The Role Food Plays in Anxiety and Inflammation

by PALEOHACKS | Popsugar

Our friends at PaleoHacks help us understand the link between anxiety and inflammation.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, impacting more than 40 million adults. While some cases can be mild and short-lived, others can be debilitating, lasting for years, or transitioning into a chronic problem. Anxiety is connected to a number of lifestyle, health, and dietary factors, but understanding the triggers and root causes can lead to more effective treatment.

What Is Anxiety?

Many people refer to situational stress or momentary tenseness as anxiety, and often the term “panic attack” can be loosely thrown around. But for people living with generalised anxiety disorder or one of the other recognised anxiety diagnoses — like social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, or separation anxiety disorder — these terms have meaning that delves into a feeling that can be all-consuming, debilitating, and hard to comprehend by someone on the outside.

Anxiety can refer to numerous symptoms that can include: (123)

  • Nervousness
  • Fear
  • Apprehension
  • Worrying
  • Paranoia
  • Feelings of being unsettled
  • Trembling
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations (which can increase anxiety over worries of heart attack)
  • Numbness or pins and needle sensations in extremities
  • Sweating or hot flashes
  • Restlessness or restless legs
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Muscular aches and pains from tension
  • Minor trouble falling/staying asleep
  • Being easily startled

While almost anyone can experience temporary feelings of anxiety before impactful events, important moments, tests, or the like, anxiety is considered to be problematic when it presents for numerous events within a person’s life, and when it begins to interfere in some way with normal function, including sleep disturbances, social anxiety, or self-care.

Bottom line: Anxiety is a legitimate disorder that can range from short-term to chronic, and can have wide-ranging symptoms that can be attributed to a number of other conditions.

Read More: Foods that Cause Anxiety

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