Be Worry Free

By: Dr. Michael Morsillo, B.Sc., N.D.

Anxiety is the most common psychiatric condition in North America, and it is actually a broad category that consists of multiple anxiety disorders.  Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to any stressor in our lives and it can actually be a helpful response allowing us to effectively deal with a task or situation.  However, when anxiety becomes excessive, it can become significantly detrimental to one’s quality of life. 

One may experience anxiety as apprehension, difficulty concentrating, feeling jumpy, irritable, restless, fears/phobias, tics, sleeping disorders, and so on.  Although anxiety is categorized as a psychological condition, there are actually a multitude of physical symptoms that may manifest with anxiety, such as heart palpitations, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach pains, headaches, increased blood pressure, increased sweating, etc.  It is quite interesting to note that anxiety can occur in response to a stimulus or threat whether it is real or imagined.

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, it is important that you seek medical care to determine whether there are any underlying health conditions that may be causing these symptoms.  Fortunately, anxiety disorders typically respond very well to naturopathic medical care.  At Newmarket Naturopathic, we really place an emphasis on identifying the root cause of any illness, and I find this approach to be particularly effective for conditions, such as anxiety, with multiple underlying causes.

Anxiety may result from neurotransmitter imbalances, which is what most medications are designed to target.  There are several key nutrient deficiencies (amino acids, minerals, vitamins) that can either independently contribute to symptoms of anxiety or to the neurotransmitter imbalances that cause anxiety.  It is also very important to assess hormonal function and re-establish hormonal balance in order to minimize or eliminate symptoms of anxiety.  More specifically, adrenal glands that are over-functioning (the opposite of adrenal fatigue) can commonly result in anxiety and even insomnia.  These over-functioning adrenal glands can produce excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol in response to a stressor or continuously throughout the day.  This hyper-adrenal output needs to be measured using a salivary cortisol profile to measure daily cortisol output by the adrenal glands.

Here are some important tips to minimize the severity of anxiety:

  1. Eliminate caffeine – caffeine consumption can elevate blood pressure and heart rate and make you feel jittery, irritable, nervous, which can intensify symptoms of anxiety.
  2. Get a restful sleep – a good night’s sleep will promote a sense of relaxation, help normalize adrenal function, and decrease your need for a coffee the next morning.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet – A well-balanced diet will help you to replenish any deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are so important for neurotransmitter production.
  4. Exercise – Daily exercise will help to balance hormones as well as increase production of brain chemicals that will promote a sense of relaxation and positive mood.  It will also allow you to get a better night’s sleep.
  5. Meditation  – This is a great tool that can help you to relax your body and calm an over-active mind so you can shift your focus away from sources of stress or worry.

Michael Morsillo is a naturopathic doctor who is passionate about helping others achieve their optimal level of health.  Michael maintains a clinical practice in Newmarket, where he focuses mainly on anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal concerns, detoxification, and weight loss.    

For more information or to schedule an appointment:

Call 905-898-1844 (ext. 135) or email