An anxiety attack is an abrupt chemical imbalance in the body that produces intense fear or discomfort. While a panic attack can reach its peak within a few minutes, it’s combination of threatening symptoms and chemical after-burn can leave a person reeling for hours, or even days.
The most common symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks include:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feelings of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
- Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
- Fear of dying
Since many of the symptoms of panic disorder mimic those of heart disease, thyroid problems, breathing disorders, and other illnesses, people with panic disorders often make many visits to emergency rooms or doctors’ offices, convinced they have a life-threatening issue.
In the past, it might have taken months or years and lots of frustration before getting a proper diagnosis. Some people are afraid or embarrassed to tell anyone, including their doctors or loved ones, about what they are experiencing, for fear of being seen as a hypochondriac.
As one who has suffered from anxiety, panic or stress overload, you may be asking, “How could one simple mineral (magnesium) be responsible for anxiety, stress, and generalized panic disorders?”
Our ancestors had an abundance of magnesium from organic produce, swimming in the ocean, and rich soil. Living in the high-tech 21st century, magnesium deficiency is more and more common. The modern diet is lacking in magnesium, and our soil is no longer as healthy as it once was. Stress is also a factor – not only does it worsen anxiety and depression symptoms, it rapidly depletes magnesium from the body. In a time when most people eat poorly, work long hours, and stress is commonplace, it’s no wonder that most people are magnesium-deficient. Could this also be the reason that so many people experience anxiety?
Magnesium plays a hugely important role in the body; it is required for cell growth and development, normal blood pressure, enables thousands of biochemical processes, contributes to the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and releases the appropriate amount of serotonin in the brain. Without adequate magnesium, the brain will not properly release serotonin, the chemical that the brain uses to stabilize mood.
Magnesium naturally calms the muscular and nervous systems. This is why people often experience muscle cramps when they are magnesium deficient – it’s the same reason as anxiety! When a person experiences an anxiety attack, it is likely a result of magnesium deficiency, and the stress of an anxiety attack will further deplete the body of this beneficial mineral that most of us are lacking.