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What is the cause and treatment for panic attacks?

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Posted on Thu, 31 Jul 2014
Question: I have a good friend who has been dealing with panic attacks on a regular basis. She wakes up of a morning with them, and deals with them all day. This is about to kill her! I am wondering if there is anything about the Adreline Gland that could be causing this. And if there is something that can be done to fix it. Doctors are prescribing Psychiatry for her, and hasn't helped. This is not the problem! Her Adreline Gland is going wild, when it doesn't need too.
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Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Yes,adrenal dysfunction might cause panic attacks.

Detailed Answer:
Hello!
I read carefully your query and I really appreciate your concern about your friend health.

It is true that panic attacks can result from certain medical condition called organic causes.
It is important that in every patient presenting with panic attacks, organic causes must be ruled out as first step.

There are many possible medical disease that can cause anxiety symptoms.Most common causes are:
-Thyroid disease (Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism)
-Hypoglicemia
-Adrenal gland disorders : Pheochromocytoma, Hyperadrenalism, Cushing's disease.

These conditions apart panic attacks cause other characteristic symptoms and specific findings in physical examination so a physician may suspect them in a regular consult.

For example If her panic attacks were due to adrenal dysfunction (Hyperadrenalism,Cushing's disease,Pheochromacitoma etc) she probably would have also excessive body fat,Increased body hair ,increased facial hair,Increased blood pressure,Diabetes,muscle weakness,thin skin etc.

If you suspect that her panic attacks are due to a primary organic disease then probably she should consult a physician or an endocrinologist and get a second opinion.

A detailed medical history and a complete physical examination are necessary.
She can run some tests to exclude thyroid disease (Thyroid function tests including FT3,FT4,TSH) and Adrenal disease (test for elevated Cortisol level in saliva,urine,blood) and abdominal ultrasound to evaluate adrenal gland.


Hope my answer has helped.
Let me know if you have any further question or doubt to clarify.I will be happy to help.

Take care.

Dr.Rovena Murati
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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What is the cause and treatment for panic attacks?

Brief Answer: Yes,adrenal dysfunction might cause panic attacks. Detailed Answer: Hello! I read carefully your query and I really appreciate your concern about your friend health. It is true that panic attacks can result from certain medical condition called organic causes. It is important that in every patient presenting with panic attacks, organic causes must be ruled out as first step. There are many possible medical disease that can cause anxiety symptoms.Most common causes are: -Thyroid disease (Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism) -Hypoglicemia -Adrenal gland disorders : Pheochromocytoma, Hyperadrenalism, Cushing's disease. These conditions apart panic attacks cause other characteristic symptoms and specific findings in physical examination so a physician may suspect them in a regular consult. For example If her panic attacks were due to adrenal dysfunction (Hyperadrenalism,Cushing's disease,Pheochromacitoma etc) she probably would have also excessive body fat,Increased body hair ,increased facial hair,Increased blood pressure,Diabetes,muscle weakness,thin skin etc. If you suspect that her panic attacks are due to a primary organic disease then probably she should consult a physician or an endocrinologist and get a second opinion. A detailed medical history and a complete physical examination are necessary. She can run some tests to exclude thyroid disease (Thyroid function tests including FT3,FT4,TSH) and Adrenal disease (test for elevated Cortisol level in saliva,urine,blood) and abdominal ultrasound to evaluate adrenal gland. Hope my answer has helped. Let me know if you have any further question or doubt to clarify.I will be happy to help. Take care. Dr.Rovena Murati