The relationship between alcohol and panic attacks can be tricky. Sometimes alcohol can be a trigger for panic/anxiety, but sometimes people use alcohol to treat anxiety. In your case, I recommend that you discontinue drinking alcohol as there appears to be some link. If you find this difficult, there may be a question of whether you have a problem with alcohol. In any event, you should have a physical exam to rule out medical illness and if your problem persist without explanation, you should be evaluated further by a psychiatrist.
I have had a physical exam & have been to psychiatrists. the 1st psychiatrist wanted to see my liver results from my blood work. AST 16, ALT 20.... next.
I've suffered from anxiety and PA's for over 20 years. I also drank for many years to self medicate. However, the alcohol worked in reverse and made my anxiety and PA's 10 times worse!! My heart would race in the middle of the night after a bottle or two of wine. Now that I'm sober, I feel 100 percent better. Sure the anixety is still there, but it's not out of freaking control like it was when I was drinking. Incidentally, I spent time in detox (2 times) and anxiety and PA's triggered by alcohol is common. Oh and so is raging blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. I've seen people with BP's at 200/110 with HR at around 110bpm. Some hallucinate and have seizures. It's not a pleasant sight at all.
My advice to you is to completely lay off the booze. Booze even in small amounts will elevate your BP, especially if your hypertension sensitive. Maybe as you wean off the BP meds, (I say maybe) you will be able to have an occasional drink now and then. But for now, I would abstain if I were you.
I agree. 20 months ago when I was 32 (I'm 34 now), I was drinking a 6 pack a night & on the weekends I would drink 8 beers+ 4 shots easy per night. I woke up one day & I felt cloudy, my heart was racing & I felt unlike I ever did before. It was a really bad panic attack. I want to state for the record that I now may drink 2 beers total on the weekends & nothing during the week. Totally agree with you. Went to the doctor that day (the 1st time I had been to a doctor in 10 years.... I was only 32). My B/P was 190/100 HR was 100. He started me on B/P meds. that day & didn't send me to the hospital. Fast forward 20 months.
1) I have a great girl in my life that keeps an eye on me. I am in a national band & 2 of the members drink like there is no tomorrow. I hang for an hour after a show, but do not drink anymore.
2) My B/P has averaged 116/66 on Lotrel 5/20 & Atenolol 100 MGS. I think that I should be weaned off of the Atenolol. I take 2 MGS of Xanax for the anxiety.
Your post is very very true. I was responding to Palamedes post
See http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=0D0864BA-4B41-4A21-9E4E20422944FF2E . This says that alcoholism can contribute 2-4 points on your systolic and 1-2 points on your diastolic.
Ax - Yeah, I saw Palameades post after I wrote my response. He or she should spend some time in a chemical dependency/detox center and see the raging high blood pressure most folks get. Even mine was elevated and I always had low BP for many years.
It sounds like you're on the right track. I think you know how detremental drinking can be to your health. Take care.
Thanks! I know how alcohol affects B/P for a fact. My Dad is a recovering alcoholic. At my age (34), he had HBP in the 160/100 range when he was drinking+. Now at 62, he is around 110/70 or so. When I saw Palamedes post, it bothered me, because that is what woke me up. Before that day when I had 190/100 with a pulse of 100, I was slowly (or maybe quickly) killing myself by drinking. I left my 1st doc., because he didn't believe that drinking affects B/P that much either. These people haven't seen the reality. I have been there. I thought that I was going to die on that day at 32. Now I have a girlfriend who moved thousands of miles away to be with me. She would kill me if I drank the way that I was & I don't blame her. Drinking in excess (more than 2 drinks) raises blood pressure. Having 8-10 beers & 4 shots for 4 days in a row on the weekends for a couple of years can be very very dangerous. I objected to his comments, because he is going by some Mayo Research Study, while I have been there. I had about 8 beers & 4 shots, the night before my 1st panic attack & my 190/100 B/P. Now I may have 2 beers (total) on the weekends & I don't drink during the week. My weight has dropped from 158 to 151. I am in a national band, but I stay away from places from the past & my old drinking buddies. It's not worth my life. Drinking in excess can make your heart rate, B/P rise to dangerous levels the next day. I know.