Panic Attacks

October 25, 2012

Somewhere between 12 and 20 million people or 5-8% of the population in the United States suffer with panic attacks at some time. The symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath or a smothering sensation
  • Heart palpitations or racing or pounding heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling of choking
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness, unsteadiness, lightheadedness or faintness
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feelings of unreality or detachment
  • Fears of dying
  • Fears of going crazy or losing control
You need to really keep an eye on these attacks. They could cause more trouble down the line. A study of more than 3 thousand older women find those who reported at least one full blown panic attack during a six month period were three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke over the next five years. Experts say panic attacks may trigger heart rhythm problems and stress hormones released during an attack may harm the heart. There is hope! A German study completed at Charite-University Medicine in Berlin and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that 50% of subjects who completed 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise were able to avoid having a panic attack in the experiment. If you do suffer from panic attacks, talk to your doctor about the risk of heart problems.

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