Diabetics and Anxiety/Panic Attacks


(Alayna Strickland) #1

Hi everyone...

I suffer, at times, with major panic/anxiety attacks. These didn't begin to occur until my junior year in highschool and after I began taking Humolog. Let me explain my first run in with these "attacks." I was sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture and the room began spinning (like the feeling of when you turn in circles and it takes a minute before the dizziness to stop) and I began physically shaking. So, I remember getting up and just walking out of the class and down the hall while trying to check my blood glucose at the same time. I was doing this because it felt like I was low. When I checked it, it was 245. I finally reached the nurse's office and I ended up at the ER. They told me that I had most likely experienced a panic attack.

Ever since, I have had "episodes" but never to the extent of the first one. So, I said all that to ask, does anyone else have this same problem? I always wondered if there was a link between anxiety/panic and diabetes.


(golfpapabravo06) #2

I haven't had one for awhile.  Remember we have a lot more on our minds than most people, this could probably cause some extra tension and stress.  I usually use these things called "travel bands" or something along those lines to help keep me calm.  They can be found at walgreens and they're basically bracelets with a little ball on one part of them...see the link...and they push on a pressure point in your wrist that calms you down, and prevents nausea they work and i was a skeptic at first maybe you should try them out.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?CATID=100105&navAction=jump&navCount=0&nug=VPD&skuid=sku2662381&id=prod2662944


(Kateski) #3

I have Menieres Disease which is another autoimmune disease... It can cause EXTREME Dizziness.  If it persists, got to an ear nose and throat specialist.  As for panic attacks there was a time that I was waking up with them.  I had  an EKG and chest x-ray because my heart was racing in the middle of the night.  Eventually I read that calcium supplements can cause this.  I quit taking calcium and the attacks stopped.  Just some possibilities I am putting out there.


(Tara721) #4

Hi Alayna-

Have you ever had your iron level tested? Low iron levels can cause low blood pressure. I have had “episodes” of low blood pressure which sound a lot like what you said happened to you.

 


(Alayna Strickland) #5

Tara,

 

Thats interesting you mention that because the last time I went to the endo at the check in part of the visit, they test your blood pressure and it was unreadable two times in a row, but they said that it was no big deal!


(paulg765) #6

What you should do depends on how severe and how frequent the panic attacks get.  In some people, not necessarily diabetics, they can get so severe that they become afraid to even leave the house.  Fortunately, there are some very effective medications on the market for treating panic attacks.  While I haven't taken it personally, I know quite a few people who have been literally saved by Zoloft (sertraline).  Taken on a daily basis it blocks panic attacks and reduces anxiety disorder.  Some people take Xanax (alprazolam) or Ativan (lorazepan) at the onset of a panic attack, but these are tranquilizers and can be very addictive if not used properly.


(Alayna Strickland) #7

Paul,

 

You're so very right about how they get so severe that some won't leave their home. I actually went through that. However, I didn't want to be on psychotropics. This happened during a summer right before I was to leave for college. My parents were obviously very worried and didn't know how to help. My father bought me a puppy, who I still have today. What happened was that I had to take care of the dog...meaning I had to leave the house to walk him, take him to the vet, etc. It worked. I overcame my fear of leaving the house overtime, so all was good.

It was just a strange occurence in my life and it popped up literally right after I began taking Humolog. I spoke to my doctors about this, but they didn't think there could be a link. But, I disagree. 


(Brittany) #8

I've had panic attacks before but not many. I have them when I get stressed out and worried. I had one the night before we had to take the EOG's (End of grade tests).


(paulg765) #9

[quote user="Alayna"]

Paul,

 

You're so very right about how they get so severe that some won't leave their home. I actually went through that. However, I didn't want to be on psychotropics. This happened during a summer right before I was to leave for college. My parents were obviously very worried and didn't know how to help. My father bought me a puppy, who I still have today. What happened was that I had to take care of the dog...meaning I had to leave the house to walk him, take him to the vet, etc. It worked. I overcame my fear of leaving the house overtime, so all was good.

It was just a strange occurence in my life and it popped up literally right after I began taking Humolog. I spoke to my doctors about this, but they didn't think there could be a link. But, I disagree. 

[/quote]

I'm on a double dose of the same medication as you....

... I have TWO dogs!!! LOL


(Eric_Carpenter) #10

If the anxiety/panic is still a big deal there are therapies that don't involve drugs (behavioral, cognitive).  I would hope any resistance to medications is due to severe side effects (caffeine and aspirin are psychotropic, did you mean anti-psychotic?) and not to stereotype and pride.


(Alayna Strickland) #11

Eric,

 

They put me on Paxil and had temporary loss of vision. Talk about PANIC! =/

And, yes, i did mean anti-psychotic....LOL!

But, also, I just wanted and still do want to be able to control something, you know? And I felt like I could try and control the "attacks."

I quit taking Humalog on my own and demanded that they put me on another type of insulin, but it seemed as though the damage had been done. I still deal with them...I was just curious if anyone elsee did as well


(paulg765) #12

[quote user="Alayna"]

I quit taking Humalog on my own and demanded that they put me on another type of insulin, but it seemed as though the damage had been done. I still deal with them...I was just curious if anyone elsee did as well

[/quote]

Alayna,

Do I understand you that you believe the Humalog caused your panic attacks and that you switched to another type of insulin which didn't cause panic attacks?  Really?  What kind of insulin do you use now?

 


(Jenna M) #13

That actually happened to me the other day in class. I felt like the room was spinning and i was about to fall over. I just put my head down and closed my eyes for a minute and then it went away. I thought it was pretty strange, but once it stopped I figured that I was just dizzy and it was normal.


(Alayna Strickland) #14

At the time, I really believed that Humalog was the culprit, only because they began right after I started it. I switched to Novolog and Lantus. But, they still remained. Nothing different with different insulin....Im on Aphidra now with my pump.


(Jenna M) #15

[quote user="Alayna"]

At the time, I really believed that Humalog was the culprit, only because they began right after I started it. I switched to Novolog and Lantus. But, they still remained. Nothing different with different insulin....Im on Aphidra now with my pump.

[/quote]

Alayna,

Do you still think that it was the humalog? Or are you thinking that because the episodes remained once you switched insulin, that it was something else?


(Tara721) #16

I would have them check your iron the next time you have your A1C done. The more you talk about it the more it sounds like the same problem I have.The first time it happened to me I was in class too, not stressed about anything, actually watching some silly movie. They took me to the hospital and thoght the blood presure cuff was broken but it was really that low. I can’t believe they did not seemed suprised when they could not get a reading from you at your doctors. It is very possible you are having anxiety, diabetes is stressfull!


(Alayna Strickland) #17

See, Im not sure anymore. I just wondered because it was the first non animal based insulin that I was on....Idk...I've always looked for answers. I always wondered if anyone else kinda struggled with anxiety/panic attacks who also had diabetes.


(Gina) #18

In the past 5 months I have been getting panic attacks. I have never gotten them before. I think i mentioned something about it in another thread about when i started increasing my lantus. if im stuck in traffic...i start to have an attack. if im walking through the supermarket i start having an attack. i just leave. and i know what you are talking about when you say you feel like you are low. thats what happens to me. i feel like im crashing out. i check my sugar and its fine. sometimes i cant even get on the highway if i even "think" there is going to be traffic.

they were really bad in the first month. now they have kind of eased off but not by much. sometimes i feel like my jugulars are being squeezed all day...that pretty much lets me know i am going to go in to panic at some point in the day. massive claustrophobia now.

i also get the attacks during work when i start to think about food and i am wanting to eat. if i dont eat...my body starts to panic. and my sugar is always good at that point. i just get hungry and my body starts to go crazy. my heart goes insane.

i really thought my problem was because i started using more lantus like the docs said. i never had the problem til i upped my dosage. the more i kept my sugar in check the more i started having attacks. when i let my sugar run a little high and never tested my sugar...i never had a problem.


(Alayna Strickland) #19

Ken,

I wonder if the insulin effects our nervous system? I am very claustrophobic as well. I absolutely hate being in traffic or in an elevator because I am afraid I will get stuck with no food...would this be considered living life in fear??? =/

I just literally carry around capri suns in my purse and the sugar tablets.

Have you talked to your Endo about the "attacks?"

 


(Joshy84) #20

I also suffer from panic/anxiety attacks. They have been trying different stuff as far as meds for me, they all seem to work for awhile then quit.