Anxiety attacks caused by adrenal glands t... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support
41,971 members43,772 posts

Anxiety attacks caused by adrenal glands tumours?

Has anyone heard of this? I don’t mean to make anyone anxious but as a hypochondriac myself i came across an article which said that unexplained bouts of panic/anxiety can ‘rarely’ be caused by adrenal tumours. Symptoms are very similar to a typical panic attacks, blood pressure rises etc. There were also other symptoms depends on the location of tumour. Some people have no symptoms at all. I am now so worried. Sometimes i just don’t know why my heart started pounding or i feel surge of anxiety flow through my body at random occasions. Doctors never mentioned adrenal glands. Has anyone heard of it? Treatment is surgery and chemotherapy if malignant. I got myself really worried 😟

15 Replies
oldestnewest

I constant surges of panic all day So this is scary!

Reply

Please don’t worry. I try not to but i am silly and just read too much. I should stop. Just wondering if anyone heard of it. Nhs website says its very rare but with my health anxiety I obviously need to know more! I may mention it next time i see my GP

Reply

Pheochromocytoma's are extremely rare, and if you had one you would be very ill indeed with severe sweating and extremely high blood pressure spikes as well as the adrenaline surges. Anxiety causes all of these things, but in a much less severe form as the activation of the adrenal glands is coming from a fear conditioned response - in other words, your body has got into a cycle of chucking out adrenaline due to being in a hyper aroused state. It's truly horrible, I know - but the way to make it stop is to not to respond to these feelings with fear. As Jeff and Agora often write - learning to relax and accept these feelings, not fighting them (and adding more adrenaline) is the way to make them go away but it takes time and perseverance. The teachings of Dr. Claire Weekes are gospel when it comes to overcoming anxiety and panic. Try taking a look at some of the Youtube video's by searching under 'Claire Weekes' and give yourself a well deserved break from searching about rare disorders - it really will help you more in the long run. Good luck (we're all on this journey together)!

5 likes
Reply

What a lovely reply.thats really helped me today thank you x

2 likes
Reply

The chance of tumors is remote. Get checked so you will stop worrying.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you both. I know the chance of having those tumours is near zero. However i do suffers from something i would call a sudden surges of adrenaline. Out of the blue i can get shaky, anxious, not always with palpitations. My blood pressure is in the 110-130/80-95 range so not quite normal but not too high either. I just wonder how to tell the difference between attacks caused by adrenal tumours and panic attacks. Description is the same. Thank you all, I really try not to worry x

2 likes
Reply

To be honest, you wouldn't get a referrral to an endocrinologist to check for a Pheo. unless you presented with severe 'red flag' symptoms for the condition. It's not tested for routinely. A good idea is to see your GP if you have concerns about your symptoms, and rhey can reassure you with some standard tests such as BP and an ECG. If it looks like anxiety, it probably is!

2 likes
Reply

Mags, your BP is in the acceptable range indeed. With Pheo's, the BP goes astronomically high. How do I know? Because I was tested for one - I did the whole 24 hour urine collection thing and it turned out that my symptoms are a combination of surgical menopause symptoms (which are known to be much more severe on the hot flash front), an undiagnosed complex migraine disorder and a previously undiagnosed rare congenital heart aneurysm and good ol' anxiety thrown in for good measure (phew)!

The Endo. I saw (a Professor, no less) decided to test to 'be on the safe side', especially as surgically menopausal women have such a high burden of demand on their adrenal glands when their ovaries are removed. He explained that Pheo. symptoms are usually accompanied by pain in the area of the kidney where the adrenal glands sit, as well as severe sweating, vomiting, extreme tachycardia and BP with systolic in the high 100's or 200's that requires immediate medical intervention to avoid cardiac arrest. I hope this puts your mind at rest. xx

1 like
Reply

I doubt my gp ever heard of Pheochromocytoma. Did you do the urine collection test at GP surgery? I would feel better knowing all is ok with my adrenals. The blood pressure values I quoted were taken when i was feeling ok. Never managed to take blood pressure during a panic attack, can’t concentrate then on anything then. So perhaps they reach 190 or higher. Don’t know. I wish I could stop reading. Until this morning I never heard of symptoms of adrenal tumours. Dr Google suggested 🙈 X

Reply

No - I had my test done by my Endocrinologist and it has to be sent to a specialist lab. The BP levels with a Pheo. are consistently high - literally an 'adrenal storm' going on with huge surges of catecholamines. Trust me - you would know if you were that sick. In my case, as my ovaries had been removed and I essentially was experiencing a total hormonal crash, my adrenals went into overdrive so this is why I had this test. May I ask. Mags - are you of menopausal age, and have you had your hormone levels tested? What you are describing sounds a lot like nenopausal symptoms, which can be compounded by anxiety. Just a thought? xx

Reply

I am 40 years old so pre-menopausal. I had full blood test including thyroid markers not long ago and all was fine. Gp never tested me for the ‘menopausal’ hormones as my periods are normal and regular. I noticed however that this past year my anxiety reached new levels. It is changing, symptoms are more physical rather then psychological and i did think about menopause a lot. I suppose my ‘usual’ anxiety plus menopausal hormonal storm will be unbearable combination. Really don’t know how I will make it. And i have a 5-year old to look after too. 🙈 I have been so anxious today that currently my BP is 156/85 and I have a pounding headache 🤕. Just great. 😟

Reply

I really feel for you, Mags! I was the same age as you when I entered peri-menopause. There is no definitive blood test for this as the hormones are constantly in a state of flux - it can be a rather tough time for some women especially with an existing anxiety disorder. I later had my oopherectomy, which of course then plunged me into severe menopause. Women often don't realise that the peri-menopause can start a full 10 years or so before actual menopause - it's a longer process than many of us think. As the adrenals take over hormone production from the failing ovaries, adrenal surges are common at this time as well as blood sugar spikes and drops, BP ups and downs and palpitations. There are in fact 66 listed symptoms of perimenopause (anxiety and panic attacks are 2 of them) - these are well worth taking a look at to see if you recognise a pattern. Cycles can remain regular at first, but later you will notice these skipping or becoming more erratic. Just something worth thinking about, and much more likely than an adrenal tumour! And remember - if this is where you are, this too will pass but HRT is available as things progress if you want or chose it to help symptoms. xx

1 like
Reply

Thank you for sharing so much information. I did notice slight changes in how my hormones affect me recently ( crying spells and sensitivity, sleepless nights which didn’t happen in the past, and other more intimate symptoms) I watched a great programme recently about menopause which indeed explained that peri menopause is a long and gradual process. I will seek a gp opinion once again. I must say i have not explored the topic as yet. Im still in denial that menopause is not me, not yet! 🙈 But it is well worth it to prepare early, do some reading and perhaps find a trusted doctor to help me get through that stage in life. This will just be a proper rollercoaster! 😩 Thanks again for so much info. X

2 likes
Reply

Mags, have you ever had any balance or movement problems?

Reply

No, never. Why?

Reply

You may also like...