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Thread: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    I've had panic attacks since I was 15 (over 30 yr now). Remember sitting in high school english class having my first palpitations thinking I would drop dead.

    Not a fun disease.

    For the last 10 years I've been on a mission to discover what's at the root of my problem(s) as they increasingly got worse..

    Migraines with aura, horrible bloating belly, extreme fatigue, oversleeping (16 - 18hr daily), irritability, rashes on skin, immune system crashes, sensitivity to light, noise, agoraphobia (fear of stairs, hallways, etc), paranoia - the list is almost endless.

    At the end, I was a 45yo guy who honestly felt 90. No sex drive, no lust for life.. Just laid in bed all day, taking xanax to stop the palps.

    This year got off my arse to REALLY find a treatment. I live in the middle-of-nowhere. So made 4 trips (over 5 months) to Bangkok to a very good hospital. I don't have insurance so I paid out of pocket.

    In short, I had over 60 tests run, along with scans, ultrasounds, stress tests, holter monitors etc. I met with specialists from cardio to endocrinologists etc.

    I also joined only pay-for-crowd advice sites. Where doctors try to diagnose you.

    I went to Indian doctors who look at energy, I tried meditation, acupuncture, massage...

    I had to get better, or I felt I would just die.

    I got many diagnosis along the way, all from trained medical professional:

    • Hyperparathyroid
    • Lupus
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    • GAD
    • Kleine Levin Syndrome
    • Adrenal Fatigue
    • Parasites
    • Celiac disease
    • Depression
    • IBS
    • Syndrome X

    Finally, a month ago - I got a doctor that said, look - you've spent nearly 10k out of your pocket for this, I'm not running any more tests. We've run everything we can do and besides having high cholesterol, a little low magnesium, a little high calcium and a little high blood sugar - you're fine! It's all in your head.

    It didn't feel like it. After a small meal at a restaurant I could barely walk home as I was so bloated. On a trip to Europe after the first week I was pretty much stuck in bed from exhaustion, sex was only possible with the help of ED medication, trying to sweep the floor would leave me palpitating. If it was all in my head why was I getting migraines, and rashes etc... These are real-world symptoms..

    I was looking on kayak, ready to book a flight to Florida to get my parathyroids checked / operated on. (14k out of pocket)

    Then on a forum someone suggested the answer. It turned out to be THE answer, the frigging holy grail... My high blood sugar was causing my pancreas to be not as responsive as it should be.. Sure I could work out on the treadmill as my brain geared the pancreas up, but the rest of the time it was sleeping. So when I went to do house cleaning, or walk int he mall it wasn't waking up properly. The brain dumps adrenaline into your system and by the time your pancreas is awake and working you've already got all the terrible feelings.

    My BS wasn't really 'that' high... 103 - 116 range... usually around 110.. That's firmly in pre-diabetic territory, but not diabetes. Being pre-diabetic unfortunately left me wiggle room.. I kept thinking, as soon as I hit 120 I will really change my eating habits.. But a 114, not so bad - all things considered.

    Finally, after his suggestion - I took a long hard look at my diet. A lot of carbs (chips), chocolate, snacks, puddings, yogurts, and bad foods. Very few good ones, portions far too large. I realized I was grazing all day long. At the first pang of boredom or hunger I ate.

    I immediately started doing 24hr fasting (Sun, Thur), from 7pm to 7pm the next night. To help control my blood sugar. I cut out ALL (and i mean ALL) sugars and processed foods. I started eating ONLY fresh veggies, fish, salmon, chicken breasts, nuts etc). I started doing 30 min of cardio on my elliptical 6 days a week, and walking an extra 5,000 steps a night (about an hour). I added in a light barbell routine as well. I cut out ALL alcohol (which was difficult for me)

    Sunday (till 7pm) was my cheat day (pizza)

    By the end of week 1 my blood sugar fell from 112 to 87, the palpitations reduced 40%, the brain fog, and the fatigue vanished. I could think clearly again!!! However I was HORRIBLY irritable this week (starving / stopping sugar), my belly was messed up and I had insomnia (imagine, 18hr a day sleeping to insomnia, what a weird feeling - who knew a day was so frigging long, I had no idea what to do with all that time..!)

    By the end of three weeks my weight had dropped from 219lbs to 204. My blood sugar to 82 - almost all anxiety (general anxiety) gone, almost all my symptoms gone. My skin cleared up. My mood improved. My GF said it's like I'm a new person.

    I'm on week 5 now and I now feel almost like a 45yo again. I still have some palps (I think from all the change), but man, do I feel BETTER...

    Just throwing this out there, for anyone that might have a multitude of symptoms and can't figure out why.

    Although my BS wasn't exceptionally high, it turns out I was hypersensitive to it. Many of us with anxiety disorders probably are hypersensitive about a lot of things.

    I am deeply grateful for the advice I got, and infinitely glad I was able to face the fact that I was treating my body horribly and thus got terrible reactions...

    In 2 more months I'm going back to re-test the major marker so I have proof my body has healed. I'll post the numbers then.

    It seems silly, that just exercise, eating correctly (very strictly) and fasting could make such momentous changes. But it did.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Re: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    Wow! You've been on quite a journey! Congratulations on taking control of things. It's amazing what a change in diet, exercise, etc can accomplish. I've read this from several people on here. It really does help, sometimes drastically, for both real physical issues and mental anxieties!

    (P.S. I approve of your cheat meal! I think the one food I would never give up no matter what happened to me would be pizza!!)

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Re: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    30 years, seriously... Man, I only can congratulate you. I also have some problems, and sometimes it feels like there is no sense in fighting them. I`m not sure that I could live with them for 30+ years and still have hope. You are a prominent person. It`s more than cool that at last you have found the root of your issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Re: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    This is really interesting information. How easy it is to overlook our diets when it comes to mental health. My own eating habits are pretty poor to say the least. I could definitely stand to cut down on the sugar.

    I'm pleased for you and hope you're enjoying your new lease of life.

  5. #5

    Re: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    This is a fantastic success story! I had a similar thing happen in the past that helped to correct a bad bout of health anxiety. I was diagnosed with hypertension and went on a strict diet (very similar to yours). Within 6 months my BP was back to normal, I had lost over 60 lbs and I had felt the healthiest I had felt in years.

    This remained like this for quite awhile but the last 3 months have been anxiety ridden hell again. I'm going to change my diet again (it's not horrible but it's not as good as it was before) and start exercising. I'm hoping that it will help cure my anxiety again like it did before. For over a year I felt absolutely amazing because of my diet. I'm hoping to go back to that again.

  6. #6

    Re: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    Thank you for your insightful and a wee bit humorous post. It's so easy to slip into bad habits, no sleep, crave sugar, drink coffee to feel somewhat awake, then cycle back through it all again. It's so rare to feel good, it's almost like being hit by lightening. Like wow what is that I'm feeling!

    Im going to look at my habits, my eating which is pretty much vegetarian and mostly healthy but I'll try cutting sugar, carbs, wheat, etc and making sure to walk each day and see how I go.

    Thanks for the helpful and interesting post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: How I solved 30+ years of panic in 1 month

    Well done you, and this is something I've been trying to illustrate on the forums for a while.

    The high carb diet that we have been told is good for us for decades is an absolute disaster, especially refined carbs.

    It's literally killing us, physically and mentally. Combine that with low fat (equally dangerous), is a recipe for disaster.

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