Eating gluten gave me a panic attack


Panic-cycle_001

 

A few days ago, I wrote about my experiment with trying to eat gluten, by eating a couple of slices of pizza.

I primed myself with Immodium, thinking the only problem would be my digestive system.  Boy, was I wrong.

It took almost a whole day for me to experience symptoms, but that’s not unusual.  The next night after eating the pizza, I was sitting watching TV-then about 11:30, I started feeling chest pain, which shot down my arm.  After my husband’s recent diagnosis of heart disease, I was scared this was now happening to me.  I felt a rush of adrenaline right before the pain started.  I was more like a tightness in my chest, not really pain.  Then my heart began to race.  I could hear it beating in my ears.

I had a feeling of impending doom.  I got up and drank some water.  I went to bed and tried to sleep, which was utterly pointless.  I had to keep getting up and going to the bathroom. All I could think about was Elvis Presley and how he died in his bathroom after being on the toilet.  My heart continued to race.  I finally fell asleep about 2:30.  When I got up, the symptoms were still there.  I had a racing heart and some chest discomfort throughout the day.

What I was experiencing was a panic attack.  I have had these before-I have anxiety disorder.  These can mimic a heart attack and they are terrifying.  I looked up the symptoms to be sure:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or a racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

I had experienced most of these symptoms.  The clue here is that if you are having a heart attack,  you don’t hear your heart pounding in your ears.  But you can see how you might think you are having one.

A few years back, my job was so stressful, I experienced these symptoms right on the work floor.  I went out in an ambulance and was taken to the ER, where they checked my heart enzymes.  This will show if you have had a heart attack or not.  I didn’t.  It was a full blown panic attack.

My symptoms continued throughout the day yesterday.  Panic attacks tend to only last a short time, but they can last for days.  But I wasn’t really upset about anything in particular.  Over thinking about a situation and the impending possible worst scenario is what causes this attack.

Then I wondered, could it have been the gluten?  I hadn’t eaten it in almost two years, and I ate a lot of it at one sitting.  I saw online that others have this same experience.  While it may not be scientific, we all have different reactions to being glutened.  I can honestly say, my experimenting is over.  It is not worth it to me to feel that way just to eat a dumpling or a piece of cake.

I feel absolutely fine today.  I hope that by writing this post, I might help others who might have the same symptoms and not know why.

Please share your experiences.

2 thoughts on “Eating gluten gave me a panic attack

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