Mental Health Stress & Anxiety

Supplements for Anxiety, Stress and “one of those days”

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: September 6, 2018
needs supplements for anxiety

needs supplements for anxiety

Supplements for anxiety means not drugs!

So how common IS anxiety anyway? So many people are stressed and anxious in our fast-paced society. Estimates are well over 50%. You are most definitely NOT alone. I think these estimates are super low, personally. Good news-it is possible to live a life without too much stress!  We are going to talk about supplements for anxiety which is a healthy all natural way to go. You likely have not heard of such a thing. You might even be taking medications because they are prescribed like candy-UGH! So first I’d like to talk about stress  in general,then about the why nots of drugs and then the whys and hows of supplements for anxiety OK? I have covered tons of stress management techniques in other blogs so this is about immediate symptom relief.

To learn more about stress symptoms and what you can do just search this website when you are done with this article.

In this website, I have discussed, for instance about how many people eat due to stress (A LOT!) Stress accounts for a lot of what people refer to as “unexplained weight gain.”

I tell you how to fix it too! All of your brain chemicals can be adjusted with supplements and we have more than just supplements for anxiety.

Stress eating is rampant and we know that people overeat when they are not at all hungry due to anxiety, stress, depression,sleepiness, and low energy.

I can fix all that-just get a quick consult with me! We have supplements which can even do fancy things like curb cravings, decrease your appetite (or percieved appetite due to out of whack leptin and ghrelin) and increase lean body mass. We have supplements which mimic anti-depressants to be natural mood enhancers too!

Of course we must manage stress which will indeed reduce anxiety but that isn’t the whole story.

Just doing that is not a full natural treatment for anxiety. Anxiety has to be managed full time. No matter how many deep breathing exercises you do all day or yoga classes you take, you will usually need a “little something” unless you are just bullet-proof.

And I HOPE you WILL want to try to do this with supplements for anxiety and NOT drugs: here is exactly why.

Functional Brain health 101:

We are emotionally ruled by brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. They are released by brain cells called neurons (for the most part) and some people have less of what they need and some people have enough but they don’t stay around in the brain long enough.

Both situations cause deficiency states which have their own set of symptoms.

Acetyl-choline is a neurotransmitter involved in cognition (thinking) and neural transmission speed (“sharpness of thinking”).

It can be affected adversely when we are coping with depression or when we are anxious. We feel that we are “not thinking straight.”

Epinephrine is made in the adrenal glands and too much causes anxiety. This happens during periods of stress when the adrenals also release cortisone which will depress our immune system and interfere with brain health. If you want to know the perils of a high cortisol please read the link to the article in the last sentence when you are done-it’s the perils AND the fixes.

Serotonin is a happy neurotransmitter and helps mitigate anxiety. Most of it is made in the GI tract, believe it or not! As even more unbelievable is that too little causes strange symptoms like constipation. True!

Dopamine is another happy neurotransmitter and so is nor-epinephrine.

BUT the brain chemical MOST involved in anxiety and the one we CAN fix to stop anxiety without drugs is known as “GABA“.

This is what keeps you calm and prevents panic attacks as well as anxiety.

We have five ways of increasing seratonin and GABA with natural supplements for anxiety and I’ll tell you all about it after I get the “no drugs” information off my mind. Promise!

As an aside,you are for sure aware there are other things to do to manage stress and I hope you find them in this blog and even in my videos. Here’s one right here. It’s about all sorts of things, from what you eat, to exercise, to your sleep and energy levels and more so I urge you to find that information. It’s all here, with me (easier) or without me-go hunting!

SO-what about anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals is all that bad?

If you are on anti-anxiety medications they are addictive AND highly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. They cause demonstrable short term memory loss. They basically numb you out, and they rob your body of its ability to make its own GABA.

And I’m not even going into what they do to lower your cognitive abilities in this article but it’s a lot. I can fix this situation of course! I always use acetyl-l-carnitine and GPC if you want a jump start on me.

There is a DRUG called gabapentin BUT we want to avoid drugs, right?

Also gabapentin is not typically used for anxiety or stress, anyway-or at least it should not be.  Anxiety treatment does NOT need to involve DRUGS!

If drugs called benzodiazepines (xanax,valium,etc.) are involved you will NOT learn much in the way of stress management techniques- I guarantee you that. If drugs are involved you have much greater chances of having the original issues PLUS cognitive (thinking and memory issues) as well!

These drugs can make anxiety conditions worse than they already are. This class of drugs called benzodiazepines is something you need to weaned from. And during the weaning, yes natural supplements for anxiety can be used. I can absolutely guide you through exactly how to do this but this MUST be supervised by your physician.

And maybe, just maybe your doctor listened to your symptoms for 5 minutes and handed you a prescription you don’t need. Could that be? Or did you hear an ad for something and ask and he “delivered” without much thought?

The basics of dealing with anxiety:

If you need to be weaned from drugs OR have anxiety issues-I have answers. First, I always suggest behavioral treatment. And I also suggest that you learn lots of great techniques to “bust stress” and start eating healthfully and exercising, etc.

And you need good prebiotics and probiotics and here’s why. Studies have shown a reduction of anxiety symptoms in people who switch to an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise and turn their GI microbiome “mess” into a well functioning GI-tract system that functions to actually (no kidding!) reduce anxiety.

AND of course as always, sleep-good sleep, is a must for good mental health. If you are not sleeping well please search this site for all sorts of free info and a great sleep kit which includes a great pillow-often THE problem.

Natural supplements for anxiety:

 We want to increase GABA which is the neurochemical increased by drugs such as valium, clonopin and xanax. There are two basic ways.

PharmaGaba: These are chewable supplements which are pure GABA. Do not be fooled into thinking that an oral supplement will do a thing. Why?  Because : It is not absorbed orally across the blood-brain barrier. Not one bit no matter where you read that oral supplements work.

Chewables must be chewed,1-2 at a time, put under tongue, against inner cheek and held there for a minute or so for absorption prior to swallowing. You can repeat this as much as needed but after 8-10 tabs, people report sleepiness-so watch that. Tingling is normal. This is the #1 most popular of our supplements for instant anxiety relief  with not just AWS members but with my patients in my private practice too! I’ll put a link at the bottom, as appropriate. Do not take these WITH anti-anxiety medications or they reduce medication efficacy. There needs to be a two hour “window.”

L-glutamine: This amino acid converts to GABA. You can take 2 2x/daily but NOT if you have an MSG allergy. The added benefit is that is also increases Human Growth Hormone. You can actually take it 4-5x/daily if needed and this is the dosing need to increase HGH anyway if you are looking for more muscle and skin care effects.

GPC: This brain booster for cognition also raises GABA making it yet another great natural anxiety supplement.

Two ways to increase seratonin to mimic drugs like paxil, zoloft and prozac:

5-OH tryptophan: (Do not take if you are bi-polar or are on anti-depressants). As an aside if you want to wean from anti-depressants onto natural brain chemicals know that treating anxiety naturally is the “way to go” for results and health. The dose is 1-2 caps 2-3x daily and then, depending on your GI tract, (we use this to treat constipation!Remember?) you will take anywhere from 3-10+ caps at night.

Just watch for this “other effect” and stop when you hit it and back off on the dose. Note that more than 2 caps during the day will likely make you sleepy. But here is a “cool thing” to remember-remember I mentioned we have things to cut down cravings? Well, this is a mild non stimulant appetite suppressant AND a suppressant of cravings! Nice to know if you like that “side effect”, right? :-)

Inositol:  Known more as a sleep aid, it can also be used to boost seratonin with no real worry about dosing. I recommend for a good boost you use 2-4 caps 2x daily….and if this dose makes you sleepy during the day just back off the daytime dose. You can crank it up at night if you want.



  1. I am under extreme stress at work. Then when I come home all I want to do is relax but that is hard to do when you have two young children waiting for you to get home to play with them. I love this blog and it’s great information. I know that I need to de-stress my life but I am not sure where to start. Do you have a recommendation?

  2. Wow this was sure ME! I bought some of the Pharmagaba from your store in mood module and wow it is great!

  3. I love your pharmagaba product-I found it under shop sitopharma and chose the mood module,and there it was! I need about 6-8 to feel calm when I’m anxious,is that OK?

    • Yes,in fact it’s typical Ricardo

  4. I have gone been dealing with anxiety for almost five years now. I’m frustrated with having to take prescription everyday for my system not knowing what the outcome may be years from now.
    I find your blogs very informative and I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    • Hi Ken,
      We treat anxiety without drugs and I share your concern. Please feel free to schedule a free consult with me!

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