Anxiety and diet

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, begs, 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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9 Replies

  • Hi Mistymorn,

    Welcome to the Healthy Eating community. I'm really glad to hear that you've been able to make some positive changes to your lifestyle and that it's going well.

    I hope you'll enjoy being part of this community.

    Wishing you a really good weekend.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Yes, hormones affect other hormones and are affected by hormones. You've done the best thing by ditching the caffeine and sugar. Did anyone point out that all carbohydrates are turned to glucose in the body? Most carbohydrates will cause a rise in insulin levels that will exacerbate the highs and lows caused by your stress hormones.

  • Yes, I did know that. While it's hard to avoid all carbohydrates, altho I believe that the whole grain variety will metabolize more slowly and not cause as rapid a spike. But, it's not easy to avoid the bad in progress.


    Some low Gi foods like baked beans or fruit yoghurt also spike insulin.

  • Oh, that's great....should have looked for this before. Thank you so much!

  • Well done an finding solutions and making it work for you 😊 Sugar is a difficult thing to give up, 😕 Good luck and best wishes 😊

  • I suffer panic attacks , eating healthy is very important, especially decrease sugar, eat regular, decrease coffee , good work.

  • however, many things cause panic attacks , here in Canada we recognize that the panic attack can be genetic , no reason , except you feel you r going crazy!

    Clonazepam is often used.... with everything else , such as healthy eating

    just want you to know you are not alone!

  • Hi there..

    I am also new.. Well done for cutting sugar out! I find that really difficult to do.. I too have suffered with anxiety over the years...I use the rescue remedy spray. It's all natural, you can get it from Holland and Barrett or the chemist..Good luck xx

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