you minimise and/or deal with the occurrences. If so, this episode is for you…

  • What is Anxiety;
  • Types of Anxiety;
  • Signs/Symptoms of Anxiety;
  • Triggers/Causes of Anxiety and Panic Attacks;
  • Treating Anxiety with Nutrition, Supplementation and Exercise; and
  • Breathing Strategies for Anxiety.
What is Anxiety?Types of AnxietySigns/Symptoms of AnxietyTriggers/Causes of AnxietyTreating Anxiety NaturallyBreathing Strategies for Anxiety
  • Anxiety is much more than just feeling stressed or worried. Unlike the effects of stress that most likely go away once the stressor has been removed, anxiety can linger on for extended periods of time and can actually be quite scary.
  • Personally, I have experienced anxiety and panic attacks on occasion and let me tell you that it often feels like you are having a heart attack and can cause you to feel out of control and scared.
  • In fact not only have I suffered from them but due to my daughters iron deficiency she is also more prone to panic attacks and anxiety attacks (which will be discussed later) and therefore what we may see as a small problem may be much bigger for her. She will get herself into a panic, have trouble breathing and then panic even more sending her into a spiral of fear. In order to calm her down I have to practice many strategies and teach her many strategies that can help to prevent and/or alleviate the attacks when they come on.
  • Within this podcast episode I will be going through nutrition, fitness, lifestyle and supplementation strategies you can use if you find yourself in the situation of an anxiety or panic attack.
  • Anxiety is actually the most common mental health condition in Australia and most possibly throughout the world. In fact statistics have shown that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men suffer from anxiety at least once in their life, with women obviously being much more susceptible.

There are many different types of anxiety that you may experience and you could experience one or more of them at a time. Although there are many other types of anxiety I am going to go through 3 of the most common ones:

#1 – Generalised Anxiety Disorder

  • This is when you feel anxious on most days and you worry about a lot of different things.
  • The worries you experience are intense, persistent and they interfere with your everyday life.
  • Your worries may relate to everything from work, school, health, family and finances and don’t just relate to one particular issue.
  • Even minor things such as household chores or being late for something can send you into a spiral of anxiety.
  • In the case of my daughter she may become anxious over cleaning her room. Although her room is not a pigsty per se she is a normal teen who tends to have piles over her room at times. Once it gets this way she will become anxious and will find it very difficult to figure out where to start. This causes her to procrastinate with it and occasionally lead her into a panic attack. When she is like this I will go in and help her to figure out a plan of attack and often help her. It is very hard for people who have never experienced this to understand how it works.
  • What is really interesting is that I look at signs of anxiety in kids and I find that my daughter possesses some of these aspects, including:
    • Being a perfectionist – If she does something she has to do it perfectly or she doesn’t do it at all. She has the most beautiful writing but we have to often tell her that although it is great for her to have neat writing she has to make sure she still gets all her work done as well. I have to say that I actually have signs of this trait too.
    • Being unsure of oneself – Sometimes she will find it difficult to believe she is capable of something even if many people tell her she is. However, I have to say I am not finding this quite as much now. She is much more confident in high school and is even putting herself forward for solo performances.
    • Needing to redo tasks – This is a big one. If she makes a mistake in her school book she has to redo the whole page.
    • Seeking regular and frequent approval and assurance from parents, teachers, siblings or friends – I never realised that this was a sign of anxiety – I just thought it was a normal teen behaviour.

#2 – Social Phobias

  • This is when you may have a fear of being criticised, embarrassed or humiliated in everyday situations, including speaking publicly.
  • This is definitely not something my daughter or I suffer from. She is quite OK getting up in front of crowds when it comes to her vocal performances.
  • If you are dealing with social anxiety you may worry excessively that you will do or say the wrong thing and that something terrible will happen because of it.

#3 – Panic Disorder

  • When you have a panic attack (which often accompanies generalised anxiety) you will have intense, overwhelming and uncontrollable feelings with accompanying shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and perspiration.
  • As I said previously, when you are having a panic attack you may feel like you are about to die. You may feel like you are having a heart attack and may find it incredibly difficult to calm yourself down.
  • Panic attacks tend to reach its highest within 10 minutes and last for up to half an hour (sometimes longer) and will leave you feeling tired and exhausted. You may have them several times a day or you may get them much less frequently.
  • Feeling restless or on edge;
  • Feeling tired easily;
  • Having difficulty concentrating;
  • Feeling irritable;
  • Muscle tension;
  • Having trouble sleeping/insomnia;
  • Constant worrying, for 6 months or more;
  • Panic Attacks
    • Sweating;
    • Trembling/Shaking;
    • Increased Heart Rate;
    • Shortness of Breath;
    • Feeling Like You Are Choking;
    • Nausea/Butterflies in your stomach;
    • Dizziness;
    • Lightheadedness;
    • Fainting;
    • Numbness/Tingling;
    • Derealisation;
    • Hot or cold flushes;
    • Scared of losing control; and
    • Scared of dying.

#1 – Trauma

  • If you have suffered some prior trauma such as that from abuse, victimisation or the death of a loved one then the incidence of anxiety is much higher.

#2 – Stress

  • There are many different types of stress that can contribute to anxiety and/or panic attacks:
    • Relationship stress;
    • Work stress;
    • School stress;
    • Financial stress; and even
    • Stress from a natural disaster.

#3 – Medical Factors

  • Anxiety can be associated with a variety of medical conditions such as:
    • Anemia (i.e. my daughter);
    • Asthma;
    • Infections; and
    • Heart Conditions.

#4 – Genetics

  • Some researchers believe that a family history of anxiety increases the likelihood that you may develop it. Genetic predisposition doesn’t guarantee you are going to get it, but it does put you at greater risk.

#5 – Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Iron
    • This is possibly the most important deficiency when it comes to anxiety.
    • Iron deficiency puts a great deal of stress on the body and will often send messages to the brain to be more anxious.
    • On top of this, the brain may not be getting sufficient blood and therefore the symptoms of anxiety may cause anxiousness on their own.


  • B Vitamins
    • The B Vitamins are essential in helping with the functioning of the central nervous system and being under stress depletes your body of these vitamins. A deficiency in B Vitamins can lead to anxiety, fatigue and other mood issues.
    • In the supplement section this is one that will be recommended as research has shown it to be beneficial in treating anxiety disorder.




  • Magnesium
    • This is possibly one of my most favourite supplements and what I refer to as “My drug of choice”. I often have people asking why I am so happy and patient with my kids and I tell them it is because I am on drugs – Magnesium of course.
    • Magnesium is a nutrient that plays a part in more than 300 biochemical reactions and it also regulates the release of stress hormones.
    • I am so passionate about this supplement that I wrote a book on it called “Magnificent Magnesium”. If you go to http://www.magnificentmagnesium.info you will find out more about the book and about how you can use magnesium to not only treat anxiety and depression but also chronic pain, migraines and much much more…
    • Many research studies have shown a strong connection between magnesium levels and anxiety.


  • Vitamin D
    • Have you ever heard of the SAD Syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is a very real thing and in actual fact is something my husband suffered from when we lived in germany. During winter Germany gets very little sunlight and because of this my husband was going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark and then he was in an indoor laboratory all day therefore not seeing any sun at all. This can lead to SAD syndrome due to the fact that you are not getting sufficient Vitamin D.
    • It has been shown that people with anxiety and depression also have low levels of Vitamin D.

#6 – Gluten

  • Anxiety is a common symptom associated with both gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
  • Studies have shown that going gluten free can actually reduce anxiety and depression in many subjects.

#7 – Dehydration

  • Even mild dehydration is able to cause anxiety and depression so make sure that you are well hydrated.

#8 – Caffeine

  • Caffeine inhibits the levels of serotonin in the brain and when this is suppressed you may become depressed or anxious.

#9 – Sleep Deprivation

  • Lack of sleep can actually cause anxiety due to the stress that it causes.

#10 – Sugar

  • Although Sugar gives you a high to start with it will also lead to hyperglycemia where you have a high or initial surge in energy, which will be followed by hypoglycaemia where you will feel tired and low. This can lead to anxiety.

#1 – Nutrition – Tryptophan Rich Foods

  • Tryptophan can have a positive effect on stress because it helps your brain produce feel good chemicals.
  • It is a precursor to serotonin (which helps you feel calm).
  • Although you should try to include tryptophan rich foods I also suggest a supplement as it is not known whether the tryptophan from foods actually crosses the blood brain barrier sufficiently.
  • Foods that are rich in tryptophan include turkey, chicken, cheese, nuts, peanut butter and sesame seeds.

#2 – Nutrition – Beef and B Vitamin Rich Foods

  • Beef is a great food for those suffering from anxiety.
  • Beef is rich in the B Vitamins and as you know B Vitamin deficiency has been linked to anxiety.
  • B Vitamin rich foods include Beef, Pork, Chicken, Leafy Greens and Eggs.

#3 – Nutrition – Salmon and other Fatty Fish

  • Research is consistent with its findings that Omega 3 Fats can be uplifting and help your mood.
  • Although I recommend you get this from whole food fish sources I believe that if you are suffering from anxiety you should take a supplement as well.
  • Great oily fish that are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids include salmon, tuna and sardines.

#4 – Nutrition – Higher Protein Foods

  • Protein is very important when you are trying to treat anxiety.
  • Protein helps to stimulate important brain chemicals such as norepinephrine and dopamine which carry impulses between the nerve cells.
  • Higher levels of these neurotransmitters have been shown to improve alertness, mental energy and reaction time.
  • Good sources of protein include Yogurt (low sugar), Fish, Meat, Cheese, Eggs and Nuts.

#5 – Supplements – Magnesium

  • As specified previously, magnesium is awesome for calming the nervous system and therefore relieving anxiety.
  • To learn more about anxiety you can visit http://www.magnificentmagnesium.info.

#6 – Supplements – B Vitamins

  • As mentioned previously, B Vitamins have positive effects on the nervous system and therefore really help with anxiety.

#7 – Supplements – Calcium

  • Calcium is known as a natural tranquilizer so as long as you are taking magnesium supplementation too then calcium can be a great supplement to add in for anxiety.

#8 – Supplements – Tryptophan

  • L-Tryptophan is an amino acid which has been shown to help with anxiety because of its impact on mood regulation through the production of serotonin.
  • Therefore, supplementing with tryptophan and 5-HTP may help to improve mood relieve stress.
  • With tryptophan converting into 5-HTP and then converting into Serotonin it also helps with the regulation of Melatonin which helps with sleep and therefore helps with Anxiety.

#9 – Supplements – GABA

  • GABA is an amino acid that acts as one of the best supplements for anxiety.
  • You can either get GABA as a supplement or you can opt for valerian root which increases the availability of GABA in the brain.
  • GABA direct will work quicker though. Use both of them together and you will have an even greater effect.

#10 – Exercise

  • If you really want to decrease anxiety levels then a good idea is to start exercising regularly.
  • According to some studies regular exercise can actually work as well as some medications in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and can be long lasting.
  • Just one vigorous exercise session is able to alleviate the symptoms for hours plus a regular schedule can also reduce the symptoms significantly over time.
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Please note that this information is not intended for medical purposes or to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. It is for informational purposes only to help guide you on your journey towards optimal wellness.


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