Most people have an idea of what hypoglycemia is. Medical experts describe it as a condition of having less than the normal amount of glucose in the blood, or low blood sugar. What many people may not know, however, is that it has a very distinct relationship with anxiety. Read on to learn about the mysterious connection between the two, and how you can effectively treat both.
To fully understand how the two conditions intersect, it’s important to talk about hormone in the body called adrenaline. When most think of adrenaline, they think of it as a hormone that gives our body the surge of energy that it needs to perform strenuous tasks. However, adrenaline also is used to convert stored glucose back into a form of glucose that the body can efficiently use. When the body suffers from low blood sugar, a multitude of symptoms can develop, such as sweating, shakiness, weak limbs and nausea. What does this sound like to you? These are also quite common symptoms of anxiety.
First of all, if you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to pay a visit to your family doctor. Your doctor can determine whether you are suffering from hypoglycemia and what may be causing it. It’s important to note that people with anxiety often become distracted and don’t care for their bodies as they should, and this could be creating or exacerbating your symptoms. Your doctor will provide you with advice on how to treat our hypoglycemia, so this article will focus on treating the underlying anxiety.
To begin your new anxiety-fighting regimen, you should begin by making small changes to your lifestyle. It’s very important to get at least eight hours of sleep every night, because lack of sleep is one of the most well-known factors in increasing anxiety. Try to make your room a place of peace and quiet by clearing out any distractions and sources of stress. Prior to going to bed, disengage yourself by shutting down your computer, television or other media device so you can truly have a chance to wind down. Also, try to cut back on the caffeine and completely avoid a few hours before going to sleep.
The next step to eliminating anxiety is to work on your diet and exercise regime. Cardiovascular activity is a vital component of controlling anxiety. It’s unfortunate that most people are aware of the physical benefits of exercise, but know very little about its mental health benefits. In fact, some studies show that regular exercise is just as effective at treating anxiety and medication as medication! Suffice it to say, if you want to overcome anxiety, you need to exercise. A good goal to strive for is thirty minutes of cardio for at least five days a week. Yoga has also been shown to be very helpful for anxiety sufferers, as it increases levels of GABA in the brain, a chemical that anti-anxiety medications typically target.
There are also a variety of herbs that can lessen your anxiety. Common herbs used to treat anxiety include passionflower, St. John’s Wort, meadow sweet and kava kava. However, make sure you that you read the labels on these products as they can interact with pharmaceutical drugs you may be taking.
Finally, if you’ve tried the above strategies and can’t shake your anxiety, cognitive-behavioral therapy might be for you. This type of therapy will teach you how to identify the distorted thinking patterns that lead to anxiety, and learn to replace them with more realistic thoughts. By combining this with a healthier lifestyle, you’ll be able to treat your low blood sugar and your anxiety.
Plesman, Jurriaan. “Beating Anxiety and Phobias.” Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia. <http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au. 2 Jan 2013.