Are Anxiety Attacks A Predictor Of Low Blood Sugar?

Anxiety can really hurt.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):

“Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older, or 18% of the population.”

According to one study, between 18% and 25% of all patients who present to emergency departments with chest pain actually have Panic Disorder. Another study suggested that approximately one in three patients presented to the Emergency Department and other urgent care centers with acute chest pain has symptoms consistent with anxiety-related symptoms and panic attacks.

According to the ADAA:

“Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill. […] More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.”

The good news is that panic attacks and anxiety are treatable. If you experience anxiety regularly, it’s recommended that you see a doctor to discuss your options.

It’s likely that your doctor will take a complete history, and may even meet for a few sessions, before prescribing you any kind of medicines or treatments. Research to find the closest medical facility having the maximum resources, ensure that the facility you choose has a good panel of doctors and medical staff, is well-equipped, and has a good reputation.

Here are some other activities and habits which can help you deal with anxiety:

Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly will help you expel the extra pent-up energy that can often turn into anxious feelings. This doesn’t mean that you have to run or even walk for ten miles a day. Scheduling 20 – 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week, is beneficial. Moderate exercise will help you release endorphins which help us to feel relaxed and happy. Exercise also helps increase self-esteem by seeing physical results that may include increased stamina, less body fat, and toned muscles.

Better eating habits

Anxiety has direct relations with bad eating habits. If we don’t get food at the times we are hungry, we don’t feel very comfortable and may even feel frustrated. Therefore, it’s very important to eat regular meals and snacks, with small or medium portions, when feeling hungry – to stabilize our blood sugar and blood pressure. When blood sugar levels become too low, also known as hypoglycemia, it stresses the brain and anxiety may get worse. This results from fewer nutrients running through the blood stream.

According to a publication on hypoglycemia from the National Institute of Health, when the blood sugar levels fall below normal, the body secretes a hormone called adrenaline to push our blood sugar levels back up again. Unfortunately, adrenaline also has powerful anxiety-inducing effects in our bodies. For this reason, it’s important that blood sugar levels are kept as stable as possible.

Breathing exercises

Sometimes we don’t breathe properly and when we’re exhausted, we don’t know what went wrong. Improper breathing habits can get us exhausted and overwhelmed quite easily. The best way to prevent anxiety attacks and solve this problem is to do simple basic breathing exercises for a few minutes every hour; this will help keep your mind and body at ease.

Time for yourself

Have at least one hour to two hours for your own down time every week. This is very important to manage your stress and anxiety. Enjoying things you like and that make you feel comfortable will ensure you feel happy and grounded. You don’t necessarily have to do anything fancy or over the top, even simple things like taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, or listening to your favorite music can be enough to de-stress. Investing time in yourself needs no bigger reason than the conviction that you totally deserve it!


One of the benefits of acupuncture is that it can help reduce stress hormones in our bodies. Acupuncture methods help the body to get to its natural state of rest and relaxation. The indirect benefit is that you’ll get at least 45 minutes of undisturbed relaxation while you relax and get the treatment.

Panic attacks can make us feel like we’re dying – which is why so many of us end up in the ER because of our symptoms every year. But with some medical help, and simple lifestyles changes, we can overcome our anxiety and make it a thing of the past.


Featured image via Flikr by ASweeneyPhoto available under a Creative Commons license