Expert Contribution

Anger + Anxiety

and 10 Steps to Sanity

Grumpy. Irritable. Peeved. Angry. Rage.

No matter what you call it, it has more root causes than you can imagine. And, just like so many fascinating things about the body, these “psychological” issues often have a physiological contributing factor.

Here are a few things that can set off irritability and anger that might not be on your radar:

• Infection

• Inflammation

• Gut dysbiosis

• Low blood sugar

• Neurotransmitter dysfunction

In one study on rage, the researchers focused on two markers of inflammation, called C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

CRP is produced by the liver in response to an infection or injury, whereas IL6 is secreted by white blood cells to stimulate immune responses.

Blood levels of both CRP and IL-6 rise when the body’s inflammatory response is activated. (JAMA Psychiatry Dec 2018)

When inflammation is present, you may find yourself responding based on old patterns of behavior around trauma, especially those with current or previous PTSD.

I have seen this with patients time and time again. Some are so sensitive that they can track changes in their mood before they see obvious symptoms of infection. The good news is that allows them to make lifestyle and protocol changes faster.

Are there situations where you notice an increase in anger? Particularly if it seems out-of-context or a more heightened response than the situation calls for?

The Body Love Cafe clinic approaches this by looking at the root cause using a detailed intake and advanced functional medicine labs.

For some tips you may use at home during an episode of anxiety or increased stress, consider these 10 Steps to Sanity:

10 – Shake Your Arms for 10 Seconds

Cortisol spikes and you want to “shake it out” by shaking your arms/hands quickly for 10 sec.

9 – Take 9 Deep Breaths

Breathe in and out slowly and evenly. This tells your body it is safe and that you are calm.

8 – Hum for 8 Seconds

Humming stimulates your Vagus Nerve to activate your Parasympathetic Nervous System.

7 – Look at 7 Things Around You

What do you see? List 7 things out loud to help anchor you to your current setting.

6 – Listen for 6 Different Sounds

Notice 6 sounds both close & far and say out loud to help bring you into the present moment.

5 – What 5 Things Can You Feel

Notice 5 touch points to get grounded, your feet on the floor, your clothes, your chair…

4 – List 4 Things You are Grateful For

Feeling appreciation shifts your focus to what is good in your life, pick 4 you are thankful for.

3 – Picture 3 People You Love

Thinking of people you love stimulates the hormone oxytocin to combat anxiety.

2 – Chew 2 PharmaGABA to Relax

If you are able to use PharmaGABA then chew 2 to help calm your nervous system quickly.

1 – Take 1 Next Step

What’s the ONE next thing you need to do? Pick just one and move forward.

We are here to help with free, informative classes, advanced lab analysis, discounted supplements, and key lifestyle hacks.

Curious to learn more? Schedule a no charge 15 min consult with Body Love Cafe at

By Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, AFMCP with Body Love Cafe, Northgate resident since 2019

About The Author

Functional Medicine & Nutrition
Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP
Body Love Cafe

Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP discovered the power of Functional Medicine first hand when a “mystery illness” left her declared permanently disabled. Unwilling to accept that diagnosis, she fought back and launched Body Love Cafe, an award-winning holistic health clinic.

BLC is all about natural medicine that meets cutting-edge science to provide answers as to why you don’t feel well. We hear you. We see you. We believe you. It’s not in your head and we’ve got the technique and labs to show why.

Patients have said “Dr. Zachary figures out why you feel like crap but your MD says you’re fine.” 

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