Stimulant (caffeine, sugar, wine, etc) induced panic/anxiety attacks? Does anyone else have this?

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girlpirate
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/10/2007 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, I'm new here.
I was hoping to find some insight, or input...

I started having severe anxiety and panic attacks about three weeks ago. First it was at night, just before bed. Then it progressed over a week to all the time, at seemingly random times of day. I had no prior history of such things before and I am 27.

I have just recently discovered that I develop these attacks when I have had stimulants. I did try cutting out the caffeine use, with no result. Then I realized that there is one stimulant that is ever-present in my daily life, and used directly before bed - my asthma inhaler, Alubterol. I quit using the asthma inhaler 48 hours ago, and was fine for an entire day. Until I had a glass of wine and another attack. Then yesterday morning, I had caffeine, and had a really bad attack.

I have used the Abuterol since I was 8 years old with no problems. I have consumed caffeine regularly since I was 17-18, with no problems. Alcohol is not consumed daily, but I've had my moments - with of course, no prior problems. At one point, while feeling relatively fine, I ate a couple of cookies containing sugar, and felt the anxiety well up once again.

My doctor just gave me Paxil (which I have only had a day now so I expect nothing of it for awhile yet), and Xanax (which shuts down the attacks, but also turns me into a fumbling moron that runs into walls and scares the cats).

Does anyone else have this relationship with stimulants?

I am very new to these experiences, and honestly, very terrified. I have never felt so out of control before. I want my life back so badly.

Thanks for any input,
Kirsti

andwes
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 728
   Posted 4/10/2007 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
It certainly seems as though the stimulants are exascerbating the anxiety/panic attacks but since you used to always use those products before with no problem, I'd have to assume you have some underlying anxiety/panic issues in and of themselves - otherwise the stimulants still wouldn't be bothering you.  It's very scary when you first start experiencing anxiety/panic - most of us on this site can remember when we first starting having it - I know I do - right after my second son was born in 1972 and it was probably brought on by not only my life circumstances but also by post partum depression (which no one knew much about back then).  You certainly are on a good website to help you cope with your anxiety/panic however.  There's not much you could say that some or all of us haven't experienced ourselves in the past (and present) so you never have to feel ashamed of venting.  I have found this site to be a real lifesaver at times when I felt so down and out and totally alone.

LondonGirl22
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1629
   Posted 4/10/2007 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Caffeine can make people feel twitchy, hyper and anxious. I always have decaf coffee, tea and coke now but if I eat too much chocolate I can feel my heart start to beat a bit quicker!

Victoria x

Moderator ~ Depression and Anxiety Forum

Xx Sometimes we all have to go a little crazy just to stay sane xX


harry4
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 4/10/2007 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   

I dont think stimulants are associated with panic attacks often

however its known that some chemicals can bring on a panic attack and maybe the inhaler gas these

your xanax us helpful especially disolved under the tongue for faster help but the dose is obviously too high try halving it

stay with us


recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
emails are welcome but do mention healingwell to avoid risk of deletion as spam


Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/10/2007 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I cannot use the same kind inhaler you have anymore it causes heart to race and gets me all nervous and shaky....I believe yes these do pose a prob with anxiety and panic
Just my opinion


  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
 
   
 
                   
 

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 4/8/2008 2:22:46 PM (GMT-6)


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/10/2007 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Google this: "caffeine panic attacks" (sans quotation marks).

A lot of people associate consumption of caffeine and other stimulants with an increase in anxiety, which of course can cause a panic attack. It doesn't work the same way in everyone, but clearly, for a lot of people there's a positive correlation. You may be one. I don't know much about inhalers, but many are steroids and will cause anxiety-like symptoms in people who don't even have anxiety disorder (my mother, for instance).

It's common for people to develop anxiety disorder in their 20's, so it's not unusual for you to suddenly feel this way.

Alcohol would bring on my panic attacks, but I think there were other factors (mental, gastroenterological) at work there. For you, the glass of wine could be a coincidence. You did say you were experiencing the attacks randomly, after all. For what it's worth my attacks were often very random, as well. I had trouble identifying triggers.

Harry could be right about your Xanax. Consult your dr. or pharmacist about cutting the dose in half. If you use it often enough, I believe the side-effects are supposed to gradually subside. Hopefully the Paxil will fix you up. It's worked wonders for several of my friends.

Good luck.

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 4/10/2007 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I often get very anxious after a night of heavy drinking. Alcohol is actually a depressant, but I think the withdrawal effects (i.e. hangover) are what can bring on anxiety. Not so much fun! Also, caffeine and rich chocolately desserts will start my palpitations going, but generally I don't start to feel anxious mentally, just the physical symptoms. None of this bothers me to the point where I would cut it out of my life completely, but I think that it would be a good idea to if it really started to bother me.
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
Support HealingWell so we can continue to support you!


greydays
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 4/10/2007 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am 27 as well, and I started having panic attacks almost daily since January.  I am on zoloft and in therapy, and my therapist told me no more caffine, and I have noticed a huge difference.  I hope things get better for you!!

vienna
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/23/2008 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
My first panic attack was last March, 2008. I had NEVER experienced one before. I am 23 years old.

When I have attacks, I usually have them after a night or weekend of drinking. I'm not an alcoholic, but sometimes my friends and I go out a couple nights on the weekends and get fairly intoxicated. The next morning I will wake up with my heart pounding in my chest, and I feel like if I move too much or don't take it easy, my chest might explode. If I have caffeine after a night of drinking, it is almost 100% certain that I will have an attack. When my attacks happen, I receive something that feels like a wave of shock. It's the way you feel when you find out someone has passed away, or you are in danger. The feeling just takes over my body and I am nearly forced on my knees in terror. I feel like my life is about to be taken away and I have no control over myself. Usually, if I'm alone, I have to sit in front of an AC unit and blow it full force on my body so I can focus on something other than the fear. I've had people press fist-fulls of cold ice on my back to get the fear to go away. The attacks only last about 5-10 min, but they are my worst nightmare.

Since the attacks started, I saw a psychologist. He put me on Lexapro (antidepressant). He also found that I have general anxiety disorder, and signs of depression. So I started the medication, but it made me feel very flat, distant, and unemotional. People pointed out that I didn't look/act like myself. I surely didn't feel like myself. Over a period of 4 months I used Lexapro, Cymbalta, and finally, Zoloft. All of them made me feel nauseated and flat. I guess antidepressants weren't what my body needed. I then decided, "OK. You're going to stop drinking alcohol as often, and you're going to exercise more." I wanted to see if I could take care of my panicky feelings and anxiety in a more natural way. I cut back to drinking small amounts maybe once every two weeks (never getting drunk), and I began exercising 4 days a week. I stopped drinking caffeine and I ate less sugar. I began feeling much better, with fewer panicky feelings. August 2008 was the last month I had an attack. That was 4 months ago. However, I still get "feelings" of panic, but the attacks just haven't occurred.

Something I did to tamper with my anxiety a bit more . . .
I took a medicine called Strattera. Many people use it for ADD. My doctor just wanted me to try it because he saw that I had symptoms of ADD, and he couldn't tell if the ADD symptoms were because of my panic disorder or not. So I tried Strattera for 4 weeks, and it actually made a lot of my anxiety go away. I wasn't necessarily focusing more, but I feel like if I had continued to take the drug for two more weeks, I probably would have noticed a difference in my work performance. The only bad thing about the drug was that it made me nauseated at first, and I had no appetite. But other than that, I think this drug may have made the anxiety drop a significant amount. Those are just my personal findings.

Let me know if you want to know more!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/23/2008 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Welcome to HealingWell and for sharing your story with us.   I am glad you have cut back on the drinking and I hope you will continue working with your physician re your meds.
 
You seem to be doing quite well with this physician so if you have a good relationship with him and trust him on the meds I would feel you are in good hands.
 
I wish you a happy holiday season.
 
Kitt
 
 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 12/23/2008 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vienna :)

Welcome to the HW family. Kitt gave you great advice and I am also glad you cut back drinking. It was a major trigger for me, plus I also have asthma and use albuterol for a rescue inhaler (have to living on a farm:)

Hope you get to your Pdoc soon and get straightened out on your meds! Good luck!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace and Comfort!!!
Your Bro,
Sam
   
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
~ Abraham Lincoln ~
 


Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/23/2008 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Books I've read have stated that the first onset of panic attacks is usually in the mid to late twenties in someone's life. The books also state that stimulants can bring on attacks and/or make them worse. These stimulants are caffeine, alcohol, illegal drugs, sugar. I know they do a number on me and that's why I cut out the soda and caffeine. You may be experiencing anticipatory anxiety after the stimulants. You're probably watching your body now for symptoms. It's probably best if you stop the caffeine and sugar until you feel better.

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/24/2008 12:50 AM (GMT -6)   

im actually allergic to caffeine and i avoid ALL stimulant like the plague, the slightest bit can trigger panic in me. i dont touch alcohol, tea, coffee, energy drinks- also i have to be careful with cold/flu meds as many have the stimulant Psuedoephedrine which also makes me violently ill.

however ive never had a problem with sugar, other than i CRAVE it since ive been on Zoloft, absolutely the strongest cravings. i avoid herbal supplements as well- anything with Niacin in it upsets the fine balance of chemicals in my system.

I hope you find some relief-

Maz XX


            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOD, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


Mazfire
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/24/2008 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
p.s isnt alcohol a depressant? its not a stimulant.

            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOD, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 12/24/2008 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
It is a depressant, so I never could figure out why it sets me in a weird panic mode if I drink too much?!? Go figure, lol :) Can't drink my problems away, darnit :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace and Comfort!!!
Your Bro,
Sam
   
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
~ Abraham Lincoln ~
 
Not a medical professional.  Seek your physician's advice
before making changes to your meds or lifestyle :)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/24/2008 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcohol a depressant, yes sir, for sure and that is my final answer.
What did I win?   idea
Kitt

girlygirl5
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/8/2009 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there. I know exactly what you are going through! I started having these panic or anxiety attacks when I was bout 21 or so. I had been a very healthy happy-go-lucky person until this, and it just frustrated me to no end. I didn't know what was going on the first time. I literally thought I was dying. The second time that I was in the emergency room for it, (second time it happened) they said that it was anxiety attacks, and prescribed me a high dose of xanax, I think it was.
However, another lady in the area told mom not to get it filled! She said you have to detox from that stuff. She said she had the same thing, and found a remedy at the health store. It is called   Rescue Remedy and it's by Bach. It is in a little brown dropper bottle with a yellow lable. (Bach has a whole line of drops.)
This has worked for me. Anytime I felt a little anxious or thought one was comming on, I took a dropper of Rescue Remedy. Now along with that it has helped to stay away from stimulants. I know not to overdue it on chocolate, coffie, Tea and such. I can tell if I have had too much. Over time I learned how to calm myself down to prevent one. Talk to yourself :-) and take deep breaths. It is rediculous to worry what is happening to you, it only brings it on. I just look at it as a normal thing to expect if I eat a bunch of that stuff my body can't handle. I know better.
Give you one last example. Like this last Spring 09. My husband and I had been through some extremely hard things, and we were moving, and I was pregnant, and might I add I had been drinking coffie. The straw that broke the camels back was a spicy hot bag of peanuts. I had one and it left me feeling low for days. I had not had one in three yrs or so before that. So I decided to get some rescue remedy and keep on hand for a while, again.
Well I hope this has been helpfull. That's how I have dealt with mine.
Good luck with yours. God bless.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/8/2009 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello there, glad you found something that works for you. I just researched this product and it seems the company makes something that cures any stress related anxiety even for your pets. If it works.............go for it but I would caution people not to toss away their RX from their Physicians.

Thanks and your post was very imformative.

Kitt

Pku_N-19
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/18/2012 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm 19, I have PKU a eating disorder. I take Jack3d, i've never felt this way.(potentially I think this preworkout supplement is the cause, though they acted up before I started to use this). Side effect to my eating disorder is Anxiety, though my Diet has been worse than it is now, I dont know the problem. It's been about a week of no Coffee. I take my meds about regularly. I eat well(low protien Foods). in the last month I've had 4-6 , just today (I took a serving of jack3d,) I had at lease 3. I'm unsure what to do. I've taken jack3d in the past and it has not effected me in this way.
 
FYI: all I do is go to work, Sleep, Wake up and workout. Is this healthy?

givinguponit24
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 1/18/2012 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Pku I have the same thing. PKU its a protein disorder and it disables you from having the amino acid protein.
ADHD, OCD, BIPOLAR TYPE 1:
Kuvan- 1000mg, Trileptal- 1500mg, Risperdal- 4.0mg, Norvasc-5mg, Lamictal- 200mg, Lisisnopril- 10mg. + 0.5 Ativan as needed.

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 23971
   Posted 1/19/2012 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey PKU and welcome,

You may want to give this site a look...especially what they have to say about caffeine:

http://www.jack-3d.com/side-effects

As far as what is healthy...do you feel like you are living your life...or is it running you? If you like working out and it is an enjoyable release of stress, then go for it...if however it has become an obsession that you are having trouble controlling, then the answer is no.

If that's the case, then try diversifying and going out for fun with friends, or try a learning a new skill or hobby.

Best of health to both you and guoi in dealing with the metabolic disorder. It sounds like you both are pro-active with your health, and do very well managing it.:)

Post anytime!

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

ItalianEnergy
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/3/2015 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't have caffeine, nicotine or alcohol and I indulged in all 3 frequently, so you are not alone girlpirate, it's annoying caus often when my friends drink wine for dinner (here it is a norm) I can't and buh, I really used to enjoy a chilled glass with my friends, or a shisha smoke on saturdays with my boyfriend

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 23971
   Posted 8/3/2015 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ItalianEnergy and welcome!

Thanks for contributing...and we are glad you have joined us! :)

However, due to the age of this thread, I am going to lock it down.

Please feel free to post with us anytime...we even have a newer thread on caffeine/stimulant use currently...

...or better yet, start your own thread of introduction at anytime to introduce yourself. (Post New Topic icon above left)

This is a great place for sharing and understanding...and support is key!!

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT
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