3 Underlying Causes of Your Anxiety

Last week I talked about why your anxiety can actually be a good thing.  But what if it's not the type of anxiety that comes every once in a while trying to send you a message but instead is the type that's constant, around the clock, ruling your life anxiety?

I suffered from that type of anxiety for years.  I constantly felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin, or crawl into bed and never get out.  I was shy because I was too anxious to speak to people.  I lived with this feeling of overwhelm that's hard to explain to those who have never experienced it.

That's the type of anxiety you have to get to the root cause of.  Anxiety can be a symptom of many different imbalances going on in the body.  Some of the most common imbalances that cause anxiety are neurotransmitter imbalances, sex hormone imbalances and thyroid dysfunction.  I'm going to briefly explain how each of these three imbalances can cause anxiety.

Test Your Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that communicate messages between our brain and body by sending signals between nerve cells.  The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your body to perform important tasks such as telling your heart to beat, your stomach to digest food and your lungs to breathe.  So yes, neurotransmitters are very important. 

Neurotransmitters can also affect your mood, sleep, ability to concentrate and weight level among many other things.  Excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate the brain and inhibitory neurotransmitters calm the brain.  Neurotransmitter imbalances can cause a whole range of different symptoms but I just want to focus on their ability to cause anxiety for the sake of this blog. 

Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that when depleted can cause anxiety (an overuse of stimulants such as caffeine can cause Serotonin levels to decrease).

Norepinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that when elevated can cause anxiety. 

Epinephrine is also an excitatory neurotransmitter that plays a role in the body’s “fight-or-flight” responses.  It is often elevated when anxiety is present. 

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that can cause anxiety at excessive levels, as well as migraines/headaches, sleep issues, and restlessness.  If you have low serotonin your body will excrete more glutamate.

Test Your Sex Hormones

Excess estrogen can cause anxiousness, along with mood swings, irritability and nervousness (and more).

Having a low Progesterone to Estrogen ratio (estrogen dominance) can cause anxiousness, along with low libido, nervousness, irritability and much more.

Test Your Thyroid

When you have too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) you can feel anxious, wired and have mood swings.  You may develop panic attacks.  (You may also struggle with insomnia, a racing heart, undesired weight loss, muscle weakness and much more).  When you have too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) you may become depressed and have mood swings (along with dry skin, hair falling out, fatigue, undesired weight gain, etc.). You may also have symptoms from both lists (at the same time, or alternating back and forth), which is why it is so important to run functional lab work to get to the root cause. 

Anxiety doesn’t have to be something you live with forever.  Running a couple of labs can help you to get to the root cause of the anxiety and create a plan to heal.  Lifestyle changes like diet, rest and stress reduction can help you to balance your hormones and eliminate the anxiety for good.  

Interested in running functional lab work and getting to the root cause of your anxiety? Contact me at veronica@veronicamcnelis.com for a free 20 minute consultation.