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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Panic Attacks or WHAT and WHY?

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Author Topic: Panic Attacks or WHAT and WHY?
justwondering
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I hope someone can help me so I can stop worrying!

Been on Mepron, Art and Biaxin for about a month or so.

Started back on Art on Saturday.

Ever since, I have been having these episodes - sometimes right after I take the Art, sometimes hours later - where I start to have panic attack symptoms.

I have had many panic attacks in the past, but usually triggered by something external, not out of the blue like this or from a med.

I become very shaky, can feel my heart pounding and almost hear it, shortness of breath, lightheaded and very anxious. Some of these episodes are lasting for a long time.

Has anyone had Art do this to them?

Will it always be like this with the Art?

Could it be something more serious,
like a heart symptom caused by the Art?

I just need a little peace of mind to get through these episodes!

Thanks so much:)
Jackie

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tdtid
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I've had horrid anxiety attacks with the lyme and I'm assuming mine must be related to babs since they definitely got worse as I was taking mepron, zith and art.

I don't know if it is related to the art or maybe even a combination of meds for the babs, but I've tried to accept that this is one of symptoms you encounter as you try to get better.

I did have a heart catherization before my diagnosis and in my case, the heart was fine, so although they are horrid feeling, I think I just need to try to pull through it in hopes these meds are going to reverse the symptoms like this.

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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kgg
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If this were me, I would not take more Art until you run it by your physician. This may not be a panic attack but an adverse drug reaction.

Best,
Karen

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justwondering
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tdtid, that makes me feel a little better!

Although I am sorry you have to go through that...

So you are still having this problem??

I have never had my heart checked by anything other than an ECG which came out normal.


kgg, I agree, I should def check it out.

I forgot to mention, though, that some of these "attacks" are coming on several hours after I take the art.

I took a capsule around 2pm today, but didn't start having any strange symptoms until around 8 or 9.

I am skipping my 3rd dose of the day tonight!


Thank you!

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tdtid
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Justwondering,

I too went through the ECG as well too but I guess that since I was having chest pains as my very first symptom, they did the heart catherization. Then gave me steroids. Go figure.

For me, I was getting anxiety a LOT in the beginning. After treatment with the mepron, zith and art, I would still get the anxiety or panic attacks and then I noticed they started slowing down until I would think back and say..."wow, I haven't had that in awhile".

All was good but then they have started coming back. Not nearly as severe and I think it's just still trying to work it out of my system since I'm getting the chest pain with them again too.

Overall, I do think these things are reversing all this, but it's a long battle.

As kgg said, when we are in doubt, it's best to check with the doctor. He/she would be best equipted to know if this sounds normal or not or if you should even perhaps pull back on the art and go at it at a slower speed.

Fin, Sounds like you have had a doozie of a time. I was getting those blood pressure spikes as well and even tested positive for the pheochromocytoma (excreeting tumor of the adrenals), but when they did scans to find it, they never found anything.

But with lyme treatment, that was the very FIRST symptom I ever got rid of and it hasn't come back. The blood sugar I've always had trouble with as well. Having a diabetic son, made it easier to keep watch on myself. Low blood sugar happens a lot for me.

It's never a fun experience and we all do what we need to do in hopes of getting some reversal. As I said, mine has been a VERY slow process, but you really do see reversals along the way, especially if you keep a journal and can look back and where you USE to be.

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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Vermont_Lymie
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Panic attacks for no reason are part of effective lyme treatment for me. Fortunately, not frequently!

Abx treatment has greatly reduced my overall anxiety (one of the lyme symptoms that got worse before I started treatment). But babs treatment with malarone and mino for lyme both temporarily increased my anxiety -- after increasing mino, to the point of panic attacks.

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Peacesoul
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I've suffered panic and anxiety for over 20 yrs, and pretty much had it under control until I started abx for lyme.
It came back with a vengence. I used to get anxiety when I had a meeting etc, but now I get it when I'm just laying down.
It's not fun!

hang in there, just keep telling youself it will pass.

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SouthernCO
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Jackie:

Pardon my ignorance, but does art mean artemesinin? If not, please ignore my ramblings.

Each of the maybe 3 times I took a 100mg dose of artemisinin, I had symptoms similar to panic attacks. I finally determined the artemisinin was causing the symptoms. Don't know if it was a reaction/allergy to the artemisinin or if it was a herx. Since I don't have an LLMD, I have to try to figure it out myself with the help of the great resources here on this forum.

The symptoms were similar to a panic attack but with significantly more air hunger.

Don't believe that the air hunger was hyperventilation (from a classic panic attack) because breathing into a bag didn't help. Moreover, the attacks lasted for an hour or more, and ativan didn't make a dent in the symptoms.

Guess I still have more questions than answers although I still feel that I had a reaction to the artemisinin. Hope someone can clarify.

Thanks.

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justwondering
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Fin24

Wow I am sorry you have been through so much.

I have had my blood sugars checked before, but who knows.

I've always been prone to fainting, so that is something I need to investigate more. Thanks.

And thank you for the PM, I am sorry I did not write back sooner!

I noticed today when I rested and for awhile and got up, I felt so much better.

This tells me it is likely anxiety related.

That is so odd to me! These feelings are coming out of the blue.


tdtid and Vermont_Lymie and peacesoul, sounds like you all experienced things very similar to this.

Good to know, but scary, too.

I don't want to end up being afraid to leave my house now and live in fear of panic attacks!

This treatment is much much harder than I had EVER anticipated....

When I got my diagnosis, all I felt was relief and excitement.

Now I realize there are many many hurdles ahead before we get better....

I did talk to my doctor today.

She told me to try an anti anxiety medicine during the symptoms.

If it fixes it, good. If not, I should come in to be checked for an arrhythmia.


SouthernCO, yes Art means artemisin! Sorry, I have a habit of abbreviating:)

How long did you stay on it?

Did the anxiety ever clear up?

You all have taken so much time to help me. I hope I can repay the favor should you ever need advice or someone to vent to...

Jackie:)

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tailz
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Jackie, I have microwave sickness and electromagnetic sensitivities along with Lyme. I also test positive for babs and recently started artemisinin, along with restarting quinine powder. I had to stop the Cipro to do this though.

Somehow I think parasites and electromagnetic fields/microwaves work together. I wouldn't necessarily blame your panic attacks exclusively on art. Some days I panic, and some days I don't - it correlates more to my EMR exposure than to when I take the herb though.

The only thing I have connected to my taking artemisinin would be cold sweats, and maybe diarrhea, since that has returned somewhat.

I'm also taking mastic gum, because I'm thinking maybe I'm the second person ever to get h-pylori in her brain. I think I'm serious, too, which is scary.

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Peacesoul
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Tailz, do you eat a lot of sugar?
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Keebler
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-

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

PubMed search terms: ``panic, borrelia, Nields, Fallon''

one of two abstracts:


J Clin Psychiatry. 1993 Jul;54(7):263-8.Links

PSYCHIATRIC MANIFESTATIONS OF LYME BORRELIOSIS.

Fallon BA, Nields JA, Parsons B, Liebowitz MR, Klein DF.
Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY.

BACKGROUND: Lyme borreliosis (Lyme disease), a tick-borne spirochetal illness, has later manifestations that may include arthritic, neurologic, ophthalmologic, and cardiac symptoms. Recent reports suggest psychiatric symptoms may also be part of the clinical picture.

METHOD: Using a structured interview (SCID), we interviewed three patients who had developed a psychiatric disorder for the first time after infection with Borrelia burgdorferi.

RESULTS: During Lyme borreliosis, one patient had major depression and panic disorder, one patient had an organic mood syndrome with both depression and mania, and the third patient had panic disorder.

These disorders remitted after adequate antibiotic treatment.


CONCLUSION: While depression has been previously linked to neuroborreliosis, this is the first report to link panic disorder and mania with borrelial infection.

Because of the rapid rise of Lyme borreliosis nationwide and the need for antibiotic treatment to prevent severe neurologic damage, mental health professionals need to be aware of its possible psychiatric presentations.

PMID: 8335653 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


--------------------------

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Keebler
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-

So many functions can send "panic" signals to our brain. For some there may be emotional or traumatic experiences of the past but here I am clearly see the physiological connections stemming from infection.

I know from experience over a decade ago, bad dx and bad Rx that the panic stuff from lyme is so grossly ignored in the medical field.

Paradoxyl reactions from antidepressants nearly took my life - steroids caused even more trouble and then the docs thought me wacky because the meds made me worse instead of better. Years later, the lyme and coinfections dx helped make sense, but only after years of misery and total trashing of my character in my medical file.

As well, the inner ear connection with panic and the adrenal and HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal axis) and "panic"

and, of course, the inner ear (and entire vestibular) system and the HPA are so often just blasted to the moon with lyme, babesia, etc.

So, if lyme patients could understand how

- infections (and resultant toxicity) can cause panic

- and how the inner ear system works - and if even slightly askew the brain/vestibular system panics (like being in a "fun" house . . . but not much fun)

- and the adrenal stress hormones and their cries for help

- and how toxic overload with the liver can cause various emotional and psychological reactions ( which I think are actually physiological in nature) - well - at least understanding all this could help us be kinder with ourselves, even if most doctors don't have a clue. For myself, supportive herbal supplements have clearly saved my life. Although I am far from well from lyme, my mood has been rather stable if I stay on the herbal formulas my ND figures out.

- Add to that the changes in cardiac function - such as vasovagal disorders common in lyme and CFS - that also can trigger what some might misconstrue as panic.

As the infections are addressed, with Rx, it's no picnic yet as has been pointed out. But understanding that process helps, at least.

- exercises for inner ear/balance and calming stuff for adrenals can really help. As when either - or both - of these systems are off kilter the body naturally hits the panic button as a signal. It makes perfect sense.

- oh, and I almost forgot sudden shifts in blood glucose and how that's often challenged with any infection. Low blood sugar can be mixed up in "panic" attacks, too.

- Oh, and I almost forgot sleep. Lack of sleep can make anyone a candidate for the man-on-the-moon club.

- Oh, and I almost forgot ( insert: any system that is off kilter )

So, we see that the more this "panic" is understood, I think we'd have a few lives saved and some misery softened. I'd like to see a more accurate term for it. We have so much more to learn.


-

[ 27. December 2007, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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-

Going back to the original question of the thread and into my lengthy and muddled attempt to explain "panic" with infections, I forgot to mention that if certain medicines push the liver detox pathway Cytochrome P-450 that many distressing symptoms can flair.

we know some of these as "herx" and others may be termed psychological (wrongly, I think, as they stem from physical).

I deal with a couple types of porphyria, meaning my liver does not process out stuff as it should. But, I've often wondered if when I get well, it will be all better.

I'm also very chemically sensitive - and that can be common with porphyria rather primary or secondary.

From what I've found, Art does use the C P-450 pathway, so in folks who may have excess porphyrins (and that can include many) . . . either avoidance of drugs of this classification or support of the liver can help.

Beta Carotene is one of the best. Schizandra Berry, Milk Thistle both help the liver better produce enzymes. commercially formulated enzymes are not available for this, but getting the liver protected and stronger can help.

I apologize but I've got to stop now. I just wore myself out, not intending to write or think . . .

This article may help:

www.cpnhelp.org/secondaryporphyria

Secondary Porphyria: what you should know before starting a CAP

excerpt:

Symptoms of Porphyria-
Porphyria may affect the nervous system or the skin.

When porphyria affects the nervous system, it can cause:

chest pain
shortness of breath
abdominal pain
nausea
muscle cramps
weakness
hallucinations
depression
anxiety
paranoia
seizures

===========================

http://www.cpf-inc.ca/

CANADIAN PORPHYRIA FOUNDATION

Call (in Canada) 204-476-2800 or toll-free at 1-866-476-2801

They have a fabulous Doctor's Guide to Medication in Acute Porphyria.

===================================

www.porphyriafoundation.com/ Another great site.

AMERICAN PORPHYRIA FOUNDATION

===========================

http://tinyurl.com/2lrmqn

MALARIA PROPHYLAXIS FOR PATIENTS WITH PORPHYRIA TRAVELLING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

included here as relevant to babs tx
=============================

http://tinyurl.com/yozppd
From ImmuneSupport.com

Chlamydia Pneumoniae in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia -

See what he has to say about secondary porphyria in relation to Cpn. This article seems to mirror lyme in some ways. And some lyme pts. may also have this.

-

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Keebler
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-

http://tinyurl.com/2ldlvp

Mol Pharmacol. 2005 Jun;67(6):1954-65. Epub 2005 Mar 10. Links

Antimalarial artemisinin drugs induce cytochrome P450 and MDR1 expression by activation of xenosensors pregnane X receptor and constitutive androstane receptor.

[authors listed at site]

Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart, Germany.

Artemisinin drugs are of utmost importance in the treatment of malaria, because they represent the sole class of therapeutically used antimalarial drugs to which malaria parasites have not yet developed resistance.

The major disadvantage of these medicines is the comparatively high recrudescence rate, which has been attributed to the remarkable decrease of artemisinin plasma concentrations during multiple dosing.

Autoinduction of CYP2B6-mediated metabolism has been implicated as the underlying mechanism. So far, the molecular mechanism of induction by artemisinin has not been resolved.

Because the xenosensors pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) have been shown to mediate induction of drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters, we investigated the hypothesis that artemisinin induces cytochrome P450 expression by activating PXR and/or CAR.

By combining in vitro transfection methods and quantitative analyses of gene expression in cell lines and primary human hepatocytes, we here show that artemisinin drugs activate human PXR as well as human and mouse CAR and induce the expression of CYP2B6, CYP3A4, and MDR1 in primary human hepatocytes and in the human intestinal cell line LS174T.

Furthermore, we demonstrate that artemisinin acts as a ligand of both nuclear receptors, because it modulates the interaction of the receptors with coregulators.

In conclusion, activation of PXR and CAR and especially the resulting induction of CYP3A4 and MDR1 demonstrate that artemisinin has a higher risk of potential drug interactions than anticipated previously.

PMID: 15761118 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez


-

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justwondering
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You guys are awesome!

When I read what you all write and how knowledgeable you are in so many different areas, I feel, well.... DUMB!

It is so difficult to take the right meds, the right supplements, eat right, reduce stress, detox properly, etc... etc...

Getting better is HARD and a full-time job in itself!

The links you provided are fabulous and I understand things a lot more now.

My panic is still with me, but it is not as bad since I am no longer panicking as much ABOUT the panic. (huh?)

Thank you all so much:)
Jackie

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Keebler
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someone taught us - we pass it along

-

I assume from the meds you first listed that you have a LLMD. I encourage you to let your doctor know about your reactions and experiences - or talk to someone in his office who may be a patient link. It's important for the doctor to know what you are going through and s/he may have some excellent suggestions.

-

I have much to learn, but I just found a link on PubMed that says DMSA helped autistic kids lessen porphyrins. DMSA is also used to reduce heavy metals and one of the few chelators that I can tolerate.

I can't get it to copy here for some reason - even without a URL, when I post it kicks back.

I'll check back later with some more positive solutions. just too tired now, but I have a few more gems in my computer files.

this is hard work but, for most of us, we are the only ones who can figure our way out of this. For those who have good doctors, that is great and a clear advantage, still this is a very involved process that takes a tremendous amount of work on an hourly basis.

================

Edited to add:

When my senses are overwhelmed and I just can't push any further without flying to the moon, the technique below helps. Actually, doing it BEFORE the last straw is coming is wiser.

Lie down in a darkened room or with an eye cover. Soft music or quiet. Breathe slowing and deeply. Some like alternate nasal breathing in the yoga/Eastern Indian style. Some yoga poses or QiGong techniques may be helpful.

Just quieting yourself. I find putting my hand over my heart with intention of healing light and comfort to be very soothing.

At first I may try to retrace where I went wrong to land in bed for the umpteenth time that day, but I have to let that go. I find I list off what I did or didn't do - that that is spinning, often with no clear answer other than "you need quiet yourself" I have to give myself a question-free time with no thinking.

In a way, often, it is nearly a medical emergency to simply stop.

Meditation can be emensely helpful, but I've never lived in a place that is quiet enough to concentrate or deeply relax - so QiGong or soft music are my friends.

So, if something like that helps, you can adjust it for yourself.


Hugs to all of us.

-

[ 27. December 2007, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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SouthernCO
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justwondering/Jackie:

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

I took 100mg artemisinin on 3 different days with the same bad reactions so I gave up thinking it could be an allergy or side-effect.

The bad reactions I experienced were worse than any panic/anxiety attack (I have suffered with panic attacks since the chronic Lyme set in).

The attacks included air hunger and seizure-like symptoms (shaking arms/hands).

The duration of the attacks were 1 hour or more, and ativan was not helpful. My normal panic attacks are only a few minutes in length, and ativan usually helps somewhat.

I haven't had an attack like those since I stopped the artemisinin.

Best of luck.

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justwondering
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SouthernCo,

That is very interesting.

I, too, have been getting very shaky hands, chest tightness/can't breathe feeling, lightheaded, a pounding heart, weak legs, etc...

Like you, I am prone to anxiety and anxiety attacks.

You are right, it MUST be linked to the Art, since this started right when I began it after a 1 week break.

I am still having probs, but not as bad.

It must have been hard for you. I know how hard it is for me to function when I am feeling this way.

I am going to try to hang in there with the Art for as long as I can, though.

I am taking Xanax occasionally, even though that kind of worries me.

The last thing us Lymies need is drug rehab!?

Anyway, thank you all, this thread is wonderful.

I wish everyone well!!

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Keebler
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-

see if eating a few carrots or taking good quality beta carotene helps.


Really. If there is improvement, it may show a connection with excess porphyrins and there are ways to work with that.

links in posts above with detailed infor.

-

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tailz
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That happens to me when one of my neighbors is using a cell phone, and I don't think it's just the artemisinin I'm taking.

I have been charting my symptoms, and they've been horrible this entire week - more Christmas cell phones in use. Add the peak cell phone traffic to the mix, and every single day around 5pm I get severe headaches, palpitations, jaw-clenching anxiety.

Google microwave sickness and electromagnetic hypersensitivities. I wouldn't blame this all on Lyme or babs or herxes though.

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Starfall
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I know this is an old post, but I just happened to find it, and I'm relating to a lot of what everyone here is saying.

I've been on art 100mg once daily for about 5 days, and I've been feeling worse than ever.

I honestly feel like I'm having either a panic attack or a heart attack--I've been to the ER twice and to a cardiologist, and they all say my heart is fine.

I've been wondering if the art might be making me feel this way, and it sure seems like others are having the same issues.

I haven't felt this bad since before I started tx, except for a brief period when I had a bad reaction to Elavil.

How long will it take to adjust to the art? I was hoping I'd settle doewn by now.

And yes, I know this is an old post. [Smile]

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Geet3721
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I stopped taking the art because recently this same thing happened to me. My llmd wants me to work it back in but I dont think I am going too I am way too scared!!!!

--------------------
When the going gets tough. . . I'll keep fighting!
Ms. Geet3721

New LLMD, New abx, New life coming right up!!!!

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