Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety, palpitation, and unable to focus. Are those psychiatric disorders or because you have problems breathing?

Are you suffering from anxiety? Do you experience random chest tightness, palpitations, and dizziness? Are you able to focus well at school or work? Are those symptoms getting worse overtime? Do you need to be medicated with anxiety or ADHD medications to block out those feelings so you can carry on with your daily activities? 

You are not alone! Do you know that untreated or under-treatment of asthma can also be the cause of all of those symptoms? Do you know that most of us are not born with asthma but this condition develops over time? 

For most of us, when we start to experience those symptoms, we would likely blame it to ourselves for not being able to handle stressful events occurring in our immediate environments at home or at work. Therefore, when we are not able to change the surrounding environments, the most common logic to mitigate this situation is to request psychiatric medications to mask those feelings so we can carry on with our lives. However, besides true psychiatric disorders that truly require psychiatric medications, mini-asthma attacks might mimic these feelings too. 

If you have been experiencing allergies and sinuses for a while, that same allergic inflammation might also develop inside the lower airway. The inflammatory process starts first from the upper airway due to the simple action of breathing. It might then progress down into the lower airway over time. Since there is no sensation inside the body, when inflammation develops inside the airway lumen, the disease is mostly overlooked. However, when the lower airway is inflamed, it becomes very irritable, leading to random bronchospasm in response to various environmental stimulants. At the start of the disease when only some of those tiny airways are inflamed, there is no life threatening shortness of breath yet due to the abundance of collateral healthy bronchi and bronchioles inside the lungs. At this stage, there is still enough lung reserve capacity for most daily activities. At this state, extreme strenuous activities might cause side stitches, dizziness or shortness of breath. However, random mini-bronchospasm would stimulate the body to release an abundance of adrenaline and stress hormones at rest, leading to unexplained tachycardia, sensation of chest tightness, dizziness or inability to focus. Random adrenaline bursts at rest, together with likely other stress hormones that the body releases to try to open the airway might mimic anxiety, panic attacks, and even ADHD. Therefore, in this case, treating lower airway inflammation to make it more stable would improve these feelings of anxiety, panic attacks, palpitation, and inability to focus. Masking these feelings with anxiety medications would not be able to solve those issues. 

So if you have been experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, chest tightness, palpitation, inability to focus or random dizziness, come check your lungs health with an Allergist Immunologist. The physicians at Texas Allergy Group are trained to recognize and treat these early inflammations.