Understanding my anxiety

5 Sep 2016

I am always finding ways to bring about more understanding of my neurological symptoms, to find an explanation for the things I deal with daily.

When there’s something I can’t control, like being late for an appointment, or working through an issue that’s not easily resolved, it’s easy for me to feel anxious and panicky. Because I have Cerebral Palsy and the Central Nervous System is affected I struggle with both of these issues.

I have been reading about an amino acid that’s job is to regulate the body’s nervous system, which relaxes us when we’re anxious or stressed by inhibiting nerve transmission, called Gamma-amino butyric acid (“GABA”). GABA inhibits neurotransmitters, meaning that it blocks nerve impulses, which the body may not be able to produce naturally, due to the brain damage sustained.

So GABA has a calming or quieting influence. Without GABA, nerve cells can fire too often and too easily. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, and numerous other conditions including Parkinson’s and cognitive impairment are all related to low GABA activity.

Doctors are now looking at natural GABA substitutes, in an attempt to help those people who deal with low GABA. Trials show that there are numerous natural substances that can have a positive effect on GABA. For example, Valerian Root has a long history of use as a tranquilizer and works by increasing the effect of GABA on its receptors.

American Ginseng similarly acts on the GABA receptors and has a positive effect. Extracts of green tea, black tea and coffee bring about a positive GABA response in test models and helps reduce anxiety and panicky symptom.

So for those of us who have low GABA due to specific conditions, perhaps the above alternative suggestions are where the answer lies.

4 Responses to “Understanding my anxiety”

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  1. Brad 05. Sep, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    It must be empowering to discover yet further explanation of your daily experiences and struggles. Are you going to try any of the alternative remedies you mention to see if they have any positive benefit ?

    I suspect they won’t be a panacea for all, in view of the inherent complexities of brain damage.

    • Ilana 05. Sep, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

      I feel more empowered each day as I come to learn more. It’s tragic and I feel sad sometimes that I didn’t come to know sooner; that I’ve had to work it all out on my own, but I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, so it’s fine.

      I am sure the remedies I have suggested won’t help all of us with inherent complexities of brain damage, but I am more than sure they will go some way to help. The Valerian Root or American Ginseng would be two contenders for me.

      Help is better than no help. We must always at least try. If we don’t try we don’t know and if we try we’ll know for sure then.

  2. Tim 07. Sep, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    When I find myself panicky, I normally show myself to an exit sign and go to a gym. But beating my anxiety by reading your blogs is an alternative for me.

    • Ilana 08. Sep, 2016 at 7:40 am #

      Awww thanks Tim. Yes, showing yourself to an exit sign and the gym is a sure sign you’re in control. You’re literally half way there.

      The other half to that scenario is making sure you tackle and come through the other side of an issue or problem you have to deal with. Distancing ourselves and giving ourselves time out to quantify the issue always helps; but if the issue still exists when we’ve done that, we need to be able to bring a resolve or closure with it. As they say, nothing ever goes away until we deal with it.

      It’s really great to hear that my blogs help you in that way. They help me in the same way, particularly when I’m having a bad day. My blogs always help me see through the fog and show me there is a different way to how I think and feel.

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