Why Mental Health is Key to Reaching Your Goals
At 10X Health, our mission is to help you live your best life. While so much of that comes from addressing the physical aspects of your life, it is impossible to build a truly optimized life without taking your mental wellness into account too.
Threats to your mental well-being, even if small, can create roadblocks that prevent you from feeling your best. If you don’t feel your best, how can you function at a level needed to reach or even surpass the goals you set for yourself?
While not impossible, we want to help irradicate any of these barriers that might be keeping you from seeing the results we know you are capable of. And that begins with mental well-being.
Anxiety Disorders by Numbers
One of the biggest threats to the health of our society is anxiety. Mental health has always been a concern when discussing the overall wellness of individuals. But rates of mental health issues are on the rise. More and more people are experiencing mental health-related problems or are living with mental illnesses. Anxiety is one of the most pervasive.
In the United States alone, anxiety affects over 40 million adults. That is 19.1% of the population. The numbers increase for adolescents, ages 13 -18, reporting that almost 32% of them experience anxiety.
Anxiety is so common in our society, that many people aren’t even aware they have it. Anxiety can feel like an everyday occurrence, something you just have to live with. But that is not the case. Knowing the symptoms associated with anxiety is the first step in identifying what it is, if you have it, and begin planning the ways you can attack the issue, to rid anxiety from your life.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There are 4 main types of anxiety that are most commonly seen: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Phobias. While each has its own specific symptoms, they are almost all classified by one thing.
Anxiety refers to the persistent, and overwhelming fear or worry in situations that are not threatening. This is different than occasional worry due to stress or panic in the face of life-threatening situations. In order to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, this worry has to be persistent for many months.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is a type of anxiety that results in consistent worry about everyday situations like work or school, health, family, and money. Those with GAD are often unable to control their thoughts of worry to the point that their lives are impacted. While anyone may be at risk for GAD, women are 50% more likely to be affected by it than men.
As the number of mental wellness issues begins to climb year after year, it is vital not only for the overall health of our society, but for the individual people living with mental illness, that we become more aware of the symptoms and causes, and take time to learn the scientifically proven ways to help.
Anxiety Symptoms to Be Aware Of
Given the rates of anxiety in the American public, it is highly likely that you or someone you know have experienced anxiety symptoms in your lifetime. While it is normal to feel anxious from time to time, a constant feeling of anxiety is not. Symptoms related to anxiety come in many forms and can range from minor inconveniences to full medical emergencies depending on the severity.
Anxiety symptoms can be broken up into two main categories: emotional symptoms and physical symptoms. Not every person with a diagnosed anxiety disorder will experience the same things. It is important to know that each person is different and has their own unique triggers and responses to fear. Depending on the type of anxiety someone has, they may experience many symptoms or very few. Here are a few symptoms people with anxiety may face:
Emotional Anxiety Symptoms
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Feeling tense or Jumpy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anticipating the worst
- Being watchful for signs of danger
- Avoidant behaviors due to intense fear
Physical Anxiety Symptoms
- Pounding or racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating or Flushed Cheeks
- Tremors and Twitches
- Fatigue and Insomnia
- Upset stomach
- Frequent urination or diarrhea
Anxiety and Depression
Along with the anxiety symptoms above, those with anxiety are more at risk for experiencing depression as well. Anxiety and depression are mental health conditions that are known to be comorbid. That means they are likely to occur simultaneously in patients. Some estimates show that up to 60% of those with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression and vice versa.
There are many suggested reasons why anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. One reason has to do with their biological mechanisms in the brain, while another theory pinpoints the overlapping symptoms between the two. Luckily, many of the treatments for anxiety have been shown to also help with depression.
Common Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders can develop from a complex combination of risk factors including life events, brain chemistry, personality, and genetics. Knowing the cause of something is the first step in learning how to fix it. Let’s break down some of these causes further to help explain what could be going on inside our bodies and minds.
Life Events and Environment:
Anxiety comes from an evolutionary response in the body. It is an extreme adaptation of the flight or fight behavior, that enables us to protect ourselves and avoid danger. It makes sense then that life events and the environment that can trigger such a reaction would play an active role in the creation of anxiety.
When we experience traumatic events, like abuse, neglect, or natural disasters, our bodies seek to protect us by alarming us to fear. In cases of prolonged abuse, especially in childhood, individuals’ ability to self-regulate and process trauma is compromised. As a response, the body defaults to anxiety and other responses like dissociation as the safest way to protect itself.
While outside factors play a significant role in anxiety, there are internal factors that impact us as well. Psychologists and others in the scientific community have linked reduced levels of serotonin in the brain with anxiety and depression. Many prescription medications, herbal supplements, and therapies often center around ways to increase the amount of serotonin present in the brain, returning them to optimal levels needed to feel happier and healthier.
If you have ever heard the phrase “it runs in the family,” more than likely the speaker was referring to genetics. Just like many traits including eye color and height, diseases and disorders can find their roots in your DNA. Anxiety is one of them. Some families have a higher number of individuals who experience anxiety which might predispose you to having it too. However, there is no “anxiety switch” that can simply be turned on or off depending on your family history. Like many other aspects of the human body, mental health is complex. We’ll dig more into the genetics of anxiety below.
How Genetics May Play a Role in Anxiety
It is widely accepted in the scientific community that DNA has a hand in your likelihood of experiencing anxiety, about a 30% chance in fact. There is not one specific gene that determines whether or not someone is affected, but rather many genes that interact to form your unique genetic code.
Three of these genes that the 10X Health genetic test looks at are MTHFR, AHCY, and COMT. Knowing more about how these genes work in the body, and what they affect, can help you determine if genetic testing is the right step for you in better understanding your mental wellbeing.
In order for our bodies to function, there are numerous processes going on inside of us at all times. This is where genes, hormones, and millions of cells come into play. A biochemical process called DNA methylation can alter the expression of genes. The methylation cycle is a crucial process your body uses to convert raw nutrients into usable forms that your body needs.
The gene that is responsible for controlling this cycle is called MTHFR. This is where one of the most common types of mutations occurs, affecting 44% of the world’s population. A mutation in this MTHFR gene may result in brain fog, anxiety, depression, weight gain, high blood pressure, and many other symptoms.
The second gene important to anxiety is called Adenosylhomocysteinase, more commonly referred to as AHCY. When expressed properly, this gene creates an enzyme that helps break down methionine, a key amino acid found in meat, fish, and dairy products. However, AHCY mutations usually present in the form of psychiatric symptoms, like anxiety, depression, or addiction.
COMT is most closely related to your mind and is responsible for quieting your mind. Because of this key role, people with a mutation in COMT often have sleep and anxiety issues due to a racing mind. COMT also plays an important role in metabolizing dopamine and epinephrine. Variations of this gene can contribute to anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms.
Understand your Anxiety with Genetic Testing
As scientists uncover more areas of the genome that contribute to anxiety and other mental wellness disorders, we can better learn how to treat them. The best way to learn what mutations you have now and how they are affecting your life is to order a genetic test.
The genetic test offered by 10X Health closely examines all of the genes listed above and more. If you feel you are at risk for anxiety or experience any of the anxiety symptoms mentioned, it may be a good idea to help pinpoint the root cause of your concerns.
Anxiety can make life feel overwhelming, making it difficult to get through everyday tasks. Luckily, there are many ways to treat anxiety once you know how it affects you.
Dietary Supplements For Mental Health
While many people take dietary supplements for physical benefits, most don’t know about the role their supplements could have on their mental well-being. Dietary supplements have long been proven effective in managing symptoms related to depression and anxiety.
Many of the concerns associated with mental wellness are intensified by a lack of vitamins and minerals in the body. Supplementing your diet with effective nutrients proven to work for your body is key to optimizing your mental wellness. But which supplements are best to manage anxiety symptoms?
Best Supplements For Anxiety
Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety
During periods of stress, a hormone called cortisol is released in the body. Prolonged release of this stress‐associated hormone causes a loss of magnesium stores in the body. Magnesium is an essential mineral needed to keep our bodies healthy. In several studies, oral magnesium supplements were shown to have a positive effect on anxiety and reduce anxiety symptoms in patients overall compared to those who didn’t receive magnesium supplementation.
Vitamin C Supplement
Maintaining healthy eating habits with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is important to keeping your body in homeostasis and promoting optimal physical condition. While we get many nutrients from our diet, for those with anxiety, some of these vital nutrients can become depleted.
Vitamin C supplements can reduce anxiety by limiting oxidative stress from metabolites (a product of cellular metabolism that has a variety of functions in the body) and also by limiting the stress hormone cortisol. While the right amount of cortisol is necessary to maintain your health, too much of it can negatively impact your well-being.
10X Calm Supplement
In addition to magnesium and vitamin C, there are many more herbal supplements that are beneficial to maintaining your mental wellness and sleep quality. At 10X Health, we helped our customers by creating a supplement that combines a mix of these sought-after items that have been proven to reduce anxiety.
10X Calm is a dietary supplement that contains a blend of 100mg of GABA, 100mg of Theanine, and 50mg of Huperzine A. GABA is known for producing a calming effect. It’s thought to play a major role in controlling nerve cell hyperactivity associated with anxiety, stress, and fear. Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has a calming effect on the mind by increasing the production of GABA and dopamine in the brain.
Selecting the Right Anxiety Management For You
Anxiety supplements and herbal supplements for anxiety can be natural alternatives for prescription medications or anti-anxiety medications. Taking supplements can help reduce stress, aid in mood disorders, and manage other stress-related symptoms.
Talk to your healthcare provider or other health professionals before deciding how to best supplement anxiety symptoms you are experiencing. They may offer you other supplements for anxiety like vitamin D, B vitamins, lavender oil, or omega-3 fatty acids.
Remember, anxiety disorders are personal and therefore require anxiety supplements or other medications that are tailored to you and your lifestyle. Selecting the right treatment plan for anxiety management can take time and require many changes as your body adjusts.
If you’re struggling with mental wellness issues, including anxiety, or are looking for more effective ways to ease your anxiety symptoms, the 10X Health team is well-equipped to help you understand the state of your health and provide actionable recommendations to help you on your journey to optimal health.
If you’re ready to 10X your mental well-being, reduce anxiety symptoms and depression symptoms, and see how our scientifically-backed line of natural supplements and genetic testing can impact your life for the better, head to our online shop today!