Research shows that caffeine is one of the chief dietary agents of nervous tension but is by no means the sole instigator.  Sugar and nicotine are also substances that studies have indicated contribute to panic attacks.  The level that they are present in the diet can be a factor in the severity of anxiety attacks and respite from those attacks can occur by removing them from the diet.  Stopping intake of these three substances can improve the life of the anxiety attack sufferer by allowing their medical professional to dimish drug levels as they experience fewer attacks.

As far as body stressors go, nicotine is very powerful.  Nicotine impacts the body as sharply as caffeine but with more perilous consequences.  Like caffeine, nicotine is physically addictive, but in contrast to caffeine, it is also mentally addictive.  Nicotine has a reputation for calming a person down in the midst of or following a stressful circumstance, but that respite is only brief.  When a nicotine consumer does not have the material in their veins, they are often jumpy or twitchy while they wait for their next cigarette.  This anxiety also affects the sleep cycle and causes the smoker to not rest very well.  Plenty of sleep is essential for a panic sufferer to reduce thoughts of panic.

A more difficult substance to diminish from the diet is sugar.  The body, particularly the brain, needs glucose to properly operate, but the body is particular about what kind of sugar it needs most.  Glucose is the sugar that the body needs to function most efficiently, and it is best derived from complex carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates process slowly and provide a consistent release of glucose into the body.  This is different from simple sugars because they breakdown into glucose very quickly and put too much glucose into the body too quickly.  Frequent exposure to a constant supply of high levels of glucose can lead to health problems such as diabetes or hypoglycemia. 

Hypoglycemia has symptoms that imitate those of anxiety attacks and some medical professionals believe that some anxiety attack suffers may actually be experiencing hypoglycemia.  Using a meal log to look for anxiety attack symptoms that occur 3-4 hours after a meal and disappear as soon as something is eaten is one of many ways to help narrow down what is the cause of the symptoms.  A medical professional can also determine hypoglycemia through a simple blood test. 

If hypoglycemia is revealed, it can be corrected by limiting consumption of simple sugars.  Consume complex carbohydrates such as dense breads and whole grains instead of pastas and refined grains.  Eat a protein or complex carbohydrate snack between meals to keep blood sugar consistent and eat fresh fruit in place of of candy.  Fresh fruits contain more complex sugars than do candies.

Experiencing attacks of panic does not make for pleasant experiences, but there are steps that can be taken that do not necessitate medication to control the anxiety.  Self help is available through food choices and by making sure that correct lifestyle decisions are made.  Talk with a doctor about the options available and know that you can help yourself.

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