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Suffering from panic attacks, cyst on thyroid, acid reflux, sleep disorders. Suggestions?

I ve gone through to the hospital a few times and they continued to tell me that I had panic attacks. I was haven trouble breathing in, felt short of breath when I sat, dizzy and lightheaded when I walked. I had all my tests done and they came back clear.except for a cyst on my thyroid. My period was short and light this month, and I feel like my hormones are all over the place. Hormone test seemed to come back clear. My doctor did say that I had acid reflux and that it might have been a mix of anxiety because of the symptoms I was having(don t know whats going on with me). The acid goes up into my esophagus , when I eat I get even more short of breath, walking and any type of exertion makes me short of breath. I feel better when I cry. Crying seems to make my short of breath go a way from a while. Also was said I could have had bronchitis (viral) but was given antibiotics just in case it was bacteria. Trouble sleeping, jump out my sleep as if I stopped breathing every once in a while. Heart palpitation , constipation. Feels better when I hunch over on the floor, breathing wise but not so good when my waist is bent. Have had heart sonogram, EKG , CAT scans, to rule out any heart problems. I don t believe it s heart related. I was a heavy caffeine drinker before this happened a week ago, and smoked occasionally. No matter how hard I try, I find it hard to breath from my diaphragm, I feel more comfortable breathing from chest area. But I will reiterate, that I seem to feel better breathing wise when I cry. Unlike people who cry and have anxiety, it seems to be the opposite for me. If I could cry all day just to get rid of the shortness of breath I would. I believe either I m dealing with a ha ital hernia and or the cyst on the thyroid is messing with. I know I am suffering from acid reflux but it seems to be really bad.........
Asked On : Tue, 5 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  53
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Your symptoms appear to be due to two main problems:
1) Anxiety disorder / panic attacks
2) Gastro-esophagial reflux disease

You have mentioned that you have had extensive investigations and have been told not to have any significant medical problem (except a thyroid cyst, which is unlikely to be causing your symptoms). Most of your symptoms appear anxiety-related. For example, breathing difficulty, dizziness, papitations, etc. are all common physical symptoms of anxiety. It is important to realize that anxiety can manifest itself with not only psychological symptoms, but with physical symptoms also. Persistent anxiety can also cause hyperacidity and worsen your gastric problem also.

Since your symptoms are quite distressing, I would advise you to see a psychiatrist for a detailed evaluation and further treament. I think you should first take treatment to control your anxiety (which appears to be the primary cause of most of your symptoms), rather than keep worrying or looking for a sinister medical cause for your problems.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Thu, 7 Mar 2013
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