A Way to Explain Your Unexplained Anxiety It’s inevitable that we feel anxious sometimes. Situations and experiences past and present, as well as personal phobias, can cause a range of reactions from accelerated heartbeat and sweaty palms to full-on panic attacks with shortness of breath, tightening of the chest and nausea. But many people suffer from anxiety not tied to any specific event, and the inability to justify the anxiety only adds to it. This is often called “unexplained anxiety,” and as much as you try meditation, long walks and confiding in friends, it doesn’t go away. In fact, sometimes symptoms increase to include low libido, trouble concentrating, low mood and a loss of interest in self-care. In my experience, there is no such thing as unexplained anxiety. You just have to know where to look for the explanation — and the answer is often in your genes.
Not One Size Fits All People who suffer from anxiety commonly have a basic fundamental variation at a genetic level — a defect (SNP) in a particular gene that leads to decreased production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that has a natural mood-boosting, calming effect on the nervous system. If a patient produces too little GABA for their body type, it can most definitely lead to anxiety, concentration and memory issues, trouble sleeping and low mood. Conventional medical doctors working from a list of symptoms tend to treat anxiety patients in a one-size-fits-all, trial-and-error fashion, ranging from the dismissive (“think positive,” “get some fresh air/exercise,”) to the aggressive (mind-dulling pharmaceuticals.) While prescription medications can help, they only mask the issue and artificially improve mood. The cause of the problem is still unknown, meaning a patient must stay on meds long term to avoid a recurrence. While there are many shared symptoms among anxiety sufferers, mood disorders manifest very differently in different people, because the problem often starts at the genetic level. That’s why one size fits all generally doesn’t.
Getting to the Root Cause The holistic approach to any medical complaint goes beyond treating the symptoms. We look at the body as a whole to get to the root cause of the problem. Once identified, we treat conditions in a way that’s unique to the patient, without the use and side effects of prescription medications. Genetic testing can be a great tool to help isolate the unique factors leading to your anxiety, and while it used to be hugely expensive, it is now very affordable and regularly used in holistic diagnostics. Trust me, once a patient realizes there is a genetic explanation for their “unexplained anxiety,” the relief is almost palpable, because it means they’re not doomed to feel that way forever, or take mood/mind-altering drugs for the rest of their life. Call us to see how genetic testing can enable us to tailor personalized nutrition and wellness plans to naturally combat your anxiety.