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Trigger foods for panic attacks?
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Trigger foods for panic attacks?

Hello Everyone,

Today seemed like a pretty decent day anxiety wise, but about an hour after dinner I decided to have a piece of 100% cacao baking chocolate with some raw honey on top.  This is the only sugar that I eat all day, and it is my treat.  Very quickly afterwards I got a surge of adrenaline in my chest, that has only seemed to worsen.  It is now 1:30 AM- 5 hours after consuming the treat and I had to break down and take an ativan.

Has anyone ever had a certain food that triggered a panic attack, or do you think this is just a coincidence?
7 Comments Post a Comment
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480448_tn?1403547723
I think it had nothing to do with what you ate.  While certain foods (and substances like caffeine, nicotine) CAN trigger anxiety, most times, it really has nothing to do with it.

After quickly scanning over your other threads, you are going through a common phase of trying to find out the "why" to your panic.  You are trying to find an obvious trigger (allergic reaction, food, etc), when MOST times, for most of us, there simply IS no obvious trigger.  That's actually a defining characteristic used to diagnose panic disorder.

If you're brand new to anxiety and panic, you'll eventually come to realize that the WHY becomes far less important in the long run.  What is important is what you do to address it.   The bottom line is, there usually IS no quick and easy answer, and the reason we often spend so much time agonizing over it is because we WANT there to be.  That would mean the "fix" would be as easy as avoiding that trigger.  That would be heavenly!

What kind of help have you sought for your anxiety?  That should be your focus...getting out there and start addressing this with a professional.  The quicker you do that, most likely the faster you will be able to get your panic and anxiety to a manageable level.

Keep us in the loop!
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2118271_tn?1337466704
Hi Nurse girl,

Thank you very much for replying to my message.  I wasn't expecting a response so soon since it is quite late here on the east coast.

The funny thing is that I happened to come upon your profile and was reading about you, and you were the one to respond!   Again, I thank you!

I am currently seeing a psychotherapist regarding my panic attacks and other health issues.  I have been seeing her since January.  We have made some progress, and she is very good at what she does.  

I am extremely hesitant to take medication.  The ativan I take is few and far between, and taken only when I feel its a huge health concern.

I know that my panic stems from someone i live with who struggles very deeply with an addiction.  I never had panic before that was the case.  I am working with my psychotherapist on ways of dealing with it.  It is definitely a very difficult task.  
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Lucky for you, I'm a raging insomniac at the present moment.  LOL   I've been posting here way more than normal, due to some stressful junk in my life.  I love helping people here, but it's also been helpful for ME lately, as it has been a great distraction for me.

I'm glad to hear you have sought help for the anxiety!  Getting people to be willing to take that first step is sometimes half the battle!

Sounds like you're headed in the right direction.  Come back when you can, and keep us updated.  This is a great community.  You'll get loads of info, compassion and support here.  It feels good to know we're not all alone in our struggles.  Definitely stick around!  (Also, I am always happy to see more east coasters.  One of our other community leaders, greenlydia, is a west coaster...so I like to try to throw her off balance, tee hee hee)

Glad you found your way here!
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OH!  I forgot to mention that we have a few fabulous addiction communities here, if you feel it is something your loved one might be interested in at some point.  The one forum, "Addiction: Substance Abuse" is great for helping people formulate detox plans, giving each other support during withdrawals, etc.  

Truly an amazing place, tons of support and help there.  Just something to think about.  I know it is not always easy to have an honest discussion with an addict, but if the momennt arises, you could maybe steer them in this direction, at least, as a start.  Sometimes even just reading gives them some inspiration.

Sorry you are going though that. It is extremely hard, I've had addiction touch my life a few times with people close to me being affected by it.  It's very heartwrenching.  
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2118271_tn?1337466704
Thank you nurse girl for your compassion and information.  I ended up going to bed at 4AM and now its 9AM and I'm either dieing or this is the longest panic attack ever.  It nearly alluded ativan :o\

I'm sorry to hear that you have some things you are dealing with as well.  I hope everything works out.  I like to think that what doesn't kill makes us not only a stronger person, but sincerely allows us to be more compassionate and loving and gives us a new perspective that we can then use to understand other people.  I figure if I put this in a positive light, it makes it just a tiny bit easier to get through.

good luck to you and again thank you for your knowledge and insight.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been doing a lot of research about anxiety for a university paper (we got to write about food, and I figured since I suffer from depression and anxiety, this would be a good topic for me).
While nursegirl6527 is technically right with the fact that food doesn't cause a panic attack, there is definitely a connection.  People with panic disorder and anxiety are more sensitive to certain foods that are stimulants (these include caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, and overly processed foods).  When the body is dealing with excess sugar levels, the reaction feels very similar to a panic attack.  Your brain doesn't know it's just an influx of sugar, it just associates the feelings with panic, and so that's what it does.  Avoiding stimulating foods can definitely help prevent future panic attacks of that sort.
For me over exertion is also a trigger.  While light exercise helps my mood, if I push myself too hard, I also get the same anxiety-like feelings.  You just have to start recognizing what your body likes and doesn't likes, and treat it well.  I realize I'm posting this a year after the fact, so I hope you're doing well:)
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480448_tn?1403547723
Hello and welcome to MedHelp and our community!

Great info, thanks!

NO doubt there is a connection between the diet and anxiety.  For this particular OP, she had been wracking her brain (as many do) trying to find that simple solution as to why she was having panic attacks.  In THAT context, the dietary stuff was far less relevant.

Now, for those of us who are panic pros (lol)...that becomes much more important, as learning to decrease our exposure to anything that causes anxiety is paramount.

None the less, very good information, and I thank you for sharing it!
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