Anxiety and Diet

I mistakenly posted this in Healthy Eating but it actually belongs here. So sorry if you see it twice :)

After 30 years or so of increasingly heavy coffee drinking, which I felt "comforted" my nervous nature, I had a panic attack....followed by two more in the following month. It began with a with what felt like a sudden injection of chemicals or hormones that coursed through my body, my heart raced, and I hyperventilated. This first one I actually fainted and woke up to my husband talking to 911 on the phone. I gave him quite a scare. He cancelled the emergency and I felt better after a few hours. Of course, I didn't know it was a panic attack, I thought it was stress and overeating that day. I should mention that altho I ate good meals, I also consumed too much sugar...another comfort food. And I liked a glass a wine to top off the evening. Anyway, one month later I had another one, this time I did not faint. Same horrible feeling of wave after wave of "whatever" coursing through my body...same heart flip flopping and racing. This time I went to the doctor. She gave me an EKG...all normal. Then told me to stop the caffeine and see if I feel better. So, I did that. I pretty much stopped cold turkey and about 3 days after that I had another attack. This time it was Sunday and my husband took me to Urgent Care. I still thought it was my heart or something. Long story short...more tests over the next week, all pretty normal. Doctor diagnosed anxiety and possibly depression. I declined to see any further doctors for "talking"....I feel I'm too old to waste years in therapy at this point. I am 67. So, she gave me a book list and website list which included this site. I read the books and have been following the advice that seemed to be universal. No caffeine, no alcohol, reduce sugar as much as possible, exercise and breathing for relaxation. It is particularly important not to consume sugar in the morning, since stress hormones tend to be highest at that time and sugar spikes will aggrevate your nerves. Also, I began a multiple vitamin that has 1000 units of Vit D, I added an extra VitC, and MegaRed Krill oil for Omega 3's. I used those supplements on top of a healthier diet with whole grains, vegs, fruits, and protein. It's been almost 3 months and so far it has worked. I was a very heavy caffeine user so that was tough. But, sugar is even worse. I still crave sweets, but try to choose low sugar items if I have too.

Sorry this got so long but it feels good to share. I feel I have made really good progress so far. I've even lost some weight. But, I don't want to become complacent because I never want to experience the awfulness of an anxiety attack again. That is where a support group like this can be helpful. Thanks for listening and hope this has been of help.

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  • It has been of help. That's great that you were able to reduce your anxiety without the help of prescription medications. it also sounds like you don't have depression along with the anxiety. That definitely helps. (Sometimes depression can make the anxiety worse - contribute to negative thought patterns). I hope reading the books and other methods is helping instead of going to talk therapy. I do find that talk therapy can only help if one is ready for it, also to do the steps at home to try behavioral changes. And it sounds like you are already doing the homework on your own, what would be suggested in therapy anyway. (Sorry if this doesn't make much sense). Thanks for posting your supplements and for reminders to reduce or stop the sugar and caffeine. I don't have too much caffeine but sugar is the big one for me. I don't think I have ever stopped sugar; when I tried, I think I got a major headache, etc. I would have to take a huge break from work/life just to "detox" from sugar. Thank you for posting and glad you are feeling better. :)