Question:

What are some natural ways to de-stress?

I am on Lorazepam 1mg .one tablet 4 times a day, for stress, can I get of these & take some thing else? I have been on them for eight years. thank you.

Answer:

Photo of Natasha Turner
While there is no magic bullet for anxiety, there are many things you can do to take the edge off, naturally. For example, you can decrease your stress hormones (cortisol) with phosphatidylserine and herbs like ashwagandha or relora. Phosphatidylserine (PS) belongs to a special category of fat-soluble substances called phospholipids, which are essential components of cell membranes. According to various research PS may help preserve, or even prevent destruction to, brain cells related to the exposure of elevated levels of cortisol. PS may also help reduce the negative effects of cortisol on muscle tissues during exercise (physical stress) and periods of psychological stress. Ashwagandha and relora are two herbal products which are also useful to help reduce the release of cortisol as well as rebuild the adrenal glands from the negative effects of high anxiety. Select one of the above and use it for three months before judging its effectiveness.

You can also add hydrolyzed milk protein for times of acute stress, such as Nusera from Metagenics or DeStress from Biotics Research. This can be taken as needed. Valerian can also be used as an alternative for Ativan. Valerian seems to improve the sleep quality of people who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) - however it is important not to combine the two. I recommend that you consult your health practitioner for a specific withdrawal treatment plan.

Wishing you perfect balance,

Dr. Natasha Turner ND


Response by Natasha Turner ND
Photo of Ihab Matta
Ativan and other medications of that class (called Benzodiazepines) have been used for many years for anxiety, insomnia and general stress. You certainly can get off of the medication. I usually recommend fixing the problem, if known, rather than treating the symptom. If there is a specific thing that is making you stressed or anxious, the first place to start is to try to fix or eliminate that problem. Most patients i see these days are generally not happy; most of the time it is social reasons causing it (family, marital, workplace stresses), often it is also financial (large mortgages, living paycheque to paycheque etc... which may not be easy to fix). If stress is coming from personal social reasons, see if they can be mended. If financial, speak to someone about reducing your financial stress. If you are generally and always have been a stressed kind of person, as long as you remember, then it's likely that your biological makeup is contributiing to this.

For intrinsic anxiety, i find that medidation and hypnosis are excellent ways of managing your stress. Most people find self hypnosis a difficult thing to start, so it is helpful to find a qualified provider who can help you with starting the meditative process. There are lots of studies that show the benefit of meditation for stress, cardiac death and many other medical conditions. Eastern societies have long understood the benefit of meditation and the western world generally finds it weird (lol) but i have been using it on patients for over 20 years with benefit.

have a great day.

dr. matta
Response by Dr. Ihab Matta MD CCFP

Disclaimer:

Before starting any new health program or before you begin taking any medication, natural medicine, or supplement, always check with your primary health care provider.

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