We live in a world where an anxious mind is no longer an outlier. It is not that weird anymore to say “My child is anxious” or even “I suffer from anxiety”. It is expected or understood at least.

There are, of course needless to say, NUMEROUS benefits to acceptance and non-judgement, and it would really be my DREAM to see a society free from prejudice without narrow restrictions of behavioral parameters.

But sometimes, acceptance can result in a lack of inquiry. In fact, passive acceptance is the very antithesis of a scientific mind. The value of asking a question is beyond words! It is the very gateway to understanding your child’s body. This is what Functional Medicine does.

Why is my child anxious (or aggressive)?

If you asked this question, with wonder, without blame, then Welcome to the world of Functional Medicine.

While we aren’t doing the whole Scientific Inquiry process here, mostly because it has already been done for you, Let us look at the 5-basic checkpoints.

  1. What does she eat? This can be your clue to understanding and examining the following:
    • Allergies
    • Sensitivities (different from Allergies)
    • Chemical Intolerances
    • Picky Eating
  2. Is he deficient in Vitamins/Minerals/Omega-3s, also known as micronutrients?
  3. Is he getting enough GOOD FAT in his diet?
    • Good Fat looks like Virgin Coconut Oil, Ghee, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Cold Pressed Nut/Seed Oils, etc.
    • Bad fat (to be entirely avoided) is any refined vegetable or nut/seed oil (Canola, Corn Oil, “Vegetable” Oil, etc.)
  4. How is her immune function?
    • Consider Autoimmunity
    • Consider low Immunity
    • Consider Inflammation.
  5. Finally, how is his Microbiome?
    • Different tests including Stool and Urine OAT can tell you some information about the presence of pathogenic (bad) organisms in your child’s gut.
    • They can also tell you about the diversity of good beneficial bacteria in the same gut.

We know that all issues relating to brain or mental health (including aggression and anxiety) tie back to inflammation, which is an immune dysfunction.

And while diet-based interventions can be complex, they should always start with the questions listed here. You do want to visit a functional nutrition practitioner, but these questions will give you a framework of where to start.

Superfood challenge for anxiety (Lions Mane)

Have you heard of medicinal mushrooms? There are now numerous studies that talk about the benefit of mushrooms, particularly my favorite, Lions Mane, with respect to Anxiety and Depression, for example, this one.

It is even known to help with Nerve Regeneration and with Amyloid Plaque. My son has Down Syndrome, and has high risk of developing Alzheimer’s with age. Lions Mane is my go to on a very regular basis.

We drink it straight up in 6 oz of water. Try it and let me know.

Quick Fixes

When you need something to work in the next 10 minutes, and getting to the root cause of anxiety isn’t high on your list, here are my favorite go-tos:

  1. Rescue Remedy : A flower essence
  2. Herb Pharm’s Relaxing Sleep : A western herbal tincture

Part 2 of Anxiety in Children is coming up this month: More detail and other ways to handle anxiety.