The frustrating part of controlling and reducing anxiety is that the very presence of anxiety will drive more of it. This loops leads to the uncontrollable hole that is anxiety and even panic. Just as with resolving any issue, you must look at the root cause.
Typically, after the removal of the trigger(s) of the stress response anxiety should go away. The zebra escapes the lion and the stress response (along with the anxiety) should return back to a baseline.
Stress Hormones Increase -> GABA (calming neurotransmitter) Reduces -> Anxiety Increases -> Stress Hormones Increase -> etc.
Control what you can control
The brain (hypothalamus) is in constant search of stress or any deviation from homeostasis. Stress comes in the form of low blood sugar (dysglycemia), inflammation, pain, or emotional stress (Pandemic, Job, Family, etc.). It is very difficult to control stubbing your toe on the coffee table or your unappreciative boss, but it is very easy to make changes to your diet.
Reduce Anxiety by Bringing Homeostasis
Blood Sugar Stability
Whether you’re diabetic and have trouble with high blood glucose (over 100) or low blood glucose (under 85) then this can be a common offender to your ability to get past chronic pain.
Generally, cut sugar out completely and focus on eating either 3 meals – 5 hours apart with around 30g of protein and a third of your calories for the day. If you’re on the low blood sugar side of things, then I’d avoid intermittent fasting in the morning. You need to shift away from your dependency on stress hormones to stable your blood sugar. You can do 6 small meals, but timing is much more difficult to hit every 2-3 hours.
This is by far the most fundamental thing you can do and many patients get relief just by making these changes.
Inflammation, Immune, and Gut
If you’re having obvious digestive symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, bloating, indigestion, or gas (burping or flatulence), then you may have an inflammation factory in your gut. Typically, this is either from an imbalance in the microbiome, a specific food sensitivity, or a problem in it’s ability to digest certain things. Avoid using a probiotic and look for antimicrobials to reduce potential over growths first.
Even with the perfect diet, some people will have an immune system that will continue to drive excess amounts of inflammation.
Very generally, these patients need help balancing an overactive immune system. Many people have these issues without a formal diagnosis of “autoimmunity.” Focus should be on dampening production of inflammation with things like Tumeric or Resveratrol, potentially removing foods, heavy metals, infections, and balancing T Cells with supplements like Vitamin A and D.
I strongly recommend these complicated patients see a holistic practitioners as even experienced practioners struggle to balance these issues.