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Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps us to deal with tense situations, but when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can become a disabling disorder.

One out of every 75 people worldwide will experience panic attacks at one time in their lives.

Panic attacks are sudden surges of overwhelming fear that that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is far more intense than having anxiety or the feeling of being ‘stressed out’ that most people experience. 

Repetitive panic attacks can become very disabling, especially if the sufferer starts to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. Panic attacks are not dangerous, but they can be terrifying, largely because of the feelings of being out of control.

Symptoms – Common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach aches
  • Headaches
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin

Often someone suffering from anxiety will also experience a sense of dread or panic.

During a panic attack, the individual will experience similar symptoms but much more intensely. Panic attacks reach maximum intensity within a minute or two once they begin. They then diminish slowly over the next 30 minutes or the next several hours.

Note: Many of the symptoms of anxiety and panic can also be attributed to other serious medical conditions. If you experience symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain and shortness of breath it is important to contact your GP to rule out these other causes before embarking on a course of therapy.

Contributing factors

Stress – Stress is one of the most common contributing factors to the onslaught of a panic attack. Many individuals in highly stressful jobs or who spend time in highly stressful environments are prone to panic attacks. So too are individuals who suffer from medical or emotional conditions that render them anxious. The problem is that often people who are stressed do not realise! One of the ways the body manages stress is to make us feel as if we are coping. If you have a demanding lifestyle or stressful medical condition, you might like to consider an adrenal stress test to find out how well your body is really managing. The test works by measuring the levels of different stress hormones to look for any imbalances. Once identified Smart Nutrition could then put together a specific stress busting protocol for you. Adrenal Stress Test.

Imbalanced brain chemistry – Anxiety and panic can stem from slight imbalance in the chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. This can be caused by many factor including a lack of the correct building blocks called amino acids in the diet or a lack of the nutrients needed to help the body make these vital substances. Deficiencies in these building blocks can be determined via an amino acid blood test. Amino Acid Test.

Stimulants – Regularly consuming stimulants such as caffeine, chocolate, nicotine or alcohol can also predispose you to panic attacks. Sadly, many of us are very attached to these substances and would find them hard to give up! Fortunately, with the help of Smart Nutrition the process of reducing these factors can be made much easier. Using a combination of diet and supplements it is possible to support the body and reduce cravings while gradually replacing stimulants with healthful alternatives. Book a Consultation.

Food allergies – A food allergy or sensitivity to a food additive can exacerbate or cause the symptoms of anxiety. If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance you may want to consider A Food Allergy or Intolerance Test and A Nutrition Consultation.

Nutrient levels – There are specific nutrients which can decrease anxiety. These include magnesium, calcium and B vitamins which help to ensure proper function of our muscles, nerves and heart. Deficiencies of any of these nutrients reduce our resistance to anxiety. Low nutrient status can be identified during a nutrition consultation where advice on dietary changes and supplements can help to restore healthy nutrient levels and support a relaxed state of mind and body. Alternatively you may like to test for possible nutrient Imbalances in which case the NutrEval is a good choice of tests for this Condition. NutrEval – Mot Health Test.