Difficult times or unstable states of mind are not always the causes of fear. The fact that the hormones cortisol, estrogen, and insulin can also cause anxiety is still largely ignored in medicine and psychology. Anyone who tends to have diffuse anxiety, possibly accompanied by panic attacks, whether due to stress or inexplicable reasons, should not underestimate the powerful effect of their hormones.
Alisa Vitti, an American nutritionist, and hormone expert distinguishes three hormone-related fears:
While a low cortisol value is often decisive in depression, the level of cortisol is greatly increased in anxiety.
If the cortisol cannot be broken down or if it remains high over a longer period of time due to stress and other pressures, anxiety is a completely natural consequence.
Normally, our cortisol levels rise automatically between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., which is why experts advise against drinking coffee during this time.
Elevated levels of cortisol right before bed are also bad for our sleeping habits. If there is not enough cortisol, we experience states of exhaustion, burnout. When cortisol is out of balance, we often feel drained, anxious, and depressed.
So we urgently need to support our body in breaking down cortisol. We can promote this by using conscious states of relaxation and sport.
I already talked about the meaning and importance of insulin in the article Sport and its physical and psychological effects written. Insulin regulates the breakdown of sugar in the body.
That’s why what we eat is crucial here because what we eat determines how we feel. For example, if we eat too much sugar or foods that are converted into sugar in the body (white bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets and industrial sugar, sugary alcohol), our body has to work a lot to break down the sugar again.
An enormous amount of insulin is required for this. If we overdo it with a diet high in sugar, this overproduction of insulin can trigger low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
This in turn leads to symptoms such as tremors, fatigue, inner restlessness, and anxiety. The low blood sugar level that the body classifies as dangerous also causes an increase in cortisol.
When estrogen is at optimal levels, it has a calming effect on the brain. However, if it is too low or too high (e.g. during menstruation and menopause) or if there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone (sex hormone), it can trigger significant anxiety.
While medications that control serotonin and dopamine levels are commonly used for stress, sleep disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, and depressive moods, natural remedies can also be used.
Because stopping medication like antidepressants take strength. They can also cause problems with the intestines and thus other symptoms.
Cinnamon is particularly effective at stabilizing blood sugar because it affects digestion after a meal. It is therefore advisable to use cinnamon everywhere in dishes (on muesli, in jams, in coffee) or as an additive in tea. Cinnamon can also be consumed as a dietary supplement ( cinnamon extract ).
Ashwagandha is a plant also known as the sleeping berry. It occurs in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and plays a special role in Ayurveda medicine. It is known for its anesthetic and sleep-inducing effects.
It supports the nervous system and ensures inner peace and balance. In states of exhaustion and when overwhelmed, it helps people regain new vitality.
Its anesthetic effect is particularly helpful for anxiety, stress, and panic: it reduces anxiety and calms nerves during stress. It is also highly effective for dizzy spells. It is also effective against sleep problems, impotence, inflammation of all kinds, and as an aphrodisiac.
Indian basil, also known as holy basil, is an adaptogen, a biologically active plant compound. This causes a balancing adjustment in mental and physical stress reactions.
The body’s ability to ward off stress is stabilized. Therefore, Indian basil has a calming and balancing effect. It is best enjoyed as tea.
Haferkraut is less known in Germany. But this supplement is high in minerals, stabilizes cortisol levels, and helps break down other stress hormones like adrenaline. It exists in tincture, powder, and lose form and is ideally taken as an additive in teas.
When combined with a balanced and healthy diet that supports water, vitamin, and mineral balance, such natural remedies can be wonderful in helping to stabilize hormones and thus reduce stress and anxiety. Nevertheless, a prior discussion should be held with a doctor with naturopathic expertise.