Help for Panic attacks


Television Interview: Jaine Kirtley, Bay Naturopath, interviewedby Janene Forlong
TV Central News September 2010


Nutrients to Help Panic Attacks

Some conditions are more frightening than others. Panic Attacks, as the name indicates, are an alarming experience.

A sudden feeling of anxiety with intense apprehension or even terror, accompanied by breathing difficulties, dizziness, sweating, trembling, chest pain and palpitations often lasting several minutes, are all symptoms of a panic attack.


What causes such frightening symptoms?

So what causes such frightening symptoms? Firstly it is necessary to rule out any serious circulation or breathing problems. If the symptoms are from a Panic Attack then it can help to know what is going on.


Panic attacks occur because the body produces too much adrenalin. The adrenal glands produce adrenalin in response to extreme stress. Adrenalin is often called the fight or flight hormone. If you found yourself face to face with a tiger, your body would produce adrenalin, to stimulate the brain to think quickly to plan actions. Adrenalin also stimulates the cardiovascular system so there is sufficient oxygen and blood supply in the arms and legs to climb or run away from the tiger. Fear is necessary when facing a tiger just to survive.


Exercise is valuable to recovery

Now what would happen in the body if adrenalin was produced and there was no tiger or other situation of emergency? The answer is exactly the same response. This is just what happens in a Panic Attack. Only we probably wouldn't run or climb, which is a problem as physical activity helps the body rid itself of the adrenalin, and allows us to get back to a relaxed state. So exercise is valuable to recovery.


Panic Attacks often occur after or during periods of prolonged stress,

Panic Attacks often occur after or during periods of prolonged stress, where the body has produced adrenalin over a long period. There may be something that prompts the first attack, say in a lift, or out alone far from home. The surroundings for the first attack may be the triggers for subsequent attacks. Hypnotherapy can be helpful to let go of triggers you may not be consciously aware of.


Herbs strengthen the adrenal glands so they will not over produce adrenalin

Many herbs strengthen the adrenal glands so they will not over produce adrenalin; Panax Ginseng is an excellent herb, although do not take it for more than a month at a time. Borage and Liquorice can be taken over longer periods.


Herbs that relax the body and strengthen the Nervous System

Other herbs such as Valerian, Motherwort, and Passiflora are just a few of the many herbs that relax the body and strengthen the Nervous System.


Nutrients Needed

Vitamin B complex, and vitamin C are both needed when the body is under extra stress, so eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains. AND avoid sugar, which depletes Magnesium. Magnesium relaxes the body, both mentally and physically. Sugar can lead to unstable blood sugar levels, which can also trigger a panic attack.


Bach Flower Remedies

The Bach Flower Remedies such as Mimulus or Aspen can be invaluable to help dispel fears. Rescue Remedy is very effective both during and between attacks.

Rest and relaxation

Generally taking good care of yourself will be important on the road to recovery. Ensure you take adequate rest and relaxation everyday to allow your adrenal glands to recuperate.


Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best.  Call 07 571 3226 or email us: