Anxiety Treatments – Be Your Own Advocate!
By: Dr. Jill Krasner
2020, the year of the Pandemic wreaked havoc on most people, young and old! Those who already had anxiety saw it increase to levels not seen before and those who never experienced anxiety slowly started to develop it towards the end of the year.
Not knowing why you have anxiety or how to treat it, causes people to just want their doctor to prescribe something to make it go away. The quick fix – a pill! As with any medication, there are side effects and some people respond better to one rather than other medications.
Back in the early 20th century, the sedative and anxiolytic effects of magnesium were noted. What are anxiolytic effects, you ask? Drugs used to treat symptoms of anxiety, such as feelings of fear, dread, uneasiness, and muscle tightness that may occur as a reaction to stress.
As medicine has advanced over the years, other medications were developed for dealing with anxiety, and magnesium was left out in the armamentarium (all resources available for treating an illness which are available to medical practitioners). But magnesium may be the most natural mineral to diminish anxiety and stress.
How does it work?
Magnesium works by reducing stress hormones, by direct stimulation on the brain on receptors that tend to make you sleepy if activated (gaba receptors) and it decreases inflammation. It may also be involved in regulating the neurotransmitters that cause depression, such as serotonin.
Have you ever wondered why all OTC medications have a disclaimer about the absoluteness of effectiveness on their labels? Genetics play a role in each person’s ability to respond to different kinds of medication. For instance, some people have good pain relief with ibuprofen while others get no relief. So other medications are created such as naproxen, for those who can’t tolerate ibuprofen. For that reason, most of the literature available on the multiple search engines’ place disclaimers about the absoluteness of effectiveness.
The same can be said for magnesium and magnesium products. For the many processes in the human body that magnesium is involved, there is no absoluteness of effectiveness. So why not just take an OTC pill vs. a magnesium supplement? The side effects are magnesium are minimal and it is a natural mineral that is already found in the human body. It is inexpensive and natural. It is involved in hundreds of metabolic processes and also a structural component of genes and bones.
What I discovered using magnesium.
I have found myself calmer since I started using magnesium. Whether due to being older, smarter, less aware; I have found myself calmer in many situations that would previously have provoked anxiety for me.
There are plenty of oral formulations available and many references about which ones may be best to alleviate stress and anxiety. Though, I take an oral form, I find the time it calms me down the most is when I rub our topical cream on the bottom of my feet at night before bed. It is a noticeable feeling, and I often find myself falling asleep before I intend to, should I apply the cream a bit earlier in the evening.
The oral forms all have different absorption rates and there are no guarantees which ones will be the best absorbed. But because our feet are so vascular (good blood supply), applying the cream to the bottom of the foot leads to better systemic absorption. It certainly works for me!