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Anxiety - A Symptom, Not a Condition

Contrary to popular belief, anxiety is NOT a condition, it is a symptom. The term “anxiety” is often used interchangeably with stress and fear, but they are NOT the same as “anxiety”. So then, how can we define anxiety? It is the sense of not having full control and being unable to predict - these create concern around future situations, circumstances, events, etc.

Anxiety is treated depending on the CONDITION that it is associated. These can include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

· Fatigue

· Insomnia

· Aches & pains

· Nervousness

· Perspiration

· Restlessness

· Digestive concerns such as nausea, diarrhea/constipation

Panic Disorder

· Feeling “impending doom”

· Excessive worry about losing control or dying

· Panic attacks: increased heart rate, shortness of breath, tightness in chest

· Hot/cold (even alternating)

· Light-headedness/dizziness

· Nausea

· Perspiration

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

· Repeated thoughts that are persistent and intrusive

· These thoughts are avoided by having additional thoughts or performing persistent actions

· Example: checking that the door is locked very so often, even though it has been checked multiple times

**It is important to note that symptoms of the conditions above can resemble that of a heart attack/anaphylactic attack. It is important to get immediate medical help (activate Emergency Medical Services or get a ride to the Emergency Room) and obtain an emergent medical assessment to ensure that these symptoms are not due to a life-threatening condition or episode.

Anxiety can be managed through:

· Medication

· Professional Counselling/Therapy

· Clinical Nutrition

· Supplementation (Orthomolecular & Botanical Medicine)

· Intravenous Therapy & Injections (vitamin-mineral optimization)

· Clinical Acupuncture

Managing anxiety is not a “one size fits all" approach, it is an individualized approach. It is incredibly important to see your primary health care provider so that you are getting information that is suited to you. In some cases, managing anxiety requires medication and that is okay!

Naturopathic medical modalities can be beneficial in supporting conventional approaches or on their own depending on the extent of anxiety experienced. See your Naturopathic Doctor for more information.

Have a wonderful day!

Dr. Mawji

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