Presently, I am 35 years old and about 10 years ago, I developed a chemical sensitivity and became allergic to most shampoos, detergents and other chemicals that are commonly used around the house. In any case, on the same date that I developed the chemical sensitivity, I also began to experience panic attacks at night.
Usually, the panic attacks begin between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. and are extremely severe. I believe that a portion of the anxiety that I am experiencing is a result of sensitivity to chemicals, however, I also believe that another component of my panic attacks is psychological and I do not believe that I have addressed that aspect, adequately.
Does anyone out there also feel that they are developing panic attacks as a result of allergies to chemicals? The part of my body that I am worried about the most is, like others, my heart. On one occasion, I went to the Emergency Room and the doctors there performed an EKG, which was negative. I am considering going to a cardiologist in order to ask cam/her whether I might need any additional tests. In short, I do not want to assume that all of my problems are a result of anxiety and later find out that that is not the case. However, given the fact that the EKG was negative, I presently strongly believe that I am suffering from anxiety. In addition, I am in the process of scheduling an appointment with a psychotherapist.
Is it possible to damage your heart as a result of severe panic attacks, in which the heart is really being worked? Also, does anyone know whether it is possible to damage the heart as result of allergies to chemicals and reactions like the reactions I am having? If anybody has any input on any of the above, I would appreciate the benefit of your opinions and/or experiences.
Last edited by moderator2; 10-03-2005 at 06:47 AM.
Reason: please follow your topic here - do not post multiple boards - choose one board
Have you had any allergy tests? I was finally tested for allergies and am allergic to everything they tested me for!! When I started taking antihistamines my panic attacks nearly went away!! I used to have panic attacks walking down the detergent- cleaner aisle at wal-mart! I think it was all the chemicals and smells overwhelming me and causing a reaction in me that made my heart speed up which in turn caused the panic!! I was housebound for a month with panic but I have 5 kids and did not want to live like that! I went to a counselor and learned some relaxation techniques. I am on zoloft and clarinex and am now back in college! I couldn't drive to the corner store before and am driving 3 times a week now to school 20 miles away. I believe there are some other reasons people have "panic" besides the panic itself. GOOD LUCK!
P.S. I had had this for years off and on and finally got so bad I had to do something. If you suspect something else (allergies etc.) is underlying talk to your doctor, they do not know what is going on with you if you don't tell them all the symptoms! My ent listens much better than my family doc, you need to find someone who wont pass all your symptoms off as panic! Once they know you are on zoloft,etc they tend to think all your symptoms are"imaginary" and in some cases they have a basis in fact! You are the only one that can stick up for you!
Last edited by sleepdeprived; 10-03-2005 at 05:39 PM.
Reason: adding on
i have the same thing. i can have terrible panic from chemicals. our bodies can only take so much and once we build up a resistance, it causes panic. my husband is a carpenter and used to varnish wood in our basement, which happens to be under our house. everytime this happened i would suffer terrible panic. i did not connect the two for awhile. but finally did. i used to work at a mill that also varnised wood. i can't smell stain or varnish, exhaust fumes or even purfumes without being sick.
My doc prescibed atarax (hydoxyzine) for anxiety, which is mainly used as an antihistamine but is now being used as an anti-anxiety drug.
It maybe worth a try as it works for both allergies and anxiety.
Good luck to you.
I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a big part of it involves certain chemical sensitivities, but so far they are completely food related meaning that certain foods give me panic like reactions. They are salmon, almonds, coffee (a BIG one and isn't related to the caffeine because decaf does the same thing, but soda does not), sausage products, and anything with barley in it (white bread, beer). From what I've read, these sensitivities are caused by the brain 'misfiring' in the presence of substances that are normally seen by the body as natural and safe. I've read about several doctors who have prescribed the drug Neurontin, commonly used for treat seizure disorders, with a great deal of success. It seems to allow the brain to relax in a manner that doesn't allow it to over-react. I suppose that it doesn't work for everyone, but I feel that it can work for a lot of us. I've been meaning to see a doctor that would prescribe this medication for me as I hope to try this myself really soon. If and when any of us try this, I would love to hear the outcome.
My nephew also has panic and anxiety from a food allergy. He was already taking flush free niacin, which is called hexanicotinate, plus vitamin C with good results when he was in an accident that made it impossible for him to eat for about 5 days and lo and behold! His symptoms went away! But he is not very motivated to find out what foods (or non foods, he eats a lot of junk) are causing the problem because the niacin and C control his symptoms pretty well and he is 19 years old and does not want to change his diet. But chemical sensitivity should respond to the niacin and vitamin C too. It can be very difficult to avoid all chemical exposure, it is easier to avoid problem foods, once you figure out which ones are causing the problem. And the inositol that is in it can be helpful for anxiety, too.
The usual dose is 200-1000 mg of some form of niacin, it can be niacinamide which is cheaper but does not have the inositol and also causes nausea in some people, it did in my nephew, and 3-5 grams of vitamin C. You have to take it 2-3 times a day because the body clears out the vitamin C so quickly that after 12 hours the blood levels are low again. Vitamin C should be especially helpful for chemical sensitivity because it actually clears toxins out of the body, but I don't actually know anyone who has chemical sensitivity, but I know 3 people who use the combination of niacinamide, niacin, or hexanicotinate, plus vitamin C for sensitivity to other things (food items, grass, mold) and it works for them.