Anxiety and Stress

anxiety and stress quote

It’s natural to feel anxious during stressful moments.

You have a big project at work that you have been working on for months and the deadline is approaching. 

Or your kids have asked you the 987,000 th question of the last 10 minutes and you can feel your stress levels rising.

It’s natural to feel anxious during stressful moments.

We’ve all been there.

But when you live with an anxiety or stress disorder, those feelings can happen at any time. For some, those feelings of anxiety and fear might always be with you.

What effect does anxiety or stress have on your body?

Anxiety and stress can have significant effects on the body and the heart. Here are some of the ways in which anxiety and stress can impact the body:

  1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure: When we experience anxiety or stress, our body’s “fight or flight” response is activated, which leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This response is intended to prepare us to deal with a perceived threat, but if it occurs frequently or for extended periods, it can lead to long-term changes in the heart and blood vessels.

     

  2. Increased risk of heart disease: Chronic stress and anxiety can increase the risk of developing heart disease. One study found that people with high levels of anxiety had a 26% greater risk of developing heart disease than those with low levels of anxiety [1].

     

  3. Increased risk of stroke: Chronic stress and anxiety can also increase the risk of stroke. One study found that people with high levels of anxiety had a 33% higher risk of stroke than those with low levels of anxiety [2].

     

  4. Gastrointestinal problems: Stress and anxiety can cause gastrointestinal problems such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. This is because stress can affect the function of the digestive system, leading to changes in the way food moves through the intestines.

     

  5. Weakened immune system: Chronic stress and anxiety can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.

In addition to these effects on the body, anxiety and stress can also impact the heart directly. For example:

  1. Increased risk of arrhythmias: Anxiety and stress can cause irregular heartbeats, known as arrhythmias. This is because stress can affect the electrical impulses that control the heart’s rhythm.

     

  2. Increased risk of heart attack: Chronic stress and anxiety can increase the risk of having a heart attack. This is because stress can cause the coronary arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the heart.

     

  3. Increased risk of heart failure: Chronic stress and anxiety can also increase the risk of heart failure. This is because stress can cause the heart to work harder, which can lead to damage over time.

White Coat Syndrome

White coat syndrome is a phenomenon in which a person’s blood pressure increases when measured in a clinical setting such as a doctor’s office or hospital, but is otherwise normal in other settings. This is believed to be due to the anxiety or stress caused by being in a medical setting and/or interacting with medical professionals.

It is estimated that between 10-30% of people experience white coat syndrome. To avoid this phenomenon, healthcare professionals may recommend monitoring blood pressure at home or in non-medical settings. Additionally, some patients may benefit from taking anxiety supplements, using relaxation techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy to help manage anxiety related to medical visits.

Prevention

In addition to exercise, meditation, and aromatherapy, there are several supplements that have been studied for their potential to help improve anxiety and stress. These include:

Tikva Anxiety & Stress Relief

has 17 nutrients that target anxiety & Stress

Below are clinical trials and research on these nutrients.

1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin

Mental health problems such as memory loss, anxiety, depression, irritability, and insomnia are associated with deficiencies in vitamin B1. The brain uses B1 to help convert glucose or blood sugar into energy which means that without it, the brain may not have enough energy to function normally. [3]

2. Vitamin B6

Mood Regulation – Vitamin B6 plays an important role in mood regulation which is partly because this vitamin is necessary for creating the neurotransmitters that regulate emotions. This includes serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). [4]

PMS – Vitamin B6 has been used to treat symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including anxiety, depression, and irritability, and… Researchers suspect that B6 helps with emotional symptoms related to PMS due to its role in creating neurotransmitters that regulate mood. A small study found that 50 mg of vitamin B6 along with 200 mg of magnesium per day significantly reduced PMS symptoms, including mood swings, irritability, and anxiety, over the course of one menstrual cycle. [5]

3. Magnesium

Depression – Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are associated with an increased risk of depression. In fact…

An analysis of more than 8,800 people found that those under age 65 with the lowest magnesium levels had a 22% greater risk of depression and supplementing with magnesium may help reduce the symptoms of depression. plus…

A 6-week study also showed that taking 248 mg of magnesium per day decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, regardless of magnesium status.

Anxiety – Research suggests that magnesium helps treat and prevent anxiety, and…
One study associated increased magnesium intake with a lower risk of depression and anxiety. [6]

4. Zinc

The highest amount of zinc in the body is found in our brains and zinc deficiency can lead to symptoms of depression, ADHD, and difficulties with learning and memory. Zinc has also been found to be low in the serum of those suffering from depression, and in fact…

The more depressed someone is the lower their levels of zinc. Zinc supplementation has been shown to have an antidepressant effect. [7]

5. Rhodiola

Rhodiola acts as an adaptogen, helping your body to handle stressfull situations easier, improve symptoms of burnout during chronic stress and helps to alleviate fatigue. [8]

6. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps control several stress mediators such as heat shock proteins, cortisol and the stress signaling pathways in your body (JNK-1). It also reduces your response to stress and anxiety and improves quality of sleep. [9]

7. Chamomile 

A 2016 study found that long term use of Chamomile significantly reduced generalized anxiety disorder but did not affect future recurrence. [10]

8. GABA

Two small studies on GABA have shown increased feelings of relaxation during stressful events within an hour of supplementation. Two other studies showed reduction in stress and mental fatigue during problem solving tasks. [11]

9. Lemon Balm

In a small study, those taking lemon balm reported an increased sense of calm, relaxation and boost in positive mood. Another study showed a reduction in anxiety, nervousness and excitability. [12]

10. Skullcap

Skullcap has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety symptoms by stimulating GABA (a neurotransmitter that helps calm nerves) [13]

11. Bacopa

Bacopa is an adaptogen that increases your body’s resistance to stress by recuing levels of cortisol. A recent study showed Bacopa had similar anti-anxiety effects as lorazepam, but more studies are needed to substantiate this.[14]

12. Magnolia

Magnolia has been shown to have protective effects against, stress, anxiety, mood disorders and depression. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone in your body, Magnolia has been shown to significantly lower cortisol levels. [15]

13. Valerian Root

Research on Valerian root shows it helps reduce anxiety during stressful situations and improves chronic conditions like OCD (obsessive computlisive disorder). [16]

14. L-Theanine

L-theanine is a relaxing agent known to relieve stress and anxiety. These effects can also be felt in people with psychological disorders, including bipolar disorder, and some people claim to experience improved concentration. Researchers believe that L-theanine may control aspects of human brain function, and Electroencephalogram (EEG) studies have demonstrated it can have a direct relaxing effect on the brain without making you drowsy, plus… 

In an open study, researchers found that l-theanine is safe and has multiple beneficial effects on depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairments. [17]

15. Oat Straw

Reseach shows that Oat Straw inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) which helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. [18]

16. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is know best for helping with depression by helping the brain properly use serotonin, dompamine, GABA and norepinephrine. 50% of people that suffer from depression also have anxiety disorder and while helping with the depression those people would experience a reduction in anxiety. [19]

17. Hops

In 2 studies, Hops was shown to significantly improve mild depression, anxiety and stress. [20]

References:

[1] Roest, A. M., Martens, E. J., de Jonge, P., & Denollet, J. (2010). Anxiety and risk of incident coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 56(1), 38-46.
[2]Surtees, P. G., Wainwright, N. W., Luben, R. N., Wareham, N. J., Bingham, S. A., & Khaw, K. T. (2008). Psychological distress, major depressive disorder, and risk of stroke. Neurology, 70(10), 788-794.
[3] https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/what-to-know-about-vitamins-and-mental-health
[4] & [5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b6-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR
[7] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201309/zinc-antidepressant
[8] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rhodiola-rosea#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
[9] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ashwagandha#1.-May-help-reduce-stress-and-anxiety
[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27912875/
[11] https://www.healthline.com/health/gamma-aminobutyric-acid#effectiveness
[12] https://www.healthline.com/health/lemon-balm-uses#stress
[13] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/skullcap#benefits
[14] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bacopa-monnieri-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6
[15] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnolia-bark#benefits
[16] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/valerian-root#potential-benefits
[17] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27396868/
[18] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/oat-straw-extract#downsides
[19] https://www.healthline.com/health/st-johns-wort-anxiety#anxiety-remedy
[20] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28742505z

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