Anxiety or nervousness is a common brain and nervous disorder that many experience sometime or another. It is characterized by extreme panic and fear, uncontrolled and obsessive thoughts, nightmares and could even have symptoms like nausea, muscle tension, headaches and stomachaches. A person could feel unconnected, dizzy, uncontrolled and suffer from palpations, chills and hot flushes.
There are several prescription drugs which are used in the treatment of anxiety disorder. Lorazepam, alprazolam, and buspirone are often prescribed along with antidepressants. Sometimes hormonal secretion from the thyroid or adrenal glands cause nervousness and need specific treatment. Psychological counseling may also be useful in the treatment of nervousness.
Food and well-being have been associated with mood since ancient times. Carbohydrates are known to be good mood elevators. They act as mild tranquilizers through increasing serotonin which is a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. It is better to eat complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, whole wheat bread and pasta as they take longer to digest and thus one feels full for longer.
Vitamin B, especially B-6, also helps in the manufacture of serotonin in the brain. Supplements of Vitamin B6 have been used in the treatment of anxiety disorder. Food rich in antioxidants together with essential fats help in improving energy levels and may relieve the feelings of anxiety. Dehydration may also add to anxiety and nervousness, so it is advisable to ensure a good fluid intake. Hot drinks may have a calming effect, but try avoid excess caffeine. Herbal teas and hot milky drinks may be especially helpful, especially before bed.
There is ongoing research regarding specific vitamins and minerals in the treatment of nervousness. Inositol, a cyclic polyalcohol, plays an important role as a second messenger in a cell. Though it is classified as a B vitamin, it is not really a vitamin as the human body can synthesize it. It has been used to help people suffering from panic attacks and relieves the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. A trial has shown that when it is supplemented with multivitamins, it can reduce anxiety or nervousness. It is found in many foods, especially those with high bran content. Magnesium has also proved to be an important reliever of anxiety and so may present another useful nutrient to supplement in the treatment of nervousness.
There are many herbs associated with the treatment of nerbvousness. Herbal chamomile tea is often used to combat insomnia(www.mitamins.com/disease/Insomnia.html) associated with anxiety attacks. Passion flower, bacopa and kava are also used in herbal tonics given to reduce anxiety. A drink made of the root of kava and used extensively in Polynesia is a well known relaxant. In one study when used for one week, it helped subjects to reduce both depression and high anxiety levels and nervousness. These herbs must be taken under supervision as they could have other side effects.
Sometimes dieting though calorie reduction and using diet pills can contribute to anxiety disorder. Diets should be undertaken with care and it may be important to seek professional guidance. Reducing and perhaps even cutting out alcohol and coffee have shown remarkable improvement in the levels of anxiety for some people and generally assist with the treatment of nervousness.