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Thread: Anxiety and nutrition page

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    Primal Trevor's Avatar
    Primal Trevor is offline Junior Member
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    Anxiety and nutrition

    Primal Fuel
    Ok, so for the past 2 days, I have been experiencing anxiety. These are not "panic attacks" (I know what those are, had them over a decade ago when I was an alcoholic/pot-smoker), but more of a low to mid-level anxiety that doesn't stop. Basically, tightness in the chest, and rapid heartbeat. This has been going on for about 48 hours. I have no sources of stress that I am aware of in my life right now. I'm off school for the summer, work only a couple hours a day at most, and generally have it very easy!

    I can't help but think that this is diet / nutrition related. I ate primally for a couple years before, and never had this issue. then slacked off for about a year, gained a little weight, etc. I have recently started eating primally again, about 2 weeks ago, and felt awesome. then, 2 days ago, anxiety.

    I have read that deficiencies in magnesium and/or various b vitamins can cause anxiety. I have looked at my food logs for the past few days, and they did look a little low in magnesium, so I ate a bunch of spinach, and took a magnesium supplement to no avail. I may be slightly low in b vitamins, but probably not. I eat lots of red meat and eggs. however, I plan to eat some liver or something today. I DO NOT consume caffeine, haven't for years.

    I have also recently started lifting weights again. doing some stressful exercises like squats and deadlifts. I do not overtrain with the weights. I lift 2 days a week, using compound movements. I also fly-fish and spends lots of time walking around in the mountains.

    If I am not nutritionally deficient in some area, I wonder if the recent lifestyle change has stressed my body / mind? or.... has the recent change caused some sort of hormonal / metabolic shift that could be causing this. I've also had a ridiculous amount of energy for the past week or so (due to primal eating) so I wonder if this excess energy has just manifested itself as anxiety...

    also interesting: my sleep has been very poor for the past couple of weeks. I've been getting 4-5 hours a night max, and do not feel as if I've suffered from it. This is due to having too much energy. Even at 2 or 3 in the morning, I don't feel tired at all. A couple of nights I have stayed up 'til 6 am! It's crazy, but my body just does NOT want to go to sleep, too much energy.

    anybody have any ideas or experience with any of this???

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    MalPaz's Avatar
    MalPaz is offline Senior Member
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    getting enough omega 3 and fat from good sources and not fat from storebought meat? just me but i notice if i overeat like market bought pork fat and chicken fat my anxiety problems etc act up. i have a mental illness though & anxiety/panic attacks based around food, so i have to pay close attention to making sure i get lots of omega 3 it REALLY REALLY does help, those studies aint lying!

    same with the sleep... dont eat 2 hours before bed, not b/c of weight gain but because of brain chemical release and stabilization. if you are in the middle of digesting and go to bed youll be up all night. i have the same problem. i am up ALL night some nights wide awake ready to GO GO GO

    also, it may just be the shift to fat burning too....hmmm

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    I suffered from GAD for about 5 years, and part of my recovery was eating better, and avoiding stuff like caffeine and tobacco, and getting enough sleep.

    Those habits really help, but what did the trick for me is that Anxiety is not a disease in the clasical term of the word is a behavioral condition, so after seeing a shrink who wanted to bomb me out of GAD with pills and more pills, I decided to take things on my own hands.

    And im totally free know because of it.

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    EGYnutrition's Avatar
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    I'd do a vitamin/mineral check just incase anyway...

    But low-carb generally up-regulates the catecholamines, which could be giving you energy... but Im not sure about keeping you up for that long... having any weird cravings?

    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

  5. #5
    MeatMe216's Avatar
    MeatMe216 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Trevor View Post
    Basically, tightness in the chest, and rapid heartbeat.
    My way out of this was breathwork/meditation.
    I think a combination of bad posture and poor lifestlye turned me into a "lazy breather". I found spending a few minutes each day focusing on activating the core and lungs, breathing deeply and slowly, really balanced out my systems. No more racing heartbeat or shortness of breath, or the accompying panic feelings.
    Not sure if this applies to you, good luck

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    cillakat's Avatar
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    Stopped briefly while on a roadtrip. Will try for a longer answer tonight. See my docs though for the things I take to successfully treat GAD an panic attacks. The best book on the nutritional tx of "mental" illness is Joan Matthrew-Larsons book _depression free naturally_. It's much more comprehensive than the title suggests.



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    Primal Trevor's Avatar
    Primal Trevor is offline Junior Member
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    thanks all for your suggestions.

    MalPaz - you may be hitting on something. I have eaten a TON of grain-fed beef lately, and have had one can of sardines in the past few weeks, so my omega 3's probably are low. Also, I do tend to eat dinner late, at like 10pm. Although, I've done this for years and it never caused sleep problems before. I'm going to go to the grocery store in few hours and buy some grass-fed beef.

    FrankOcean - I had a similar experience. about 10 years ago, I had horrible panic attacks, lost my job, got put on paxil, the whole nine yards. One day, I got so tired of it and pissed off, I decided I wasn't going to take medication anymore. To my surprise, and almost instantly, I felt OK. and that was the end of it. It was weird, like I just took control of my mind back. Now, I know what caused those problems. It was a combination of heavy alcohol use and an extremely distressing family situation. The anxiety I'm experiencing now isn't anything as bad as the former was, but it's just puzzling, as there doesn't seem to be any cause for it.

    Something else: Yesterday I was up 2 lbs from the previous day. Then today, I'm down 4 lbs. So, there was apparently some mass water retention/release /fat loss that happened there.

    MeatMe - I have been making sure to breathe deeply. That was the only way I was able to go to sleep last night!

    I already feel a little bit better today. I think my metabolism is like a nuclear reactor right now. I have NO hunger.

  8. #8
    twinmama's Avatar
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    I used to live in the Pacific Northwest. It's the capital of depression related to weather. That's when I started having insane anxiety attacks, and was so depressed I needed some stupid anti depressant. In reality, I think I needed Vitamin D. I never felt I had something to be depressed about. For the most part, I would consider myself quite lucky. So, I MIGHT consider Vit. D as part of the solution.

    Also, you're not sleeping well, but you don't think that's impacting you. I might suggest that it is. You're not really well rested. And perhaps your body is anxious over that. I'm a recovering sleep deprived mom. At the height of sleep deprivation, I would wake (usually by the scream of a child) with incredible anxiety. Heart rates as if I was running. I would often get the urge to vomit. Of course when you're constantly startled out of your sleep, (can we say CORTISOL?).

    Maybe try some meditation. Anything to get into a deeper, longer sleep.

    Hope you figure it out, and you're feeling better soon!

  9. #9
    Primal Trevor's Avatar
    Primal Trevor is offline Junior Member
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    thanks twinmama. you may be right. I generally don't sleep alot, but the past little while, it's been horrible. Add to that the new stresses of deadlifts, squats, etc, and my body should definitely be needing lots of rest and sleep. definite low omega 3 intake, possible low b-vitamins....

    I'm glad I posted this. you guys have brought some things to my attention that I didn't consider before.

    keep it coming....

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    PrimalCon New York
    It's usually about fat. Try some salmon oil (omega 3) capsules.

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