Generalized anxiety frequently accompanies a condition called reactive hypoglycemia, in which blood sugar levels drop to abnormal low levels following consumption of a large amount of sugar. Individuals who experience heightened anxiety caused by hypoglycemia benefit reduced carbohydrate intake, high protein, and avoiding caffeine. Caffeine consumption is associated with an increased risk of anxiety. Caffeine consumption increases levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol resulting in “nervousness” in healthy adults, and increased generalized anxiety or panic attacks in individuals predisposed to panic. Further, chronically anxious individuals have less severe anxiety when they abstain from caffeine. A dietary deficiency in the amino acid tryptophan (found in turkey and bananas) causes a reduction in brain serotonin levels resulting in anxiety.
You can find out more about dietary changes that help reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety and panic attacks, and other safe and effective complementary and alternative treatments of anxiety, and learn practical tips for using them in “Anxiety: the Integrative Mental Health Solution,” by James Lake M.D.