To people who suffer from panic attacks it may seem that almost anything can trigger an episode. But the most immediate external causes are usually stress and confusion, situations in which the person is hurried and feels that they are about to lose control. When this happens a panic attack can introduce symptoms such as breathing difficulty, tension, sweating and an even more urgent feeling of being out of control.

However, medical research and reports from doctors indicate that there may well be some internal triggers for panic attacks. Women have reported that the hormonal changes from birth control pills set off a panic attack. Sudden changes in blood pressure or blood sugar levels may have the same result. One other trigger might be the lack of sufficient water in the body. A person who becomes dehydrated may well be increasing their chances of severe anxiety or panic attack.

The human body works best when it is made up of 60 percent water or a bit more. This is truly the liquid of life because it is essential for nearly every process the body goes through, every day. Doctors insist that a healthy diet and the correct amount of drinking water not only keeps the body functioning properly but also reduces the chances of anxiety episodes and panic attacks.

Without water in sufficient amounts the body cannot get the proper blood flow, which means that necessary hormones, nutrients and chemicals are not taken to and from the places they need to be. In addition, the cells of our bodies are made mostly of liquid. For them to take in the necessary nutrients, such as proteins, they must have the correct amount of water.

One of the more disturbing statistics published in recent years is that three of every four U.S. residents is dehydrated to some extent, many dangerously so. Research shows that when the body is dehydrated the cells signal the brain that there is a serious threat to health. This can trigger changes in the brain and nervous system that result in a feeling of nervousness or anxiety.

Water can help keep the body’s acid/alkaline balance where it should be as well. Nutrition studies show that most people have a diet that puts far too much acid in the body or the food we eat transforms into a more acidic state after digestion. Keeping the body well hydrated leads to the proper elimination of excess acid and other toxic substances. If we don’t give our body the right amount of water, we will start to feel ill. That can lead to anxiety and even the onset of panic attacks.

Just as having enough water is important, it is possible to take in too much liquid, such as during drinking sprees. But alcoholic beverages only serve to dehydrate the body even more. This is one of the primary causes of the hangover feeling. In summary, keeping the body supplied with clean water on a daily basis is a sure way to feel healthy and may help stop panic attacks.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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