Today I share my wonderful interview with Katie, the “Wellness Mama”. We talk about my favorite topic: How to Beat Anxiety and Resolve Panic Attacks with Targeted Amino Acids with some extra questions about pregnancy and nursing that I’m not often asked about. Katie is mom to 6 children and many in her community are moms too.
Here is some of what we cover in our interview:
- nutritional deficiencies commonly linked to anxiety, depression, and other problems
- my own story of recovery from severe panic attacks
- why perfectionism and worry might have more to do with body chemistry than your personality
- all about the key anti-anxiety amino acids: GABA, theanine, tryptophan, 5-HTP (and others)
- how low vitamin D, low zinc, high copper, and other nutritional factors add to anxiety
- the low zinc and high copper play a role in postpartum depression
- the potential neurotransmitter issue that leads to cravings
- biochemical reasons some people are introverted or socially anxious
- guidance for pregnant moms who can’t take amino acids (and what to do if you’re nursing)
- the way an MTHFR mutation is linked to anxiety and how to resolve it
Here is a snippet of our interview on the topic of how to assess for low neurotransmitters and do a trial of GABA or tryptophan, and how quickly they work:
Just like you test your vitamin D levels – that’ll tell you that you’ve got low levels and you need to supplement with vitamin D, then you’ll retest and see that your levels have come up. With the amino acids and the low neurotransmitters, I find using a questionnaire is the best way to assess the fact that you may have low GABA and you may have low serotonin. Then you do a trial of the amino acid based on your unique needs, and then you redo the questionnaire and you see how things have changed.
If you use these targeted individual amino acids based on your unique need, you can see results very quickly – within five minutes, and then over the course of the next few weeks you should be seeing results very quickly. Some people will say, “I’m not seeing any impact, should I keep trying, you know, how long should I be aiming for.” The thing that, about the amino is that are so amazing, is that you get results right away. If you don’t get results, it means it’s not enough or it means you don’t need it. The anxiety is not caused by low serotonin or low GABA.
I also talk about my personal experience with low serotonin and perfectionism:
I discovered low serotonin was a factor because although the GABA helped with the physical anxiety and the panic attacks, I still had this perfectionism issue. I remember working in that computer job and being called up to do an appraisal. And they told me I was too much of a perfectionist and I needed to let go a little bit. I couldn’t believe anyone could think that was a bad thing. So it was interesting how, as you start to implement some of these, you start to realize some of these other things that you may think is just a personality thing or it’s just me, it’s just the way I am – you realize that some of these things can be related to biochemical imbalances.
As I mention above Katie does ask me about using the amino acids during pregnancy and while nursing:
I don’t recommend anyone take them during pregnancy. It’s difficult advice for me to give because I know that there are so many issues with SSRIs during pregnancy. Because we don’t have the research, it’s not something that I can recommend. If you are prone to anxiety or you’ve had anxiety, get that sorted out before you get pregnant. I know, that’s easier said than done. A lot of women really want to get pregnant now or they are pregnant and then they realize that they’ve got the anxiety. So that’s a very difficult situation.
Once you’ve had the baby, if you are having really bad anxiety, obviously you’ve got to talk to your doctor and make sure that they are okay with you taking the amino acids right after nursing and then waiting four to six hours before nursing again. It is one way to do it. And then monitoring the baby to make sure that they are okay. There are actually two studies that came out recently showing that tryptophan and tyrosine, doesn’t seem to be an issue in breast milk.
You can listen to the entire interview (and download the interview mp3 file and read the transcript) via the Wellness Mama podcast #105 blog.
For additional information on products over and above those we covered in the interview here are some recent blogs:
Katie, is the “Wellness Mama” and her goal is to help other families live more naturally through practical tips, real food recipes, natural beauty and cleaning tutorials, natural remedies and more. Her blog is a wealth of information and if you don’t tune in to her podcasts and get her newsletter I encourage you to check her out.
Here are a few really good ones to get you started (although they really are all excellent!):
- Epsom Salt: 21 Surprising Uses & Benefits for Health, Beauty, and Home (the first one is to use it for a relaxing bath soak, a favorite of mine; another is a recipe for a soothing magnesium lotion)
- Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe (Natural + Simple)
- Homemade HE Laundry Detergent Recipe (Laundry Soap) (this was a hot topic on a recent facebook discussion)
She shares this on her site: “my real goal with the blog is to help you and to create lasting changes so that our children can grow up in a better world.” I just love her mission and passion and all the very practical and safe solutions she offers!