NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, we are going to be talking about anxiety because this is something that is happening all over the world. We are getting news about COVID going up and India going up. I mean, it is heartbreaking for all of us. So that’s why we wanted to talk about how to manage anxiety. What exactly is anxiety? So we have doctor Allie with us, a naturopathic doctor. We welcome Doctor Allie.
Dr. Allie: Thank you so much.
NourishDoc: Yes. As you know, this is going on all over the world. People are feeling anxious, and you know I am originally from India. I’m talking to my family members, which is heartbreaking; you know, when I talk to my friends and family, it is mayhem in many good ones that make my heart. So what can we do? What can you tell us? What can we do?
Dr. Allie: Well Yeah. That’s the question, the 1 million dollars question. So I mean anxiety, it, you know, manifests in two ways, right? So we have our mentally emotional symptoms of anxiety, so just not feeling like you’re in the present moment worrying thinking about the future. Then we have physiologic like somatic; you know, responses to anxiety, so the heart is pounding, we’re sweating, you can’t find our bearings. We feel kind of out of body right, so with anxiety, it’s essential to understand, you know what with anything really what the root cause of that anxiety is right. Because the way that I see anxiety is it’s a symptom. It’s a symptom of something else that’s going on in the body, whether it’s from that mentally emotional level or if it’s from a physiological level, so the first thing is, is understanding like what it is, You know for that person right and so with COVID and the news and everything like that that has to do with more of a nervous system response to anxiety right? If somebody you know is taking something like. A news report and becoming like ruminate about it and taking it away from themselves, right? So it’s like, how do we bring you back into your body? Yeah, that would be my approach for that, right? so you know, when it comes to that, it’s really about the vagus nerve. It’s really about our sympathetic and parasympathetic. We hear that all the time, like the fight and flight nervous system and the rest and digest nervous system. So what is that mean? It just means that you know, evolutionary speaking, we have, you know, our brain is wired that way whether or not you know we consciously are telling ourselves we’re calm if we get triggered in a certain way, our nervous system will respond, so we have to understand the input into our nervous system that will bring ourselves back into that state of rest and digest right. So with getting yourself into that rest and digest or parasympathetic state, we’re talking about stimulating the vagus nerve. So we’re looking at breathwork and meditation. You know, all those good things and anything like mechanically enabling you to learn, the throat where the vagus nerve runs—such things as singing, gargling water, laughing, chanting, anything like that.
NourishDoc: To activate right, this particular one can help you calm down. So you’re a naturopathic doctor. So what techniques do you use to help your clients with this anxiety?
Dr. Allie: Totally. So there are a lot of things. So if you’re talking about nervous system stuff, I’m always about breath work, right? Because a lot of times, when people are anxious, they’re either holding their breath or hyperventilating. So or they’re breathing in their chest. So how do we get you to bring your breath back into the belly? So we want to live in the lower abdomen. That’s the part the area below the belly button right so lengthening the inhales but even more importantly, in terms of stimulating the vagus nerve lengthening the exhales so you can do, you know, put your hands below your belly button and take a long deep breath in for about 7 seconds and then exhale for eight to 9 seconds, Exhale is always longer than the inhale so breathing into your belly on the inhale and then exhale bringing the belly button in and just doing that for like two to 3 minutes can reset the vagus nerve and put yourself in a little bit more of a parasympathetic.
NourishDoc: Okay, and then they as a naturopathic doctor, do you also use like food and herbs, You know as part of this toolkit, or it’s only just the breathing part or some of the other things like you you know, massage and acupuncture. What are the other things that don’t we should think about?
Dr. Allie: Totally. So you know the breathing stuff is just like an in-the-moment thing, right that’s how you shift yourself because it’s really about moving yourself at the moment. Still, in terms of a root cause of anxiety, Many things can give you a propensity to have anxiety, right? So we were talking about Copper overload. That’s one of many things you know; not everyone’s going to Copper overload, but Copper Copper overload is a metal in your body. It’s associated with many women who have Copper overload and estrogen dominance, and what copper does is it takes the neurotransmitters in your brain. It takes dopamine and shifts it to norepinephrine, AKA adrenaline, which is that fight-or-flight neurotransmitter, suitable? So if you have high copper, you want to get that down so that that is not in the background exactly; you know, another thing would be gut health. So we all know that that the brain and the gut are connected and so just being intimately aware of, you know, are there any symptoms in your heart like bloating gas diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and understanding like is there a dysbiosis or is there something going in the soul that you know needs to be addressed so that we can to improve the brain as well, right because whatever is happening in the heart is being reflected in the brain, leaky gut leaky brain, we have the vagus nerve going from one to the other. So that’s another huge one. You know another one is hormones, right? So you know, PMS is like the classic example right a week before your period. In this phase, if you don’t have enough, you know progesterone, the calming hormone that binds to Gaba receptors. It makes you feel relaxed, or if you have too much estrogen about progesterone, you’re going to feel anxious, you’re not going to feel like that calm state that really should be thought in that phase if you were balanced.
NourishDoc: So you’ve passed on the Copper overload a little bit. So what causes the copper overload? I’m sitting on your post, as I told you earlier. What is the reason? I mean, it’s a toxic environment.
Dr. Allie: Yeah. So copper in our environment can cause Copper overload. So you know, if you have copper pipes in your house, that’s a huge one; zinc deficiency can increase copper because zinc and copper are sea salt hormones. A lot of people have zinc deficiency zinc is also essential for making neurotransmitters like serotonin, so if we’re deficient in zinc, we’re, you know, we’re already not making our happy hormones suitable or a happy neurotransmitter. Then you know, estrogen dominance is a huge one so that estrogen can cause Copper overload as well, and so addressing Copper overload, I mean the first thing you have to do is you know to test for it and if you do have it depending on how it’s the free Copper percentage right so depending on how high that free Copper percentages would depend on how aggressive you are. So definitely working with somebody who likes understands that right.
NourishDoc: So there’s a correlation between the copper overload and I mean, that’s what I’m trying to make you right but and then so the copper overload the day you can find it is by getting yourself some test to understand the heavy metal test or whatever the test may be then to understand what the copper or to stay within your body or not?
Dr. Allie: Yeah. Exactly.
NourishDoc: Okay. Alright. So what naturopath treatments would you recommend for things that we have anxiety about here?
Dr. Allie: Totally. Yeah, so you know, depending on the root cause, right if somebody’s got PMS, then I would do some advanced hormone testing to see what you know see what’s going on there if they have gut issues, then I would do some testing there. Maybe a stool analysis or a SIBO test, you know, depending on their symptoms and address it from that level; I know you mentioned, I think we were we’re chatting before, you said herbs, right so herbs and anxiety, Acute treatment for anxiety right, so we’re talking about like shifting our nervous system with our breath and everything an acute stage. Still, you know herbs can be a great way to bring yourself back into that calm state. Might it take a couple of hours, right? It’s not going to be instantaneous, but you know, some of my favorite herbs would be like lavender, skull cap, let’s say I like Avena sativa, which is Milky oats so that herb kind of falls in the category of nerve or Irvine herbs and those address the nervous system and relax and tonify the nervous system, so any herbs that are under that nerve category are really what I like to use to calm and restore because usually you know people have anxiety, they have a lot of things going on in their life, they’re overstimulated so the nerve herbs can really kind of nourish and tonify the nervous system.
NourishDoc: So someone is asking a question. What are signs of copper deficiency post-menopausal limit? That’s a question.
Dr. Allie: Oh, copper deficiency. So I don’t see copper deficiency usually; it’s Copper excess. We’re generally low in zinc, and we have high copper. I’ve seen copper deficiency in young kids, but that’s a different scenario.
NourishDoc: There’s an overload of copper in post-menopause for women. Is it a kind of a correlation of menopause in the women who might have more copper?
Dr. Allie: Totally yeah, I mean, generally you know it’s associated with higher levels of estrogen and menopause your estrogen drops right so but I have seen it you know I have patients who are post-menopausal and have copper excess one of them, I’m thinking of you know, has copper pipes in her house right she built her home, and she thought that you know copper pipes would be a healthier alternative and I, tested her free Copper percentage, and it was like 40%, which is high. So really for her, you know there it’s in her house. So we’re just doing everything we can to increase her, you know, ability to get it out of her body.
NourishDoc: Sure. So when you think the makeup that all of us use are some of the things like most women use more cosmetics than men or anything else that could also contribute to the copper overload in our bodies?
Dr. Allie: Totally, yeah. So. Makeup is, I mean, depending on what you use if there are any endocrine disruptors in there right any xenoestrogens, so like in plastics and our tap water and you know, phthalates and parabens and all those things in our body products in our beauty products if those are in there, those could potentially you know introduce you know estrogens into the body, which could exacerbate exogenous estrogen exposure, which could then increase our levels of copper. So definitely like cleaning up your life situation; I like looking at environmental working groups or EWG.org. That’s an excellent resource, and there’s an app you can have on your phone called think thirty, where you can scan your products.
NourishDoc: But hopefully, we answered that question; if you have any follow-up questions and comments, please feel free to put them out there, and we’ll take them. Yeah. So I think this is excellent information. We, you know, depending on who the client is, whether it’s a PMS or the menopause, or of course, in a situation like this where the COVID is, we’ve to cause anxiety because watching the news at a different type of anxiety as to your point right?
Dr. Allie: Totally. Yeah, and you know somebody with a physiological, you know propensity they already have you do underlying copper toxicity, or you know their hormones are off, they’re going to be more affected by something like that right or somebody with a nervous system that’s just a fight or flight, they’re going to have less anxious system resilience and so with that person you want to build strength. So it’s all about like kind of where you’re at, so if you’re already in a place where you know, things are imbalanced. I would recommend, you know, doing a social media detox, a detox when you focus inward on yourself, right?
NourishDoc: Yeah, and that’s probably what is needed right now. I know it; it is very addictive to keep watching the news and understand what is happening in the book. But maybe you know to calm yourself is needed for so many people suffering right now in the world. It’s another question. Okay, What is the side effects of taking zinc and supplements? It’s been recommended for COVID prevention. So the question is, what are the side effects of taking too much zinc and supplements, and is zinc recommended for COVID prevention?
Dr. Allie: Yes, it’s recommended because it will help with or stop the viral replication. So you don’t want to take it because you can screw yourself up. It can cause downstream anemia and throw off your zinc copper level. So there’s, you know, upwards of like I mean, depending on like thirty to thirty to fifty milligrams a day is really what’s recommended, so side effects of taking too much zinc long term could be the things I just mentioned short term, you know if you’re not taking zinc on a full stomach, zinc tends to cause like nausea and stomach upset. So the zinc that I always recommend is elemental zinc, which is zinc picolinate, which is more bioavailable. It tends to give people fewer issues if you take it with food.
NourishDoc: Okay. Let us know if there are any follow-ups, comments, or feedback. I love the interactive parts; you know, the last question, and I think it’s great. So let us know before we wrap up that we ask you a question; if there are any more questions, please let us know. Okay, anything else, Dr. Allie, that you would like to add?
Dr. Allie: No, I think that covered it in just an overview, right? It’s just looking at what it is for that person and then, you know, at the moment to moment, things to help correct now.
NourishDoc: I think we looked at aspects of anxiety depending on the symptoms one has accumulated and then the short term precisely what is happening right now in the world versus which is a sort of like a prevalence right that’s when prevalent in someone’s body for giving PMS or menopause or what have you, so these are different type of things that that you would detect, understanding the kind of anxiety, and then you’ll have more, and that’s what I’m deciding right?
Dr. Allie: Totally. Yeah, and then trauma is another one that I didn’t mention. I’ll throw that in there like if somebody’s experienced trauma and they’re, you know, fight or flight or freeze, that’s another big one as well.
NourishDoc: Yeah, and a lot of people are right. We are not discussing trauma right now; I think it’s a vast topic. We just wanted to bring on anxiety and talk about different types of anxieties. How you’ve been tackled to all the people out, our hearts go out to your loved ones to your families who are experiencing anxiety right now; We are just trying to help; that’s all we’re trying to do. There’s so much gratitude. Thank you so much. Thank you, Dr. Allie.
Dr. Allie: You’re welcome. Thank you.