Anxiety is the sense that something’s about to go wrong.


What is it?

More than 8 million people in the UK suffer from some sort of anxiety.

Anxiety means different things to different people. Common signs include constant nervousness, worry, fear, irritability, sleep disturbances and a general sense of apprehension. Broadly speaking, it feels like lack of control over an uncertain outcome.

A certain amount of anxiety is simply part of being human. But when you’re anxious most of the time, it can be a sign that something in the body is out of balance.

Why does it happen?

Lots of things can contribute to anxiety:

Leaky gut.

This enables bacteria and other toxins to leak into your bloodstream. The resulting immune reaction and inflammation can leave you feeling anxious.

Having too much caffeine.

This powerful stimulant increases your stress hormones, leaving you feeling anxious.

Eating too much sugar.

This can cause a blood-sugar high and then a crash, contributing to anxiety.

Food intolerances.

These can cause inflammation in your gut, leading to anxiety via the gut-brain axis.

Bacterial imbalance.

Our gut bacteria constantly talk to our brain, and can profoundly affect our mood.


This is a condition in which you have too much thyroid hormone available. It causes everything to speed up, making you feel anxious.

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What can I do about it?

These three simple steps may help to reduce your anxiety:


Cut your caffeine intake.

Too much caffeine can put you into a state of ‘fight or flight’, increasing feelings of anxiety. How many cups of coffee or tea are you drinking daily? Try cutting down.

Coffee showing caffeine

Balance your blood sugar.

Food that quickly raises your blood sugar creates a roller-coaster effect, dramatically influencing your emotions. Reduce sweet and starchy foods, and fill up on protein instead.

Sugary foods

Practise mindfulness.

Studies show that mindfulness—being present in the moment—can help to alleviate anxiety.

Meditation for mindfulness

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Related conditions

Anxiety is associated with other conditions:


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