Panic Attacks

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I have been suffering from panic attacks over the past few months. They are very disconcerting. What can I do to offset this?

A. You may wish to seek professional help from a psychologist if you are experiencing a difficult patch in your life, or if you have had this problem before. There are many potential causes of panic attacks.

Some practical measures I could suggest are to eat regular, savoury protein food to stabilise blood sugar levels; pack snacks to eat throughout the day – like tins of fish, boiled eggs, cheese and crackers. Avoid sweet food and coffee, and stimulating energy drinks – these raise your blood sugar rapidly, only to be followed by a rapid decline that can make you feel shaky and anxious.

B complex vitamins are good fuel for the nervous system; make sure your supplement is generally in the range of 50 to 100mg. Food sources of B complex vitamins include wholegrains, nuts/seeds and meat.

Magnesium is good for nervy restlessness – you can do a mineral appraisal on this website to assess your levels (under the about section).

We also have a herbal tonic called "Stress Less" available on this website. Or, you could also visit a registered medical herbalist (such as Natural Ange Ltd) for an individual stress-reducing formulation (visit www.nzamh.org.nz to find a practitioner).

Exercise is a great stress-buster; it reduces anxiety and lifts the mood. Invite a friend to go for long walks or runs with you.

Books on anxiety may prove very useful too. I also have links to useful website and NZ resources – contact Natural Ange