HELP - Panic Attacks after eating? no racing heart?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Callum, May 28, 2006.

  1. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Does anyone else experience panic attacks after eating?

    My "panic attack symptoms" - and that is in quotation marks because the doctor isn't positive that is what it is - often:

    1. Start after a meal, sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes and hour, and always when I'm sitting down.

    2. Start with an "unsettling" feeling in my stomach - not quite nausea.

    3. Then sweating, feeling like I'm pulling away, light-headedness, tingling in my hands, feeling like I can't get enough oxygen.

    4. But this is the strangest part, and why I'm concerned that it isn't a panic attack - my heart doesn't always race when it happens.

    Last night, I had a bad episode that lasted about twenty minutes - and my heart rate was never above 85. (I am on a beta-blocker for atrial fibs, so perhaps this is why...)

    I've had a complete heart work-up when I was hospitalized with the a-fibs, including echo-cardiogram and stress test, and everything came back clean. blood pressure perfect 115/75 (especially for a man my size - 6'5, 250), cholestrol 177.

    I've probably given too much information, but it bothers me that I most of the time, I don't get the racing heart, and I'm concerned it might not be panic attacks (although so much of it fits the profile.)

    I leave home to work out-of-state for two months doing summer stock (theater). I'm so scared this is going to get worse, or that it will happen when I'm in rehearsals or worse - on stage.

    My doctor put my on Clonazapem .5mg twice a day, and then I started Lexapro three days ago, and of course I have Zanax for the attacks.

    If that's what they are.

    One last thing - the CFS has been a little more active as these symptoms have appeared/increased.

    Is any one else's experience with panic attack's similar?


    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  2. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    It sure sounds like reactive hypoglycemia! Read up on it, I get exacly the same symptoms, and sure, it resembles a panic attack a bit. Once you know what it is, you won't feel unsettled about this physical reaction. It is very common to have hypoglycemia with FM.

    We need a lot of proteins, but at the sam time this reaction comes along with eating it. Try to eat a big meal salad with a good dressing and some cold ham cut into it. Then sit down and wait,,you will notice that you don't get this hypo-reaction again. This way you will know it is hypoglycemia.

    A panic attack is very intense and comes about unexpecedly, and there is an intense feeling of doom, I mean DOOM. I don't think this is how you feel?


    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  3. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Once it starts, I think "I'm going to die." I also feel like I want to "escape" - usually I feel better if I get up and walk around. But perhaps, if it is a hypoglycemic response, that can happen? Or, it can then trigger the panic? I'll have to read up on that - and thanks for the response.
  4. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I'm wondering if you have enough stomach acid to digest your food?
    I spent one whole summer like this, especially after my morning meal.
    Everyone tried to tell me it was panic attacks, but it wasn't. I think my body was so fatigued it couldn't even handle digestion.
    I did lose 10lbs.
    Try taking enzymes with your meal, or using applecider vinegar (organic)
    Neither of these things should cause any harm, and they just might help.
    Good luck that's an awful feeling, mine has slooowly gone away, but pops up once in awhile.
  5. spudzy

    spudzy New Member

    I have had panic attacks for about 5 years....I am just slightly better...can not take anti-dep. meds, but do take Zanax when I have something to do that I know will/could cause an attack...restaurants really bother me and I can not travel....my heart does not race, but I start feeling it in the knees and get weak all over and don't know if I can stay still....it also helps if I can walk and walk and walk, but I normally start having stomach problems and have to go to the bathroom with diar....its really a nightmare to have to live the panic attacks and FM which is really better worse and the fibrofog is real bad in the mornings....good luck...
  6. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    It seems to coorelate with meal times. It may be as you say that your possible panic attacks get triggered during a glycemic reaction.

    When my DD was still "fresh" I reacted more strongly than I do now when it comes to this. Or is it so that I've gotten used to it,,,how would I know,,,LOL!
    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2006]
  7. TaniaF

    TaniaF Member

    Have you ever had a workup for food sensitivties? I have found several foods that will cause me to get anxious and a weird sensation in my body. Either allergic to the food or something in it like preservatives or fillers.

    Sometimes it happens a few hours later.

    Just a thought!

    Tania
  8. Callum

    Callum New Member

    To Fight4acure - thanks for responding when you were having such a rough day yourself! I hope you are feeling a little better.

    I didn't make it clear in my initial posting. I DO experience panic and a sense of impending doom (Like I'm going to die) when these episodes happen, but only twice has it been accompanied by a racing heart. The rest of the time, I'm either just having slight palpitations at normal rate, or perfect sinus rhythm at about 80.

    But still, even without the racing heart, I feel like "this is it!" And I just have the urge to flee, or push away...

    To Gigi - It is so empowering to hear that you often experienced similar symptoms. Also to know that you often felt safest from an attack while acting. Deep down, that's what I thought, too, as I'm rarely as focused outside myself as when I'm acting.

    When did you act? And what sort of work did or do you do? It's my first day in rehearsal for "Tale of the Allergist's Wife". And I made it without having to reach for a Zanax. It's hard with my partner, who is so supportive, back in Chicago. I know the director, but none of the cast, and I'm so afraid that this will crop up and I'll embarrass myself, you know?

    Anyway, thanks for the great input, everyone! I'm definitely going to follow the diet, see if that helps cut the precipitating event - I really appreciate those insights, for those of you who suggested food/sugar/insulin correllation as a possibility.

    THanks again everyone!

    Bill, aka "Callum"
  9. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Just to rule out the possibility, I would definitely have a "fasting blood sugar" and be tested for food and other allergies.

    Our bodies are not stupid and your is trying to tell you something.
    I doubt it is all in your head.
    I also have anxiety attacks. No fun...on top of that insomnia.
  10. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Have you had your thyroid checked? my cousin was having just what you described, and it turned out to be her thyroid, her's was over active. She also had the racing heart sometimes, but not always after a meal.

    I have anxiety attacks, but not from eating. I also take Xanax for them.


    Hope you get some help for that soon.


    Shalom, Shirl