Tag Archives: caffiene

Gnashing my teeth…

I am feeling a little tense just at the moment.  As you might have picked up from my blog, I have a to do list with it’s own field of gravity on the best of days, but with a meeting with our social worker earlier this week, that list just developed its own asteroid field which is in grave danger of obliterating me if I stop to long to contemplate it.

stressed comic

Having extended that metaphor so tight it might snap, I know that one of the things I will do when I get stressed is that I grind my teeth.  This is called Bruxism, and I have done this at one time or another all my life.  Apparently stress is a common cause of it (sorry Hubby dear… you might need ear defenders on while you sleep!) but it can also be caused by a parasite!  Goodness!  I am pretty sure mine is stress though.

Is Bruxism dangerous though?  Well, only if your spouse decides to smother you with a pillow for the sound which is roughly equivalent to nails going down a blackboard.  But it can chip your tooth enamel.  Grinding can also wear down the jaw joint.  Bruxism can also cause headaches and pain in the face and jaw.

grinding teeth

So, according to my reference of choice this month, “Home Remedies from a Country Doctor”, there are several things you can do to help stop you from grinding your teeth.  Resting your neck is quite important apparently, and there are some contoured pillows which can help you to hold the bones between your shoulder and your chest, known as the cervical collar, in the right place.

You could also wear a mouth guard at night, which might not stop the grinding, but it will protect your teeth.  Although I am not sure about the fashion statement that would make.  Mind you, I am happy in fleecy pyjamas myself, so I am not exactly cutting edge on that score either!

water drop

Avoiding stimulants like coffee and chocolate makes a great deal of sense.  Not just because you will get a better quality of sleep, but you will also quite possibly be less on edge.  More relaxed equals less bruxism.    One surprising tip from the Country Doctors was to make sure you are keeping properly hydrated.  Apparently dehydration is one of the forms of stress which makes you grind your teeth.

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What a morning…

Hubby and I had a meeting with the social worker this morning and it was one of our more stressful occasions in this adoption process.  Needless to say at the end of things I feel kind of anxious and really pretty dreadful.  It got me thinking.  Is there anything herbal which can help address anxiety and panic attacks?

panic

I am very lucky, because I have never had a proper, full on panic attack.  People report different symptoms, but often shortness of breath, the idea that you are going to die, feeling like the world is piling in on top of you in about one second flat, are all reported as symptoms.  That does not sound enjoyable in the slightest.  I usually just get anxiety attacks.  For me, these are characterised by me thinking the absolute worst about everything all the time and getting stressed about things that are totally outside of my control.

chamomile

According to my research, there are some natural things that can help with anxiety and panic attacks.  The first of these is Chamomile.  Without doubt it is far and away the best herb to deal with anxiety.  A cup of chamomile tea is just the ticket, but you can also use lavender aromatherapy oils in a burner, or St John’s Wort as a supplement, or Valerian root as a tea as well.  However, one word of caution.  If you are already on anti-anxiety medication be sure to check for interactions just to be on the safe side.  It also goes without saying that you shouldn’t just stop your ongoing medication either.

 

Research has found that Magnesium is necessary in the body to dissipate the effects of traumatic stress that can occur as a result of intense fear or anxiety.  It also helps to undo the bad programming in the brain from previous attacks and can help to create a new brain response to triggering issues.  If you think you might be magnesium deficient, then see if you can get a blood test to make sure, but if you want to keep those levels up, eat lots of green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.  All of these are excellent sources of magnesium.

oily fish

Our old friends the Omega 3 fatty acids are back again.  They can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety by nearly 20%.  You can either eat more fatty fish or you can take supplements.  It can also help with systemic inflammation over the whole body which can also result from extended periods of stress or anxiety.

 

In addition, change your diet to one full of vegetables with less meat and dairy, reducing fat and sugar as you go, and you can give your GABA levels a boost.  GABA stands for Gamma-amnobutyric Acid, and apparently it helps to calm the firing nerves in the central nervous system.  If you don’t have enough of it, you can experience manic behaviour, alcoholism, anxiety or restlessness.  Also, try and cut out a lot of caffiene from your daily routine.  It is one of the main food triggers for anxiety along with Glutamine.

broccoli

Isn’t it strange?  When feeling anxious, don’t reach for the chocolate.  Reach for the Broccoli.  Anyone got any spare?