Anxiety is a complex disorder that affects about 40 million people in the United States. Children, teens, and adults can experience excessive and sometimes debilitating fear or worry over everyday situations caused by an anxiety disorder.
Poonam Malhotra, MD, is a female, board-certified family medicine physician at Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing chronic disease.
She takes an integrative, allopathic, and holistic approach to health care, including evidence-based solutions for anxiety that can put you back in charge of your daily routine.
How do you know it’s anxiety?
Everyone worries now and then, but people with anxiety disorder experience excessive worry, fear, or dread without a discernible cause. Symptoms that may accompany anxious thoughts include:
- A sense of impending danger, doom, or panic
- Increased heart rate
- The sensation that your heart is pounding
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
- Muscle aches and pains
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restlessness and agitation
- Problems sleeping
- Stomach upset
- Frequent heartburn
You may find yourself avoiding situations that trigger your anxiety, which can eventually affect your ability to work, enjoy social events, engage in hobbies, or maintain relationships.
Before diagnosing anxiety, Dr. Malhotra completes a thorough evaluation to determine whether your symptoms relate to a medical illness or medication side effect. Conditions linked to anxiety include heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and respiratory disorders such as asthma.
Left untreated, an anxiety disorder can eventually affect your physical health as well as your emotional well-being. For instance, sleepless nights increase your risk of hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.
Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly treatable with a combination of therapies focusing on taming the worry interfering with your life goals and commitments.
How is anxiety treated?
Based on evaluation results, Dr. Malhotra develops a personalized treatment strategy for anxiety disorder that may include anti-anxiety medication to help relieve your symptoms.
Anxiety also responds well to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), often considered the gold standard for treating anxiety disorders.
During CBT, Dr. Malhotra helps you identify the negative thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that feed your anxiety. The next step is restructuring or replacing the negative thoughts and feelings with more realistic expectations, allowing you to approach problems differently.
Skills learned with CBT can reduce anxiety as you return to activities you once enjoyed.
Other components of CBT include exposure therapy, which helps you better manage everyday situations with gradual exposure to circumstances or objects that trigger your anxiousness.
Dr. Malhotra also provides strategies you can implement to reduce your symptoms during an attack, such as calm breathing techniques or progressive muscle relaxation.
Can home remedies help with an anxiety disorder?
Effective home remedies for anxiety disorders include healthy lifestyle habits such as:
- Routine exercise
- Restful sleep (7-8 hours nightly)
- Healthy nutrition
- Stress management
- Yoga or meditation for relaxation
- Limiting alcohol or caffeine use
Combined with other evidence-based treatments such as CBT, these positive lifestyle changes can help you overcome the daily challenges of dealing with an anxiety disorder.
Schedule an evaluation today at Central Clinic with Dr. Malhotra for a personalized treatment strategy that helps restore your emotional and physical well-being. Call the office or request an appointment online.