Sharzad Green, Pharm.D,

I have received numerous emails and phone calls lately asking me if I can recommend a supplement for anxiety and panic attacks. The number of requests has increased recently, and as you can guess, it is partially due to the stress associated with being in a pandemic as well as the social unrest related to recent events.

Some of you have lost your job. Some have lost a loved one. You are limiting social get-togethers. You hesitate to travel. You are uncertain about your future, the future of your loved ones, society, and this world. All of these factors can create more anxiety.

Stress can significantly impact your quality of life and can manifest itself in many different ways.

Physical signs of stress

Rapid heartbeat

Chest pain

Trouble sleeping

Upset stomach

Diarrhea

Increased or decreased appetite

Dry mouth

Fatigue

Headaches

Jitters

Muscle pain or tension (neck or back)

Skin irritations

Change in libido

 Emotional and mental signs of stress

Anger

Anxiety

Feeling overwhelmed

Forgetfulness

Irritability

Lack of focus

Lack of motivation

Restlessness

Sadness or depression 

Every individual deals with stress differently. Some people resort to food and start overeating. Others consume alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. It is essential to have the right tools to deal with stressful circumstances in a healthy way. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Mindful meditation is extremely important. Deep breathing, meditating, or praying 3 times a day for 5-10 minutes. (there are many meditation apps available through your smartphone)
  2. Connect with nature. Whether it is taking a walk, gardening or even looking out through the window and watching birds, butterflies, etc., It helps you feel more connected and grounded
  3. Call a loved one to talk and stay in touch
  4. Limit your exposure to social media and the news except during designated times. Stay away from negative comments and squabbles
  5. Limit your consumption of sugars, caffeine, and alcohol
  6. Pick up a fun hobby such as drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, learning a new language, writing, doing crossword puzzles, gardening, etc.
  7. Use essential oils such as lavender, clary sage or chamomile oil 
  8. Consume calming foods, drinks and supplements containing B vitamins, magnesium, chamomile tea, decaffeinated green tea
  9. Some B vitamins can be helpful in reducing symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. B6, B9, and B12, in particular, have shown benefits in those struggling with high levels of stress
  10. There are many natural supplements available for stress and anxiety. I strongly advise you to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements. Some of the beneficial ingredients include Ashwagandha, Lemon balm, Valerian root, L-Theanine, Holy basil and magnesium

The bottom line is that stress can take a toll on you physically and mentally. It is important to utilize different strategies to help manage your stress. In addition to lifestyle changes, consuming certain nutrients, supplements and herbal products can be beneficial in helping you relax.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like me to help you choose the appropriate supplement. 



Each year 1.3 million women reach menopause in the United States. Although most women transition to menopause without experiencing psychiatric problems, it is estimated that 20% have depression at some point during menopause.

Studies have generally shown an increased risk of depression throughout perimenopause, however,  there is a decrease in risk of depression during postmenopausal years.

So, is there a connection between your hormones and depression.  Studies have indicated that changes in estrogen levels, may be related to depressive symptoms in the menopausal transition of some women.

Estrogen has a close relationship with the brain and can affect the chemical messengers of the nervous system. Serotonin and norepinephrine are thought to be the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) of the brain that are related to the physiologic cause of depression.

Although the precise mechanisms are yet unknown, as estrogen levels decline, regulation of serotonin and norepinephrine may change which may contribute to depression.

As most women can attest, depression is significantly linked to times of hormonal changes in females. Observations and data suggest that depression in women begins at puberty. Hormonal changes are thought to contribute to pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, PMS), as well as mood changes after giving birth and in perimenopause.

Scientists have discovered that women with a history of mood disorders or of premenstrual and postpartum mood-related symptoms are more likely to experience depression during menopause when hormones start declining.

In addition to hormonal changes, women with particular types of stressors seem to be at increased risk for perimenopausal depression. Such stressors or factors include the following:

  • Lack of social support
  • Unemployment
  • Surgical menopause
  • Poor overall health status
  • Onset of illness in self or others
  • Care of aging parents
  • Changes in employment
  • Negative mood before menopause
  • Negative attitude toward menopause and aging
  • Smoking
  • Little or no exercise
  • No partner
  • Experiencing (menopausal) symptoms
  • Poor self-perceived health
  • Negative feelings toward partner
  • Interpersonal stress
  • Empty-nest syndrome
  • Societal value of youth – In societies where age is valued, fewer symptoms at the menopause transition are reported

It is never easy to experience depression or to see your loved one be depressed. In my practice, I oftentimes observe a positive improvement in the mood after a woman’s or man’s hormones are balanced. Sometimes the depression is so severe that the patient’s loved ones seek help for the patient. It is important to note that depression is a very complicated physiological and psychological disorder and hormones may be an important piece of this puzzle.

If you or your loved one suffer from mood disorders, a simple blood test to check your hormone levels and a hormone consultation may be an important step in seeking help and getting closer to recovery. For more information call me at 480-264-7600


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