Xanax or generically known as Alprazolam, has been on the market since 1981 and used to treat panic disorder, which has made it a “block buster drug” in the United States. This particular drug falls into the benzodiazepine “benzos” class, which enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) at the GABA receptor. This causes a sedative effect that allows the body to relax. It is sleep inducing and may cause anterograde amnesia and dissociation.
There is no doubt, that “benzo” drugs are powerful and can even be addicting, which is why they are generally used for short-term situations, and not for the daily management of anxiety and stress.
So, what does a person do when they need to management their anxiety on a daily basis, but they don’t want to be under the influence of heavy narcotics or prescription drugs? Along with prescription drugs comes a laundry list of side effects and drug interactions. Prescription drugs may not be the best choice for those who want a more natural approach to managing their anxiety while remaining productive and energetic, not sleepy and dysfunctional.
Fortunately, there are some supplements on the market today that have an effect on the GABA receptor which have been proven to improve mood, anxiety, depression, PTD, social phobia, and even enhance neurological function. A few brands that have excellent research and reviews are Life Vitality Ultra Bliss, Pure Life Gabatrol, and Pure Life U4ea.
Other Ways to Reduce Anxiety Naturally
- Hunger and Anxiety – Low blood sugar levels can cause an outpouring of adrenaline. Don’t let yourself go hungry for long periods, as this can spike anxiety levels and even lead to a full blown panic attack. Avoid caffeine, sugary foods (they will leave you feeling bottomed out after a few hours after your sugars suddenly drop).
- Nutritional Therapy – Eat sensibly with a good combination of carbohydrates to protein in order to stabilize the body’s energy levels and to keep from unnecessary sugar rushes and drops. Keep protein snacks on hand. Don’t skip breakfast! I keep protein packed Luna bars in my car, in my lunch box, and in my desk at work for when I need a little something to hold me over between meals. I also keep bananas on hand to give me a sensible and nutritious carbohydrate boost.
- Vitamin Deficiency – Be sure to get adequate amounts of complex B vitamins (especially B1 – Thiamine), and magnesium. Cortisol, a stress hormone, depletes our bodies of magnesium, which in turn causes an increase in our flight-or-fight response, creating additional anxiety. A classic symptom of magnesium deficiency is an increase in the ability to become startled quite easily for no apparent reason.
Eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugars and caffeine, and getting the adequate vitamins and minerals that your body requires will assist in the management of stress and anxiety levels. Also, don’t forget to get a little daily exercise and sunshine in there too!
By Colleen Moriarty, DR Vitamin Solutions