What is a panic attack? Is it the same as a heart attack?

A panic attack is not a heart attack, however many symptoms of a panic attack are similar to those of a heart attack. Panic attacks can affect the functioning of the heart during the attack such as having palpitations. If panic attacks occur for a long time or are very often, it may damage the heart in a way. In this article I will share the knowledge of panic attack’s with you, and give you an idea on how to prevent the attack and protect your heart.

1. Symptoms of a panic attack

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Panic attacks come on very quickly, usually with the following symptoms; palpitations, short of breath, tightness in the chest or pain in the chest, shakes, perspiration, arms or legs numb or uncomfortable sensation, lips, hand turn purple, dizziness, headache. Most people have a fear of dying. During the attack the body is mentally and physically out of control.

The symptoms we mentioned above for each person may experience these differently.

Usually once the panic attack has occurred and you have not had treatment, you are more likely to have them recur. If this happens often the body will have a great impact making  you feel unsettled. A panic attack can occur at any time and any where, which can be dangerous for yourself and others.

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2. Causes

Due to traditional Chinese medicine theory and our clinic experience, we believe that panic attacks is a complicated disorder. The attack affects different systems of the body such as; cardiovascular and nervous system; it is also associated with internal organ disorders such as the liver and heart. All these disorders mentioned are strongly associated with unable emotions and stress.

How does unstable emotions and stress effect the liver and heart, causing a panic attack?

Chinese medicine considers humans to have 7 major emotions (joy, fright, anger, worry, sorrow, fear, grief). If the body has a strong emotion, it will affect the liver and heart function causing disorder in these organs. From this the symptoms of the panic attack will be produced. Some people who have panic attacks may also have the following symptoms; insomnia, lethargy, stress, depression, anger, anxiety, vivid dreams, headache, tightness and pain around the shoulder and neck, bloating, sluggish bowel movement. Some may have the following syndromes; thyroid disorder, PMS, irritable bowel syndrome.

3. How can we help?

i) I suggest that if you have had a panic attack you should have medical attention as soon as possible, to give your body a general check up.

ii) You should see your natural medicine practitioner to help balance your body. Traditional Chinese medicine is a very effective form of treatment for panic attacks. When you come to us we will give you traditional diagnosis through tongue and pulse methods. We will then set up a treatment plan for your individual causes and symptoms to help stop panic attacks from occurring.

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4. What you can do?

i) Rearrange your lifestyle so that there is less pressure and stress.

ii) If you have an emotional issue, you should talk to someone who can help you release the pressure from the emotions and help you to solve the issue.

iii) Doing regular relaxing exercises outdoor will help. I suggest going for a walk, light jogging, swimming, yoga, tai chi or meditation.

iv) Listening to soft relaxing music can also help.

v) Eating certain foods that can help nourish your liver and heart energy, such as; carrots, celery, banana, coriander, oranges, green tea. If you would like more suggestions please see my articles on diet therapy.

Before you go to bed everyday, make sure you are in a peaceful and happy state of mind.

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