First and foremost, wise diet and nutrition choices can go a long way toward reducing the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Some changes in diet can produce results quickly but the most important changes in behavior and physical symptoms may take a bit longer. But the truth is that, according to experience and medical research, a person’s food choices do have an effect on how they feel and how they act.
People who suffer some form of anxiety episode or struggle through a true panic attack know the symptoms. They feel restless or nervous, may become irritable, feel as if they are out of control and have trouble breathing because of the tension in their bodies. These and other symptoms can be the result of chemical changes in the body that may have to be addressed with medical help and prescription drugs.
But some of the behavior patterns and physical troubles that accompany panic attacks may occur because a person is eating the wrong foods, too much of some types of food or is not getting enough of the important nutrients.
For example, panic-attack sufferers often experience an increased heart rate, stomach cramps, nausea and dizziness. While some of these symptoms are due to very basic chemical changes or pre-existing conditions that intensify with panic attacks, some may be the result of to much caffeine or too much sugar in the diet.
One of the first steps a panic-attack sufferer should take is to change the diet to include more vitamins, especially those in the B complex. Medical research also shows that an unusual level of magnesium in our bodies also has a connection to panic and anxiety episodes. Some of the deficiencies can be remedied by eating more fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. It may be necessary to add a dietary supplement to get more B vitamins, but this should be a subject of discussion when you visit your doctor.
You may want to learn more about the positive effects of vitamin C that comes in fresh fruits. It may also help to add certain fish oil supplements or add foods to the diet that provide the essential oils called Omega-3.
Some programs for reducing the intensity of panic-attack symptoms include drinking carbonated water to get more carbon dioxide into the system. This may help with the hyperventilation that often accompanies a panic attack. Check with your doctor to see what he or she recommends, and ask your doctor about possible food allergies. Among the most important foods for panic-attack sufferers are whole grains, eggs, fish, fresh green vegetables, carrots, celery and spinach.
Just as we should include certain foods when we have panic and anxiety episodes, we should avoid certain items as well. Caffeine in coffee and soft drinks is of particular concern to doctors who treat people with panic attacks. Refined sugars, corn syrup and some other forms of sugar should be reduced significantly if not eliminated altogether. It is also very important to eat foods with few artificial additives or no additives at all.