What type of Anxiety do you have?
Are you a worrier warrior? Do you ruminate about things over and over in your head?
Or do you have more of a physical type of anxiety? Tense muscles, stiff neck, and maybe even shakiness?
Too Anxious to Focus?
While it is important to dig deep to find out the underlying cause of your anxiety, sometimes you simply cannot focus enough to do that because of the anxiety.
It’s a bit of a catch 22.
Before you can figure out and fix the root cause of your anxiety, whether it is gluten sensitivity/intolerance, high cortisol, gut issues, food sensitivity/allergies, etc., you need to be calm enough to focus and think logically.
The best way to resolve any health crisis is, of course, by eating right…whole, nutrient-dense foods that are chemical-free.
But sometimes, deficiencies in healthy amounts of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, carbohydrates and amino acids need a little more than just food to bring us back to normal levels.
Sometimes we need to take supplements to get to a calm state where we can address the underlying root of our problems.
This type of anxiety (worrier/ruminating) is commonly a low Serotonin type of anxiety that may also cause PMS symptoms, insomnia, anger issues, depression, negativity, irritability, afternoon/evening cravings, or lack of confidence.
It responds well by boosting Serotonin, one of many neurotransmitters that control mood. Serotonin is a happy, feel-good type of chemical.
Some people find 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) amino acid supplements to be most helpful. Others find Tryptophan (the amino acid precursor to 5-HTP) to be helpful.
Some folks use St. Johns Wort, an herb, works great for this type of anxiety. While others add SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine, an amino acid derivative) or Inositol (Vitamin B8) to their protocol.
Be sure to read about the precautions of these supplements, taking supplements along with prescription anti-depressants, and whether to take them with meals or away from meals on my Serotonin: Are You Living Under a Dark Cloud? page.
Physical anxiety symptoms can be physical tension, stiffness and pain, panic attacks, unable to relax, feeling overwhelmed, or craving carbs/alcohol/drugs for relaxation.
These types of physical symptoms respond well by boosting GABA, but many folks find that they need to address their blood sugar at the same time.
Some people find that taking GABA, an amino acid supplement, is helpful. Others find that Phenibut (I use the HCL format) is helpful because it more easily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
Glutamine, another amino acid, can be helpful to support blood sugar regulation and GABA production.
Other calming supplements are the amino acids Taurine, Glycine and Theanine, the mineral Magnesium, and the herbs Valerian Root and Passion Flower.
Be sure to read about the precautions of these supplements, taking supplements along with prescription drugs, and whether to take them with meals or away from meals on my GABA: Are you a Stressed Mess? page.
How much should you take?
That depends on you. A trial is the best way to determine your amino acid dose.
Once you have determined which type of anxiety you have (be sure to take our free Stress Assessment Test first), then you can do a trial to determine which supplement is right for you and the dosage. Here’s how:
- Establish your scores from our Stress Assessment Test. There are 4 parts to the test. Be sure to complete them all and record your scores. If you forgot to write down your scores, just take it again.
- If your score triggered anything other than a thumbs up , this indicates a need for support with that neurotransmitter.
- Decide which neurotransmitter you would like to address first (Serotonin, Catecholamines, Endorphins, GABA).
- Do a trial with the amino acid that most resonates with you for that neurotransmitter.
- Open up the amino acid capsule on your tongue or chew it but don’t swallow for 1-2 minutes. Test only one amino acid at a time. If you are highly sensitive to supplements, just put a dab on your tongue, not the whole capsule.
- Rate yourself. Do you feel like your anxiety (or other symptom) has improved?
- If it was a big improvement, then you have found your supplement and your dose.
- If it was a small improvement, you may need to take the supplement twice a day, for example.
- If there was no improvement at all, you may want to trial a different supplement.
- If an amino acid supplement makes you feel unpleasant, take 1000 mg of Vitamin C as a short-term antidote.
- Give it about a week and adjust up or down, paying close attention to how you feel.
For more information about amino acid trials, check out “How to do an amino acid trial for anxiety” by Trudy Scott, CN.
In general, keep these guidelines in mind when supplementing with amino acids:
- Amino acids should be taken away from meals (except 5-HTP) which means 30 minutes before or 60 minutes after a meal.
- Try one new supplement at a time in your trial.
- Always work with your healthcare practitioner if you have a current illness.
- Certain amino acids should be avoided with patients with PKU, Cancer, Bipolar disorder, Thyroid disorders, Migraines, Asthma, High or Low Blood pressure.
- Consult with your prescribing physician if you are currently taking psychiatric medicines, particularly SSRIs and MAOIs.
- Review these precautions established by Julia Ross and reprinted by Trudy Scott, CN.
Trudy Scott, CN, is a well-known anxiety expert. In her book, The Anxiety Food Solution, she discusses these anxiety types in detail with recommendations for dosages.
Choose quality supplements. There IS is a difference.
Supplements are not regulated by the government except for labeling.
This means avoiding the local drugstore brands, Costco and other big box stores and grocery store brands. If you choose to buy locally, go to a store that specializes in supplements, such as the Vitamin Shoppe.
Pharmaceutical-grade supplements are typically only available from healthcare practitioners (like me).
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Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals. No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Mind Blowing Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Mind Blowing Wellness is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.
The Anxiety Food Solution, Trudy Scott, CN, 2011