Anger Management?

angry irritable man

Anger and Irritability

Cranky, angry, irritable, short tempered, call it what you will but it’s not necessarily just your personality, in fact, most often it’s not. There are real physical explanations as to why you may be yelling at your spouse or your kids.  It may be just that you need to exercise a bit more self-control – count to 10 or take a few deep breaths before you speak, but it also may not be that simple and it may be something very difficult to control, depending on the cause, unless you actually treat the underlying cause.

What causes anger or irritability?

Why am I angry all the time? Why do I lose my temper with my kids or my spouse?

  1. Injustice – if I ask patients what makes them angry the answer is often “injustice”. Personally being wronged, maligned or persecuted, or more global injustice.  This is normal human empathy in action.
  2. Frustration – not being understood or listened to is often a source of anger and frustration.
  3. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar – it’s referred to as being “hangry” (hungry and angry). If eating helps reduce irritability, then the anger is due to a dip in blood sugar. These dips are a common phenomenon, but not a normal one.  The body should correct dips in blood sugar without the need to eat (via the adrenal glands and liver).  Supporting these organs can relieve hypoglycemic irritability.
  4. Hormone imbalance – yes this can cause irritability, but a word to the wise: don’t tell your partner that she’s angry due to PMS. I can almost guarantee that this statement will not go well for you. In the grips of a hormone imbalance or fluctuation, whatever the cause of the anger seems real, valid and important.  Let a few days pass and this person may be able to discuss things much more calmly and rationally.
  5. Tiredness – when we’re tired, our inhibitions are down and our normal ability to reign in anger or exhibit self control doesn’t work as well as it normally would. Table the issue to deal with another day when you’ve had more sleep.
  6. Stress – stress can manifest as anger and irritability, particularly with those closest to us. Is your job really worth damaging your relationship with those closest to you?

Through naturopathic treatment, we can help balance hormones and enhance sleep if these are causing anger issues.  If anger or irritability is affecting your relationship, let’s deal with the underlying cause so that you can better manage your mood.

Blood tests that may be helpful to source out the root of anger or irritability:

testosterone, DHEAs, DHT, androstenedione, prolactin, estradiol (day 3), progesterone (day 21), 2 hour pc glucose (for hypoglycemia)

Burn Out

Woman experiencing burn out exhaustion low energy and fatigue

Many of my patients report feeling “burnt out”.

What exactly does “burnt out” mean?

Burn out is a sensation or feeling of exhaustion that often occurs after a period of high stress, long term stress or both.

Why does this happen?

There are a number of possible explanations for exhaustion, the most common of which should be ruled out:

  1. Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid can lead to exhaustion, feelings of coldness, hair loss, weight gain, menstrual irregularities and sluggish thinking.
  2. Low iron – this is a common concern for women due to blood loss each month with menstrual cycles.
  3. Burnt out adrenal glands or adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are under-recognized as the source of a number of health problems. The adrenals are your stress glands.  They help your body to deal with stress along with a host of other duties: blood pressure, blood sugar, hormone balance, and production of anti-inflammatories. Signs that the adrenals may not be working well include burn out, hypoglycemia, high/low or unstable blood pressure and presence of inflammatory or autoimmune conditions.

What is the naturopathic treatment for burn out?

Address the root of the problem.

  1. Reduce stress where possible and exercise to offset the effects of stress.
  2. Have blood tests done to determine whether your exhaustion stems from physical conditions like low iron or hypothyroidism.
  3. Support the adrenal glands. These glands sit on top of your kidneys and need certain vitamins and minerals to function normally. Vitamin B5, B6, C, magnesium, zinc, potassium are crucial to healthy adrenal gland function. In addition, adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda, ginseng, eleuthrococcus, rhodiola and schisandra can be used to support healthy adrenal gland function.

Blood tests that may help diagnose burn out:

ferritin, TSH, free T3, free T4, DHEAs, testosterone, cortisol – 8-9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Feeling burnt out? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? It’s no way to live and it can be corrected once you know the root of the problem.

Mood Swings?

mood swings
Mood Swings

Mood Swings

by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc (Hons), ND

Teenagers are notorious for them, partners get themselves into trouble around PMS because of them and some folks have them because they just need a sandwich – right now!

Let’s take a look at the root causes of mood swings:

  1. Hormones – PMS, menopausal women, andropausal men and teenagers have this in common, stay away from PMS’ing teenagers.
  2. Hypoglycemia – blood sugar dips can affect our mood, but blood sugar dips are also a sign that all is not right with the system that should be smoothing out these dips.  Did you know that even if you miss a meal you shouldn’t get cranky?
  3. Dehydration – yep, not only will missing out on food make you hangry, but so will missing out on water intake.
  4. Food sensitivities – foods that create inflammation don’t limit that inflammation to just your tummy, inflammation can wreak havoc on your poor brain too.  Does an inflamed brain work how it normally would? Nope.

How can we fix mood swings?

  1. Balance hormones – help the liver to clear out excess hormone with indole-3-carbinol, 5MTHF, P5P, B12 and glucarate, reduce starch and sugar intake, and support these glands – pituitary, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, thyroid – for optimal hormone production.
  2. Fix hypoglycemia – keep adrenal glands running smoothly so that blood sugar dips don’t happen regardless of how often you eat.  Give them vitamin B5, B6, C, magnesium, zinc and adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda, ginseng, rhodiola and schisandra.
  3. Stay hydrated – start your day with 2 cups of water, drink another cup 1/2 hour before each meal and another cup in the evening.
  4. Do a blood test for IgG and IgA food sensitivities and remove those foods from your diet.