Very little progress is possible in dealing with anxiety panic attack and agoraphobia without addressing diet. In fact many professionals believe that addressing diet is the total cure for overcoming panic and anxiety. However, I'v learned that other factors such as personality, understanding the general adaptation syndrome, methods of dealing with disappointment, understanding the difference between observation and conclusion … are also important to deal with in detail. This program produced results of 80% success rate for those suffering from anxiety panic attack and agoraphobia.
So let's begin with diet. Diet is the foundation of improvement and without it we can not expect any improvement – absolutely none.
A high refined carbohydrate diet consisting of bagels, rolls, spreads, cakes, coffee and sodas containing caffeine is the largest mistake that can be made. Why?
Simply because refined sugars from these types of foods easily break down to blood sugar causing a rapid rise of blood sugar – as much as 50 calories / minute. For years this may not be a problem, but it's like crying "wolf." This rapid increase in blood sugar is sensed by the pancreas which counters it with the creation of insulin to reduce the blood sugar. Under normal conditions the blood sugar would stabilize, however, after years and years the system is overtaxed and causes an over abundance of insulin to be created. This over abundance causes the blood sugar to drop too low which is the condition known as hypoglycemia.
If you do any internet search for hypoglycemia you'll find a page full of symptoms which include jitteriness, nervousness, shortness of breadth, anxiety, increased heart rate, palpitations … which is why many professionals treat anxiety with diet alone. And if it were not for other learned complications such as months and occasional years – even decades – of conditioning dietary correction might well be all that's required.
Conditioning? Pavlov did the initial experiments in conditioning. Every time he fed the dog, he rang a bell. And then, after a period of trials (conditioning) he only rang the bell (no food) and the dog salivated just as it did when given food. Thus the bell became the conditioned response. Likewise, every time the anxiety response was triggered by hypoglycemia, there were surrounding physical and mental stressors so that ever just thinking about the possibility of an anxiety attack (the bell) lies on an anxiety attack.
Never the less, diet is the first thing to correct. Start by eliminating all forms of white – white bread, bagels, rolls, cakes, white potatoes, white processed rice, sugar. And of course stay away from anything with caffeine. Avoid fructose. I would not suggest artificial sweeteners in their place. If you're looking for a zero calorie sweetener, stevia, an herb from Paraguay, is the best natural sweetener and is available in health food stores everywhere.
Eat nuts, meats, eggs, non processed cheese, vegetables, and consume only breads made of whole grains. Use natural sweeteners such as honey sparingly. And at first, avoid consuming more than one portion of fruit a day. Minimize consumption of cold cuts.
Because you may have nutritionally stressed your body, I recommend a multivitamin such as RainBow Light's Complete Nutritional System – available in most health food stores or you can order from my website at a discount.
Minerals have likewise been depleted – especially calcium. The best calcium / mineral supplement is in ionic form such as a product called Xooma Coral Calcium also available through my website.
In summary, nutrition is where you start. The next challenges are to learn to handle life's disappointments because one's personality is directed leaves one emotionally at a loss in dealing with disappointment. It's actually the desire to escape disappointments which when symptoms are experienced accelerate and contribute to activation of the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) activating the flight response. Dvd / cd programs for the professional working with panic and anxiety are available through the website.