Panic attacks and diabetes

By petronius Latest Reply 2011-10-01 10:48:06 -0500
Started 2011-09-18 19:34:28 -0500

Every now and then I get a panic attack and I was wondering if there is connection between panic attacks and diabetes. They are so frightening when they happen. I become so afraid I become stuck. Has anyone else experience panic attacks? Any help is appreciated.

27 replies

mebetty 2011-10-01 10:48:06 -0500 Report

Petronius. Like TsalagiLenape I experienced panic attacks long before I was diagnosed with Diabetes. In my case it all contributed to diabetes. Panic attacks can be caused by stress> which can be caused by broken sleep patterns > which can be caused by stress > which can lead to diabetes…

I eventually had a stroke, which is when the doctors told me was caused by diabetes (which I didn't know I had). Along with a beautifully charted healthy diet, and meds for diabetes, I was also given a mild sedative (for stress) and a mild sedative to aid in sleep. I was also given a mild anti-depressant. Some may feel this may be overkill, but in my case, it was evident that sleep deprivation and stress brought on my stroke and diabetes. I now only take a sleep aid maybe once a week, and my anti-stress about the same. These are aids and should not be counted upon as permanent solutions. I have learned to de-stress on my own, change my attitude and not be so overwhelmed when things seem to be out of my control. In other words — chill out.

Everyone is different (thank God) and so are our stress factors and our contributing habits that brought diabetes to our lives. So hopefully, there is some truth in each post that may apply to us individually.

Low sugar can also seem like a panic attack, because your body starts shaking, and breathing becomes rapid, and a kind of overall body sensation mimics anxiety. If you are able to test your sugar when this happens it may reveal a very low sugar.

Nowadays I can distinguish panic attacks from low sugar. Panic attacks I consciously take deep slow breaths and slow down my thinking, it usually happens when I don't sleep enough. Low sugar means I won't take my next metformin and quickly elevate it with juice, or fruit, or snack.

Good health and take good care of you.


TsalagiLenape 2011-09-26 07:45:34 -0500 Report

Start doing a log, from the foods you eat, activities and etc. Pretty soon you may see a pattern developing when the anxiety is about to happen. Also write down what is bothering you when it happens. I hope this helps. Also do talk to your doctor it would be in the best interests of yourself. Hugs

MEGriff1950 2011-09-23 19:58:12 -0500 Report

Yes when my bg's get below 50 I get panic attacks. It is so hard to concentrate on what I am supposed to do. I am glad my son realizes now what is happening and he has learned how to guide me.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-09-23 18:50:19 -0500 Report


Have you talked to your doctor about this? I am not a physician. But I am hypoglycemic, and when my blood sugar is especially low, I can become very anxious. And if you are experiencing ongoing anxiety, you might want to have that conversation. Anxiety is treatabl.

Just a thought. I hope you have a good weekend.


sheriden 2011-09-26 21:39:23 -0500 Report

I never think about this stuff when I need to so I am glad to see this post and am going to talk to my support system about it. I know I am trying not to let stress take over as this has been a problem with GB. So I should have thought about the panic att, Thanks you have a other good one Dr. Gary

excard1970 2011-09-23 08:40:31 -0500 Report

I have to admit I get panic attempts every time I *go low*. When the symptoms hit, my mind goes into overdrive and I cannot wait to take remedies and the longer I wait the more frantic I get. It is almost like I am extremely claustrophobic and my body is what has me trapped. The only cure is my overreaction to the episode. I binge eat and drink until I feel *better* and then my BG is too high. A vicious cycle.

TsalagiLenape 2011-09-21 08:25:53 -0500 Report

Ok here goes nothing…LOL First let me tell you that prior to having Diabetes I had experienced anxiety attacks. Almost as bad as panic attacks I know. Yet I wasnt a diabetic at the time. Either Panic Attacks or Anxiety Attacks is something that happens more so when we get overwhelmed and thus running around in circles with no answers in sight. IMO aka In My Opinion Yet these things can be life altering and scarey as hail. We get so caught up on focusing on issues sometimes unknowingly that is can cause these. Yet we dont deal with the root of the issue. A good therapist or counselor would help so much. Some may have to have meds. Yet the point is, when I had mine I wasnt a diabetic. Yet ignored a few things that over time caused me to have an attack. I had to figure out what was causing the attack first. This did take sometime. Once I realized what was causing my attacks, I went and met it head on. Why? Cause the way I am and did not want to give up my life to something to control what I did, with whomever and whatever. Not everyone will be able to do this. Tis bad enough I believe having to deal with Diabetes. Yet controlling that is enough. Yet with control I can have a life. I modify what I am eating and doing so it doesnt modify the things I want to do or accomplish. Its just like someone getting locked up without knowing why. Getting active i.e. working out at the gym, taking walks, relaxation techniques, and having hobbies along with friends and family does help a lot. Getting proactive in many ways not only helps your diabetes but also other areas of you life. Have a game plan for back up if and whenever you are having an issue with diabetes or attacks. Sort of like planning for a camp out. You wouldnt go camping without the necessary gear and etc. Thus if you plan ahead it does help. Yet the funniest thing, when I am busy, I dont have time to worry to death the things I cannot change. Especially when I am having fun! The life you have and the quality of it is your choice. Sometimes we need help i.e. meds and counselling. So I will leave you with this learned in Scouting. IF you FAIL to PLAN, you PLAN on FAILING! Er go I am working on being positive, active and thus planning on succeeding! LOL I hope this helps as it was meant too.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-09-23 18:48:00 -0500 Report

Some great ideas here!

TsalagiLenape 2011-09-26 07:43:17 -0500 Report

The ideas are ways for a person to try different things. To see which one would work best for them. For each one isnt custom built towards one person's uniqueness. Yet if you give a few or many that have worked out for yourself, then it may help another. Hence that is how we EMPOWER each other. To FOCUS on the POSITIVE. To do what we can to HELP another but ourselves by reaffirming what tricks, tips and etc have helped us! Have a great day!:)

ston3xc 2011-09-21 07:54:04 -0500 Report

I have been a diabetic for over 30 years and I am not prone to panic attacks. I don't think diabetes is a factor in all cases, as we know, diabetes affects the immune system. In some people there might be a connection due to a depressed immune system. Interesting topic!

lorene1212 2011-09-19 11:35:12 -0500 Report

Hi Realsis! I posted this on another site I belong to and would like you to read okay. There have been many times that my mind has just gotten in my way. Thoughts can be so heavy and so burdening and can cause us to become sicker than what we are. When I go through these times I have learned to let them go. But at first was very hard. I would put my earphones on and listen to different sounds of the rain or the seas or just a waterfall and just lay eyes closed and that would help me. Infact, I did it on daily basis for a while. I am much more calmer now, but do have my times and sometimes I just cry it all out. Then wipe my tears and tell myself i am so silly and go on. Laugh at myself, which is like a medicine within itself. Adrian, I commend you on how you have read all this type of therapy and that you do things to focus on something else cause that is what I do. Just wanted to share that this really works and can be the best thing for someone that is always running in their mind about all that is bothering them or stressing them.

realsis77 2011-09-19 11:25:45 -0500 Report

Yes I've suffered from severe panic attacks for about seven years. I would have to pull over when driving they would get so bad. I've been rushed to the hospital because I actually passed out in a resturant all panic related! I would carry a paper bag with me to breathe in they got so bad! Finally I went to get help. I got put on a depression medication, it took several medications to find the right one for me but I can now honestly say MY PANIC ATTACKS ARE GONE NOW! I have not had one in about eight years. Once I got the correct mediciation for depression, they disapeared. At first they tryed sedatives like zanax it only made me loopy but what actually STOPPED the attacks was the depression medication. I had panic so bad it was ruining my life! Now I take prestique and they are gone. I know exactly how you feel because the panic can make you feel like your actually dieing, or having a heart attack! Id get cold sweats, my heart would race, id shake, everything around me would actually seem louder it was a truely horriable expirence. And I suffered so long like that! I'm so glad finally they are gone! My best advice I can give is to seek help and find a medication not a tranqulizer but a medication that will take away these attacks! Don't let them try to give you " nerve pills" that dosent help and only makes you loopy in my expirence plus they are addictive and you don't need that. Something in the depression medication stops the panic in its tracks! Without feeling druged like a sedative does. I would speak to my doctor right away! You might be saying, but I'm not depressed? Well, the pills work for more than depression. They work on panic! I can't stress enough not to get one of those tranqulizers pills because its a narcotic and it won't help for long! I tried that, the doctor wanted to perscribe that only spaced me out.but the depression medication allowed me to keep my witts about me and I did not and do not feel "druged" so seek some help and you WON'T be sorry you did! The medication will rid you of these attacks and help you! This is the ONLY thing I found that stoped my panic. I wish you the very best! God bless! If you ever need to talk about it I'm here and believe me I understand what your going through!

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-09-25 12:18:58 -0500 Report

Hi! The place where I used to work was rather unpleasant to it's employees. We would often see an ambulance pulled up out front of the building. I was able to speak with an attendant one day and he stated we were on their regular run schedule. They could plan on Runs to our place every Thursday and sometimes other days throughout the week - all stress related. He stated that they always tried to put a least 1 newbee on the route each Thursday so that they could learn the difference between various types of panic attacks and heart attacks!

Pynetree 2011-09-19 08:12:56 -0500 Report

You know, I never thought about there being a connection…But my first one was with-in a year of being diognosed, and on Metformin. Tend to think it's more likely cause is a stress hormone imbalance…so all tied in together with endocrine system.
Let us know what your Dr. thinks. Interesting question..

Papa's Girl
Papa's Girl 2011-09-18 20:42:34 -0500 Report

Hi petronius, I also have aniety-panic attacks. Mine started while using gluberide, a medication for type 2 diabetes. Boy was that a scary deal for me ended up in the hospital for a couple of hours. Only have them on occassion now. Taking a med to help me them.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-18 19:45:49 -0500 Report

Anyone can have a panic attack. My thought is that worrying about our diabetes and everything else that is going on can contribute.

Abby888 2011-09-18 19:39:17 -0500 Report

Yes I also have experienced panic attacks…when it happened I thought I was having a heart attack (chest pain, difficulty breathing, sweating). Have you talked to your doctor about them? My doctor gave me medication to take when I get them now that I recognize my symptoms. I don't know that panic attacks are necessarily related to Diabetes but I guess they could be. Its a stressful disease to deal with. Good luck :)

petronius 2011-09-18 20:33:11 -0500 Report

Thank you I found yournreply helpful. I have talked to my doctor and at our next session we will deal with it. Blessings

Papa's Girl
Papa's Girl 2011-09-20 00:20:37 -0500 Report

Hope you start to feel better soon. Diabetes is a very stressful disease to have and to deal with on a daily basis. Mine keeps going up and down. One time I check my bg and its low and then the next time I check it its high and sometimes in between. Its driving me crazy.