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Have insomnia, breathing difficulty and sinking feeling with panic. How to overcome this?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 540 Questions
Hi Im waking up every morning between 1 am and 3 am, gasping for breath and having sinking feeling as i can not breath and can not feel my heart, I also can not go back to sleep as that feeling pulls me down and i panic as if im dying.
it is happening every morning and i feel exsausted.
please advice
Posted Fri, 6 Sep 2013 in Sleep Disorders
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Anemia needing blood tests and supplements.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for your query.

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

Insomnia, panic feeling, exhaustion seem to correlate well with your history of anemia. Upload your blood tests including hemoglobin if you have done them recently. It would help to know the type of anemia in order to give the appropriate therapy.

You may need iron, vitamin b12 supplements accordingly for a few weeks. These symptoms should be gone by then. If not, only then further review will be mandated.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla,
Consultant Physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have insomnia, breathing difficulty and sinking feeling with panic. How to overcome this? 1 hour later
thank u on your replay, as im really desperate to get to the bottom of this problem and my doctor just prescribed anxiolitics, as he belives I suffer from anxiety attacks, hovewer I dont think that only the reason and also need to get to the bottom of waking up every morning in a panic and no breath and scared to go back to sleep as i feel the moment i relax im sinking into breahlesness again, im getting tired and depressed now
I did blood tests on the 23.07.2013 and there it shows in breif:
- Hemoglobin 105 (119 - 157)
- MCV 74 (83.5-97.2)
- MCH 24 (27.4 -33.9)
- Hematocrit 0.32 (0.350- 0.470)

also AST showed 35 (8-30)
and ALT 41 (10-36)

everything else came up normal

Please advise as I heard that waking up between 1am and 3 am is also conected to liver and lung meridian in alternative medicine, could there be a problem too.
Plese note i aslo had a wiplash injury with two vertebras being lil bit out of line.

Please advise as im getting scared to go to bed at night.

Many thanks on your help

Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 2 days later
Brief Answer:
Blood tests need to be worked upon first.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks XXXXXXX for your followup.

As expected, your blood test values show a drop. So, you will have to be treated for improving the levels with Iron, and requisite vitamin B12 and other supplements as necessary by your treating physician. This will take some time. Meanwhile, your symptoms will improve.

Do not excessively worry about the AST and ALT levels of which your are very marginally increased. They do not indicate a definite liver disease, and are not highly sensitive. A wholesome look at your clinical picture is necessary to arrive at a possible diagnosis.

I understand that the anxiolytic prescribed may help with your present anxiety.

I am not too sure of alternative medicine's perspectives on insomnia.

Whiplash injury in the past - may have a bearing on your mind now. But, you need to believe the doctor and start getting treatment for blood issues first. If you do not have excessive back pain - do not worry of structural deficits that the whiplash injury might have caused. Your vertebrae would have long before healed up accordingly to stabilize the spine to help you erect since.

Wish you best of health, and let me know if any further queries.
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