Fighting panic anxiety disorder.
Fighting and winning against diabetes.
Back in March of this year my whole liife changed. I had been fighting broncitis and then pnemonia for most of January and February. I was finally starting to feel a bit better in early March but one night something strange started happening to me. My heart started to beat out of control and I was having trouble breathing and I was shaking. I had been pre-diabetic for some time but I never bothered to check my blood sugar or anything like that, but I did have a meter so I decided to check my blood sugar. I was up near 400. I told my husband what was happening and we went to the emergency room right away.
It turned out that my white blood count was all out of whack because there was an infection somewhere in my body. What I was experiencing however, was a panic attack which was brought on from my body being all out of wack. After doing tests to check to see if my heart was OK, and taking blood etc. They determined that my heart was fine and I was just having a panic attack. They gave me something in an IV to calm me and I drifted off to sleep, my husband took me home and I slept in the car on the way home and when I got home.
Two days later I had the same experienence. I had a follow up with my regular doctor after that who gave me some medication to take if I felt a panic attack coming on again. I kept having these horrible symptoms, most of the time I felt as if I could not breath. My doctor wasn't really doing anything for me so I switched doctors, and started going to my husband's doctor.
He determined right away that I was no longer pre-diabetic. I was diabetic and my blood sugar were crazy out of control. He put me on medication for the diabetes right away and gave me another medication for the panic. Since I was having trouble breathing and my blood pressure which was normally excellent was high he had me get all kinds of tests done on my heart. All the tests came back fine, but I was still going to his office every few days because I couldn't breath. He assured me that it was just panick attacks and I was just freaking myself out, but at this point he said it would be wise to send me to a psychiatrist that could get me on the proper meds. He diagnosed me with panic anxiety disorder, and perscribed 2 low doses of alpozaline at night and one dose of Sertraline which is a generic version of Zoloft, this would get my seratonin levels back in balance. He told me it would take about 8 weeks for me to start getting normal again, but I should start to feel better in a few days. He also prescribed another type of Alprozaline that I could take when I was having symptoms during the day that would take the edge off. I was to take that only as needed.
I also began to see a therapist who specialized in Panic Anxiety Disorder. The psychologist mainly despensed meds, but it was the therapist that would help me cope with the disorder without meds. He explained to me that the cause for the shortness of breath was caused by basil constriction in the arteries. This of coure made it more difficult for blood to flow freely, and basically this was caused by too much adrenaline running through my body. In normal cases adrenaline is a good thing it shows up when we need it to help our bodies get through emergency situations. In a person with Panic disorders their body is producing too much of it. So as much as people say that panic attacs and panic disorders are all in the person's head that is not exactly true. There is actually something physical going on there that is causing them to feel uncomfortable.
The therapist taught me breathing exercises and relaxation exercises that I could use to naturally put my body in to a relaxed state without having to take a pill. The pills by the way can become addictive, so it was my goal to not take them unless I absolutely had to.
My diabetes and the panic disorder together were causing me some problems too. I was trying to adjust to the diabetes medications as well as deal with the panic disorder and having my blood sugar fluctuate was not helping with the panic.
I decided that I would fight both the diabetes and the panic disorder head on. I started cutting down on the majority of the carbs that I ate, not the vegetable kind but the bread, pasta, and sweets kind. I still ate them but only in small amounts because I do believe your body needs these carbs it is just that most of us eat to many of them.
I started reading a lot about both panic disorder and diabetes. I learned that exercise was good for them both. Because exercise increases endorphins in the body it is the perfect thing to fight off an over abundance of adrenaline. I found that the endorphins would win about 90% of the time and after a work out I would almost always feel a lot better, and would not have to take a pill for the anxiety. I also found that sex which also increases endorphins can do the same. I also felt that making sure my heart was really strong would help me recover faster if I actually had a panic attack.
I also avoided any trigger foods that could provide fuel to the anxiety. I had already cut out chocolate except for an occasional bite, but I also had to cut out caffeine. Most of my life I would have one diet soda a day, and would always drink diet sodas at restaurants. This I could no longer do. Instead when I went to a restaurant I would order water and bring my own litle packets of Crystal Light with me and put it in the water.
Now I work out pretty much every day, there is rarely a day that I miss. I am feeling normal now the anxiety is pretty much gone. Sure there are days when I feel it trying to creep in, but I just pop in a DVD and do a good intense workout and by the end I am feeling normal again.
As a result of my changing my bad eating habits and working out every day I have lost 22 pounds. My blood sugar is in the normal range now, and I have already been taken off some of the diabetes medicine. My doctor feels if I keep this up and lose about 10 more pounds he will probably be able to take me off the meds all together. My blood pressure is back to normal and is excellent, and my cholesterol has improved tremendously. It was not too bad to begin with but it was a little higher than it should have been. Plus in diabetics it is important to control cholesterol because you need to protect the kidneys. So diabetics need to have better cholesterol than people who don't have diabetes.
I am very dertermined to beat the diabetes and get off of the medication entirely. After losing 22 pounds I also of course look and feel better and feel more confident about myself. In just a few months I have completely turned my life around health wise. I kind of wonder if the panic attacks were my bodies or possibly even God's way of telling me that I was hurting my body, I was killing myself eating the way I was eating, and not exercising and at 45 years of age it was time to take control of my body. I now look and feel better than I did at 35.
I hope my story encourages people to take control of their bodies and take control of your health. You can do it. Just get educated on what ever condition you have and attack it like you are at war with it. If you are over weight and inactive, get active. Diabetes is not fun, it is not something you want, and if you can avoid getting it then you should certainly try. Take control of your body, you only have one body and one life so take good care of it and live life to its fullest. You won't just be healthier but you will look and feel better and be able to do so many more things. When you are in good shape life is easier. Trust me I know.