How panic attack look like?
A panic attack (PA) can occur suddenly with in minutes to seconds. The mental health condition that can be defined as panic attack by at least four of the following symptoms:
- Feeling of imminent catastrophe or doom, or a need to escape
- Feelings of un-reality or being detached from oneself
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Flushing, chills, or hot flashes
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Dizziness or lightheartedness; nausea
- Pounding heart or chest pain
- Trembling, sweating and shaking
Cause of Panic Attack:
Reduced serotonin level is said to be the one of the causes of PA. Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan. For the synthesis of serotonin, there are two main vitamins which are needed they are the vitamin B6 (Vit B6) and iron play, that has important roles as co-factors.
Research based study was done where 21 PA patients were compared the values with those from 20 volunteers. We found that their blood levels of both Vit B6 and iron levels were significantly lower in the PA group when compared with the volunteer group.
Though there is difference between the two vitamins are present but there was no significant difference in the serum levels of vitamins B2 or B12. there by these results suggest that low serum concentrations of Vit B6 and iron are involved in PA.
The exact cause of the panic attack is known by none.
It is one of the fight and flight responses to an unwanted situation or a danger. It is believed that the genetic and hereditary factors play role in certain cases (people with close relatives who have suffered an attack have four times the risk).
Other theories involve the imbalance in the chemicals in the brain that process the feelings of fear and over reaction.It is believed as response to the high carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
Vitamin B for Anxiety
There are number of vitamin b types , which are needed by our body for healthy functions .
The science shown of all different types of the B vitamin. These types of deficiencies are often linked to panic attacks, anxiety and depression are B6, B9, and B12.
Food sources of these B vitamins for anxiety include:
B12: Wild salmon, halibut and shrimp, grass-fed beef (especially beef liver), eggs and yogurt.
B6 (Pyridoxine): Chicken, tuna, shrimp, , cheese, beans, spinach, carrots, brown rice and sunflower seeds.
B9 (Folic Acid): Spinach and other green, leafy vegetables, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, avocadoes, beans, salmon, and orange juice.
How to take B vitamins for anxiety and stress:
B12 can be given in different forms that are either as an injection (called cyanocobalamin injections) or as a nasal spray by an integrative physician or oral supplementation.
your doctors typically administer injections in doses of 1,000 micro-grams. Initially, an injection cycle of eight to 10 administrations over the first two to three months is recommended, followed by a decrease in the frequency once you have achieved a therapeutic effect.
The oral supplementation with vitamin B12 is safe, efficient, and inexpensive. Most multivitamin pills often contains 100 to 200 micro-grams of the cyanocobalamin form of B12.
The actual absorption of B12 is a problem with supplements; therefore, to increase absorption, B12 should be taken along with the other B vitamins.
Vitamin B6 is also called with the names sold pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate and these are found in oral supplements and liquid drops.
Adults ages 19 to 50 years require 1.3 mg of B6 daily. Women 51 years and older require 1.5 mg daily. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require 1.9 mg daily.
Vitamin B9 also called as folic acid works with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine.
Adults require 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. Pregnant women require 600 micrograms per day and breastfeeding women require 500 micrograms per day.
Iron for anxiety and stress:
Apart from the vitamins , minerals also play role in treatment of the panic attack.Iron plays an important role as a co-factor for the synthesis of serotonin. Having low iron levels can lead associated with fatigue, weakness, depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Women aged 19 to 50 require 18 mg of iron daily as iron deficiency is often caused by menstruation. Post-menopausal women and men require 8 mg of iron daily.
Iron is very essential for various functions in our body and this mineral is one of the tough mineral to be taken in specific quantities. While having too little iron is associated with panic attacks and can lead to anemia, having too much iron in the body can lead to a condition known as hemochromatosis, which can cause diabetes, liver damage, and discoloration of the skin. Unlike other nutrients, excess iron cannot be excreted by the human body.
so before taking the iron supplementation’s it is always better to take the doctors consultation along with lab test reports.
Life style changes to reduce panic attack:
Breathing exercises is essential and especially helps to focus. If your breathing becomes too shallow, the panic attack may worsen. Take slow deep breaths through the nose for the count of four and then lengthen the exhalation of each breath.
Breathing and relaxation exercises can also help you cope with lingering anxiety, helping to prevent attacks happening during the day.
There are various theories that show the connection between the panic attacks with CO2 sensitivity.The higher the amount of gas in the body the more you can get panic. There’s been some success with breathing training to keep CO2 better regulated.
Cold Water Treatment
Splashing or washing your face with cold water helps to cope from the shock of the panic attack and also, slows down breathing, and reduces the heart rate by up to 25%. The reason behind it is the heart and sensation are linked by the parasympathetic nervous system, unconsciously reacting to various stimuli like temperature and physical sensations.
or you can either keep a soaked towel of cold water and place it around the face and neck. If anxiety is severe then you may find submerging your face in water for a number of seconds even more effective.
It can also be a useful tool to help you combat against panic attacks; exercise proved to improve physical and mental well being by increasing the happy chemicals in the body called endorphins.
Five 30-minute sessions a week can be beneficial against panic and anxiety disorders. Gentle walks not only give you a work out but help take your mind off matters.
Researches have proved the after two weeks, participants had fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety by lowering the levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of ACTH, a hormone responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol. This practice involves breathing techniques to slow the heart rate and reduce nervous energy. It might not seem like it, but it also counts as a gentle form of exercise, with the stretches increasing the blood flow throughout the body. Yoga also involves self-study, which can help to identify any underlying causes of anxiety.
Essential oils can offer calming effects that help you to relax and unwind. Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil or rose water to a handkerchief or oil burner. Aromatherapy can be a great way to help relax and lower your background anxiety, and has been tested and proved in a number of stressful settings, such as before painful hospital procedures.(source)
Panic attacks are a frightening and distressing experience, partly because of the feeling that there’s no way to control them. That is not the case – using these techniques and lifestyle changes, you can help minimize the impact panic can have on your life.
Reduced serotonin level is known as one of the causes of PA. Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan. For the synthesis of serotonin, vitamin B6 (Vit B6) and iron play important roles as co-factors. Having low iron levels can lead associated with fatigue, weakness, depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Women aged 19 to 50 require 18 mg of iron daily as iron deficiency is often caused by menstruation. There are different ways of supplementing our body with adequate vitamins and minerals , that include natural food sources and artificial supplementation. one has to consult the physician before taken any medication even vitamin supplementation’s to avoid over dosage related heath issues.(SOURCE)
For more related articles regarding Mental and physical health: