The Nutrition Coach

Anxiety and nutrition case studies

Anne came to us in February 2007 suffering from general anxiety frequent anxiety attacks which left her in a state of near panic and breathlessness. She had no real clue as to what triggered an attack and just as suddenly as the anxiety would arrive, it would mysteriously disappear again. She would wait for the next bout with fear and trepidation.

First thing was to sort out Anne's eating - LOADS of coffee was not helping, and although she felt the coffee was a crutch we helped wean her off such a high caffeine hit. We also looked at her diet, encouraging her to balance her blood sugar, and slowly get her into better habits generally.

Anne took to the idea of doing meditation - so we pointed her towards some meditation CDs and five months on she is loving it! We gave her a programme of nutrients too, including a supplement called Zen which does what it says on the tin. Anne isn't seeing us any more and we are thrilled that she doesn’t need to come!

When Charlotte came to see us she was very frustrated. Her life was seemingly fine - great job, happy home life, no real money worries. However, she was suffering from anxiety attacks that felt like everything was spinning out of control, and the smallest and most insignificant things would turn into huge worrying issues.

As always, we started off by looking at Charlotte’s eating habits. Her diet was seemingly healthy, but after taking a detailed history we discovered that there seemed to be a problem with her digestive system. She suffered from frequent bloating, and occasionally got IBS like symptoms too. We ran a comprehensive digestive stool analysis and discovered that Charlotte had some pathogenic bacterial overgrowth in her gut, and lower than optimal levels of beneficial bacteria.

There is a huge link between digestive health and mental health, so we got working on restoring the balance in Charlotte’s digestive system by using herbal supplements to reduce the pathogenic bacterial overgrowth, and topping up her beneficial bacteria with high-strength probiotics.

At the same time we discovered that although she was eating a generally healthy diet, she was frequently using artificial sweeteners to add some sweetness into her drinks. Some people are more sensitive to the artificial chemical structures of the sweeteners than others, and one potential side effect is increased anxiety. So the sweeteners were out, and as the bloating started to reduce, so did Charlotte’s anxiety attacks.

After three months Charlotte was very happy to report a significant reduction in anxiety attacks, bloating and IBS symptoms.

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