It’s spring here in Chicago and as two doctors and busy moms, no one knows anxiety and stress like we do! How is that possible?
Well… try 6 kids (between the two of us) in multiple travel sports, work, homework, husbands and of course seeing our patients day to day and hearing their many worries about their own lives. Spring is supposed to be a time of renewal and regrowth. But, the truth is:
It’s a time of great anxiety and stress. It seems a day does not pass that a patient doesn’t come in asking “Which vitamins are good for anxiety?”
It turns out there some great supplements for anxiety and stress. However, they are not always the same for everyone. Just because your neighbor says she found an amazing vitamin for stress that does not mean it is the right thing for you. We all have different diets, lifestyles and health concerns. She may be iron deficient because she eats no red meat and has heavy periods and benefit from iron supplements while you may be a carnivore and find more benefit from other vitamins for anxiety.
As with all vitamins, when figuring out which supplements work for anxiety and stress we must look at the individual and their needs to figure out the right amounts and doses of each vitamin. A personalized approach to vitamins is always superior. You can take our vitamin survey here.
So what is a stressed out person to do?
It’s actually fairly simple. Complete our brief vitamin quiz to figure out your vitamin needs.
Have you been considering medication for anxiety but prefer to know how to treat anxiety naturally? As doctors, we would never say that there can not be a useful role for medication in treating anxiety. There are a number of helpful medications available. However, many people prefer to try to treat their anxiety naturally before pursuing medication. Here are a few simple vitamins for anxiety that may help:
Marvelous Magnesium is high on our list of anxiety supplements that work. This important mineral plays many roles in the body, mostly in helping nerves and muscles to function optimally. So how does magnesium also work as a supplement for muscle pain? Magnesium helps muscles, including those in your blood vessels to relax. Yes, we said relax. Just like you need to! We can’t underplay the helpfulness of this supplement for stress and anxiety. To find out exactly how much to take take our vitamin survey.
UnBElievable Bs are a group of B vitamins that also play a key role in treating anxiety naturally. They are most important in helping nerve function properly and this often means relaxing nerves that are overly keyed up. Sounds like just what you need?
Vitamin D has by no means been proven as a vitamin to take for stress or anxiety. However we would like to suggest that it may play a role. Wait, aren’t we doctors and all about the evidence? Yes, we are. But indulge us on this for a moment. Science has shown that Vitamin D deficiency (read more about how incredibly common this is here) is linked with low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the main chemicals in your brain where low levels is known to cause depression and anxiety. Does not take our M.D degrees to see the connection. Thus, we think it’s safe to suggest that taking a safe amount of vitamin D is a good idea for those looking for a supplement for anxiety. And it’s a good idea for most of us to take some vitamin D for many reasons. Figuring out what that amount is requires a personalized vitamin and you can take our vitamin survey here.
Treating anxiety and stress is not just about vitamins. What else, you ask?
Turns out there are many simple things you can do beyond taking vitamins for anxiety and stress. The good old fashioned lifestyle suggestions like regular exercise and good sleep are still very much advised. In addition to those lifestyle basics, it’s also worth spending some time to learn the practice of mindfulness. There are tons of books, Youtube videos, and even phone apps available (check out the Calm app). These are great tools to add to your armamentarium.
You may have wondered which vitamins are good for anxiety. So we’ve suggested a lot of thing you can do to treat anxiety and stress naturally. But we should also tell you a few things not to do:
Do NOT take unproven herbs and supplements for anxiety. There are many many things out there being advertised as vitamins for anxiety. Beware of herbals in particular. Rhodiola, Valerian and the like are hard to obtain in pure and safe forms. These are the types of products that can be laden with unlisted ingredients and contain little of what is listed on the bottle. More on supplement safety here.
Do NOT take any product that is a “glandular” product or suggests it is made to help enhance your adrenal or thyroid glands. Many or most of these supplements for adrenal fatigue or thyroid boost are full of ground up animal glands (eeeew) and are both unsafe and potentially harmful. The only vitamin for thyroid support we endorse is iodine and that must be in safe amounts (which are often lower than those put in to these products. Read more about Iodine here.
Do NOT take big vitamin packs. These are often contain more products than you really want or need to take (8 pills daily?..yuck). Most people do not stick to these complicated regimens as they develop side effects from some of the pack components. Frankly, they get sick of the whole thing. And they are often unnecessary or unsafe amounts of vitamins. Keep it simple, take just what you need.
And one more thing… last but far from least, involve your doctor in this conversation. We would never want you to think that we can take the place of your actual health care providers. We can try to help, however!
Find out what vitamins you may need by taking our vitamin quiz.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teen agers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin survey now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease