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13746467 tn?1441844115

Panic attacks & thyroid problems

I am at my wit's end!!!!  I suffer from panic attacks daily and now they have really completely taken over my life. I do nothing that I use to do. Not because I don't want to but because my body just doesn't allow it. If I cook I panic due to the heat. I stay inside and barely ever leave my home. Now that it's summer time I panic because of the heat intolerance. I was told that my thyroid could be causing this. Maybe an auto-immune disease? I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in September. Hopefully I will get some answers. I have hypo-thyroidism and currently take 50 mcg levothyroxine ( It was 25 until my dr upped it in 2013). I also have a burning pain in my left ear & neck. I went to dr and he said it was fine. I'm trying to pin point the reason why or what could bring on these attacks. Any info would be helpful........... I just want my life back. It causes so many problems in my marriage and with my kids. They don't understand. If my hubby leaves the house I'm in a full blown attack.....which is everyday. My kids don't understand why I don't attend their sporting events or school functions. Why I don't want to cook ( which I used to love doing), unable to drive, unable to be alone, and so many other things. I need a "babysitter" when my family leaves. Also, I panic all day long. I thought it was suppose to pass within a few minutes? They come and go, but come more often than ever. I currently take .5 Xanax ( taking only 1/2 because I don't want to become addicted to  them. I was told by a friend to take the whole .5 so it can work in my system.? They are prscribed as needed. Well if I took them as needed I would run out quickly. Should I take the whole .5? I seen a psych but stopped because he was prescribing lots of meds and I felt like a guinea pig.Not to mention our mental health dr here is so over booked with patients that they aren't that resourceful.  I panic just taking a Tylenol or something simple. My mind is going crazy...........
12 Responses
Avatar universal
I live in Phoenix  and  absolutely could not tolerate the heat. I would spend my days sitting on the couch with multiple fans on me. It felt like I was never going to get better. Thank God once I was on the correct dose of Thyroid med I completely recovered. I even joined a Gym. The crazy thing about what I experienced was even though I had "Hypothyroid" I was having "Hyper symptoms". Don't let anybody tell you that's not possible because I've talked to a lot of people who experienced the same thing. It's horrible and hard to explain to anybody that hasn't experienced it. Our Thyroid is our power switch and if it's out of whack we're out of whack. I don't know where you live but in Phoenix you can go to Walgreens drug store and have your blood drawn and diagnosed.  You wouldn't have to wait until September to get on the correct dosage of Thyroid meds. Another thing I can sympathize with you about is the horrible anxiety. It was the worst thing I had ever been through! That was part of the "Hyper Symptoms". Always keep in mind it's an easy fix and you will recover 100%.
Avatar universal
I have been through exactly the same thing your experiencing. It's horrible!
For me it wasn't until I got my thyroid numbers up to where they should be did I feel like my old self again. Believe me when you get your thyroid up to speed you will feel great! I get my numbers checked once a year and I feel terrific. Always get your Thyroid checked first before going to a shrink! If you smoke please quit. It probably contributes to your anxiety! I feel your pain and know exactly how you feel. Hang in there because it gets better.I noticed your Doc upped your prescription in 2013. That was two years ago.
Maybe it's time for another adjustment. It's so important to realize it's not all in your head, but's the good news is it's an easy fix. Good luck and realize your not alone. You will get better!
13746467 tn?1441844115
Thank You for commenting. It feels better to know I'm not alone or "crazy", as my family thinks. When your thyroid was out of whack, could you tolerate heat? I panic when showering, cooking, or when it's hot outside. Anything to do with the heat brings on an attack. I hope when I see the Endo she will be able to help me. Thanks again for the inspiration...... It means ALOT to know that there is hope and I can get my life back......
13746467 tn?1441844115
THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!! I really needed to hear that....... I thought I was dying or had some serious problem and people thought I was crazy. I read a lot of articles and said," I have symptoms of both thyroid diseases , is that even possible?".... But you made me have peace of mind for telling me your story. I live in New Jersey and I have to wait to see an endo since it's my first time seeing her. I wish they had that convenience here like Phoenix.....UGH  I been to so many doctors and it felt like a vicious cycle of "sharing" me......lol  We have very poor medical doctors here. I am traveling a little further out just to see an endo. You really made my night and gave me hope........THANK YOU again from the bottom of my heart!!! I will keep you updated after my visit with the endo.........
Avatar universal
Check around and see what's available in your area that would be able to do a thyroid panel.  All the drugstores around here, like CVS, Walgreens and even the Kroger grocery store have clinics that do bloodwork.  And there should be an urgent care or a Patient First or something.  I'm betting your thyroid is causing your problems and why suffer any longer than you have to.  It will be an easy fix!
13746467 tn?1441844115
Thank You for your suggestions. We have Riteaid and Walgreens but in NJ we have to go to a lab with a script from a doctor to get blood drawn. I had my thyroid levels checked and they came back ok but that was with my PCP. Since I am having problems I chose to see an endo. I am a first time patient so I have to wait until Sept 4th. I am traveling a little ways out of my hometown to see the endo. There is only one close and I heard she doesn't do well with her patients and she's over booked. We do have a "clinic" here but it's the same thing.......Not too good and way overbooked. I wanted to see a specialist who knows more about the situation.
Avatar universal
Sept 4th is just around the corner. Good luck and hope you feel better soon.
Avatar universal
The only other thing I might suggest is to stay away from any kind of stimulants such as coffee, pop, nicotine. Since your in a sensitized state, these kinds of products can really contribute to your anxiety. I have also found that deep breathing is the best thing for anxiety attacks. I know when I'm anxious my breathing gets really shallow. I also found that if I don't fight the anxiety attack and just ride it out they begin to subside. It takes the fear of them away. A (SRI) Seritonin Reuptake Inhibitor med such as Lexapro might help as well. I know it did for me. Good luck!
Avatar universal
Glad they checked your thyroid levels! At least that's a start, but some patients do have a narrower window of levels that their bodies' tolerate, so that could still be a cause.

I think the endo will probably explore the autoimmune angle, too. Hashimoto's patients sometimes experience fluctuations in their thyroid levels. I, too, had panic attacks for long stretches of time. They would just abruptly stop, and all the doctors implied I was mentally ill and possibly stupid (I no longer see those doctors). Now, it appears I have Hashimoto's (though the doctor hasn't confirmed that this was the cause of my symptoms).

Since patients with autoimmune disorders often have more than one, it could also be something like Sjogren's. I haven't seen any "official" documentation, but I've read lots of incidental reports of Sjogren's patients experiencing similar symptoms.

Good luck! I hope the endo clears things up for you, and I'd love to know what he/she has to say!
13746467 tn?1441844115
Visit to the Endo was very disheartening..........I went there hoping for answers and still got none. First, my blood work wasn't available. After a long wait, I was told the lab hasn't completed it yet and therefore the doctor would call after she received it.......I still had a long talk with her and she said I needed to go back to my psych because it "sounds" like I have anxiety........DUH I told her I had anxiety and all my symptoms. She didn't even see my blood work and was writing me off............I don't think it's a coincidence that she is moving out of state next month because I am now searching for another endo and answers. I waited a long time for this appointment just to be let down....... I am so disappointed and depressed.......Praying that the Good Lord helps me. Hopefully after she receives my test results she will see something to change her mind. She will call if she's sees something outta the ordinary with my blood work.  Thank You all for the support. Will update when I find out more.........
13746467 tn?1441844115
I stopped drinking pop...........only drinking water mostly. I drank diet pepsi everyday for years and finally beat that bad habit. I will have a ginger ale once in awhile. I am now trying to quit smoking. I can barely smoke now anyway because of my anxiety attacks. I am now waiting for our only mental health facility to call with an appointment. It's ridiculous here with these doctors and the wait is terrible. Doctors come and go on a regular basis. Resources are limited here and plus its always about $$$$. I can't afford a private doctor. My old psych left and now I will see a new one.....UGH Also, I am trying to let the feelings subside instead of fighting them. I know it's Fear of Fear but it's a horrible feeling to go through. Thank You for your help........I appreciate it.
13746467 tn?1441844115
UPDATE:  PCP called today with some blood test results. Only mentioned that I was Vitamin D deficiency. Go back to the endo on the 17th of this month. Hopefully she will be more knowledgeable about the whole situation........Been reading some posts about anxiety and vitamin D deficiency .........was wondering if anyone has any info about this? Holding on to Hope...........
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