In the pediatric population, anxiety is a common phenomenon. It is estimated that between 10% and 30% of children in North America experience clinically significant anxiety. Anxiety often presents differently in children than in adults. Instead of the typical worrying, physical restlessness, palpitations, and sweating with which anxious adults present, children can somaticize their worries into stomach pain, musculoskeletal discomfort, and headaches. Anxiety can also be misdiagnosed as a myriad of disorders including ADD, ADHD, depression and ODD to name a few. However it is important for providers to differentiate between typical developmental worries and clinically significant anxiety. Epidemiological research confirms that pediatric anxiety disorders are correlated with mental health conditions later on in life, particularly major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and, of course, persistent anxiety disorders.
To mitigate symptoms of anxiety in our kids take a look at this!!:
1) There are well-established connections between pediatric anxiety and factors such as prenatal maternal anxiety, presence of parental anxiety disorders, and children learning avoidant coping styles in their environment.
2) Current data suggests that chemical and toxin exposures such as bisphenol A (BPA) may also be related to anxiety. Anxiety and other behavioral problems in children were correlated with elevated levels of lead and PCBs.
3) Nutritional deficiencies are also implicated in the development of anxiety disorders in children. Recent research showed supplementation with multi minerals yielded more cooperative and resilient children. So it is important to assess mineral levels in kids with anxiety issues.
4) Hypoglycemia can mimic the symptoms of anxiety. So keep kids’ blood sugars balanced with quality food thought the day. Of course avoid any potential anxiety “provokers” such as sugar, dyes, gluten and preservatives.
5) Consider some supplements such as magnesium and omega3s; be sure to check with your provider before dosing. Children with MTHFR polymorphisms have a higher depression risk, benefit greatly (reduced anxiety) from the proper administration of methylcobalamin.
6) Try some homeopathy! A variety of acute and constitutional remedies can help with reducing symptoms.
7) Get some exercise. The rigors of school and homework can increase anxiety in kids, so extra recess and physical play can benefit kids of all ages. Conversely, screen time greater than 2 hours per day was associated with a higher incidence of anxiety.
8) Therapy of all kids has demonstrated huge success in reducing anxiety in teens.
9) Teaching children how to do diaphragmatic/belly breathing, doing yoga poses helps kids to focus on calming their own thoughts.
10) Get some chiropractic! A chiropractic adjustment can “reset the nervous system” and restore balance as well as clear out cortisol and other stress hormones.
Pediatric anxiety is a relatively common health concern that can be challenging to recognize and diagnose. For any child presenting with idiopathic pain symptoms, especially headaches, abdominal pain, and muscle aches, anxiety needs to be included in the differential diagnosis. Of course, during the course of typical development, children will have fears and worries. Remember there is always a solution and a resolution to symptoms and gentile treatments can be both safe and effective.
If your child suffers from anxiety, don’t wait schedule an appointment today!