Hypothyroid Conditions and Panic Attacks
Unfortunately, hypothyroid conditions and panic attacks can go hand in hand. Hypothyroidism can cause symptoms that are often associated with panic attacks. Here’s some advice for getting your hypothyroid conditions and panic attacks under control.
A panic attack is a sudden burst of anxiety coupled with physical responses such as abdominal distress (diarrhea or constipation), chest pain, heart palpitations, hot or cold flashes, dizziness, numbness, shortness of breath, sweating and shaking. You may also feel faint, like you are choking, detached from yourself or like you are dying, losing control, or going crazy.
Panic disorder is the name for when a person has panic attacks and also worries about the next attack and may become agoraphobic, avoiding places and situations where a panic attack might occur.
So what do hypothyroid conditions and panic attacks have in common?
Some people have panic attacks as a result of a thyroid problem and don’t even know it. Panic attacks are more common in people with an over active thyroid, that is, when the body is producing too much thyroid hormone instead of too little. The release of the hormone speeds up the heart, which increases blood pressure, makes you hot and sweaty, and can easily send you on the road to a panic attack.
No one knows how many people have been diagnosed as having panic disorder who really just have a thyroid problem, so that if their thyroid were treated their panic attacks would go away. But this is a reality for a lot of people, especially because doctors these days seem more interested in treating symptoms than in actually looking for the root cause of a disorder.
Depression, anxiety and panic attacks go together, in the general public as well as in people with low thyroid function. Hypothyroid can also cause high blood pressure and respiratory problems, which could send the body into a panic attack.
Is it the Thyroid?
If you are having panic attacks, you should see a doctor. Ask to have your thyroid checked if your doctor doesn’t suggest it. The test for thyroid function is a simple blood test, though there are other ways to screen for disorders. Once you’ve determined if you have hypothyroid (or hyperthyroid), that condition can be dealt with by either giving you more hormone in the case of hypothyroid, or taking beta blockers or some other medication to limit the amount of hormone being produced if you have hyperthyroid. Or you may be able to rule out a thyroid problem altogether and go looking for some other reason for your panic attacks.
If you are a proactive patient and demand the tests you need to know what’s going on with your body, you may be able to treat your hypothyroid conditions and panic attacks at the same time. What a wonderful way to heal your body from the inside out and to ease your mind about the panic and anxiety you have been suffering. Remember, it’s not all in your head. You’re not going crazy, but panic attacks are a sign that something is wrong in your body and you really need to get it checked out. Don’t live with the worry any longer.
Wishing you happiness and peace always,