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View Full Version : Anxiety / Panic Attacks - Need Better Diet?


Postsosne
08-19-2008, 08:09 AM
I'm a 27yr old male 5'8 150lbs. I started playing tennis regularly (taking lessons) in january and now am playing 3-5hrs a week. Recently (the past two weeks) i've been experiencing symptons consistent with hypoglycemia / panic attacks / anxiety / increased heart rate / dizziness while on court. I feel faint but never actually faint. I usually can continue to play.
My coach says I need to get in better shape/ eat better. I'd like any suggestions anyone could give me as far as a specific dietery regiment or nutrional supplements i should buy or any other advice i could so that i continue playing without these attacks. thanks! i really need to fix this!:confused:

WildVolley
08-19-2008, 08:47 AM
Is this a panic attack or a physical condition?

I'd go see a doctor and if you come up clean, then see a psychiatrist.

At the very least, if you are feeling faint you should sit down and get some water. It would be pretty uncomfortable to pass out and face plant on a tennis court.

Something to try in your diet would be to cut back on simple carbs and sugary things. For example, eat fruit rather than drink fruit juice. The fiber in the fruit will give you less of an insulin spike and crash. Cutting back on simple carbs means less potatoes, white rice, bread, etc. Only eat whole grains.

Postsosne
08-19-2008, 09:16 AM
I believe it may be a combination of both. It only happens after I play for ahwile. I might be psyching myself out but i'd like to build my confidence or whatever by eating better.

mrw
08-19-2008, 09:49 AM
Something to try in your diet would be to cut back on simple carbs and sugary things. For example, eat fruit rather than drink fruit juice. The fiber in the fruit will give you less of an insulin spike and crash. Cutting back on simple carbs means less potatoes, white rice, bread, etc. Only eat whole grains.


This is good advice.

Spokewench
08-19-2008, 12:52 PM
When are you playing? ie. how long has it been since you ate anything or had a meal before you go to play tennis?

I'm not even going to try to diagnose what is wrong with you; but if you ate lunch and then nothing else and go to play tennis at say 5:30, you may just need something to eat to get you through. Try part of a powerbar or some other sort of sports bar or maybe even a banana at the beginning of your tennis workout (you probably won't need the whole thing cause you tennis workout is probably not that long. If you start to feel weak later, take a few more bites.

Make sure you drink water in between games and see how that works for you.

and, breathe! It's amazing but some people when they are pushing themselves at a sport, forget to breathe or hold their breath.

spoke

Postsosne
08-19-2008, 02:35 PM
I usually try to eat an hour before. I usually play for 1 or 2 hours.

SteveI
09-09-2008, 07:33 AM
Is this a panic attack or a physical condition?

I'd go see a doctor and if you come up clean, then see a psychiatrist.

At the very least, if you are feeling faint you should sit down and get some water. It would be pretty uncomfortable to pass out and face plant on a tennis court.

Something to try in your diet would be to cut back on simple carbs and sugary things. For example, eat fruit rather than drink fruit juice. The fiber in the fruit will give you less of an insulin spike and crash. Cutting back on simple carbs means less potatoes, white rice, bread, etc. Only eat whole grains.

Hi,

"I'd go see a doctor and if you come up clean, then see a psychiatrist."

Do that 1st.. it will give you peace of mind if the doctor gives you a good work-up and may also provide you with advice or meds to address other issues.

Good Luck.. and go see that doctor.

Steve

El Diablo
09-09-2008, 08:56 AM
Not the usual scenario for panic attacks, which more often happen in places that are difficult to leave in a hurry (bridges, tunnels, theatres, standing on a long line, etc.), though CAN occur anywhere. If this is the only place it happens to you, it almost certainly is not panic disorder, and is more likely related to blood sugar or cardiac rhythm, for example.
The only dietary factor clearly linked to true panic disorder is caffeine, which increases the risk. Interestingly, panic attacks can be induced in a lab setting in patients who have the disorder by an IV infusion of lactic acid, so it's not inconceivable that a strenuous workout could increase the risk.

albino smurf
09-09-2008, 09:04 AM
Check your breathing as noted by others. 3-5 hours a week is not that much and you may just need better conditioning.Of course all of this is only after consulting with your doctor. You may want to do some heart/stress tests to make sure you don't die while playing tennis.

SteveI
09-09-2008, 09:14 AM
Not the usual scenario for panic attacks, which more often happen in places that are difficult to leave in a hurry (bridges, tunnels, theatres, standing on a long line, etc.), though CAN occur anywhere. If this is the only place it happens to you, it almost certainly is not panic disorder, and is more likely related to blood sugar or cardiac rhythm, for example.
The only dietary factor clearly linked to true panic disorder is caffeine, which increases the risk. Interestingly, panic attacks can be induced in a lab setting in patients who have the disorder by an IV infusion of lactic acid, so it's not inconceivable that a strenuous workout could increase the risk.

Hi El Diablo,

Do you have a link to that research? I would love to read it.

Regards,
Steve

Boxofweasels
09-09-2008, 02:13 PM
I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder but the tennis court is one of the few places that I feel relatively sane and alive. I have never had panic or anxiety symptoms on the court, though. While panic/anxiety can happen at any age, the fact that you've been playing for a while without any symptoms is a bit concerning. I do think it would be prudent to have a stress test to rule out any organic cause for your symptoms.

Postsosne
09-09-2008, 02:44 PM
...just went to the doctor today. Everything is fine so far. Waiting for blood tests to come back. Looks like this is purely pyschological. We'll see... :evil:

El Diablo
09-09-2008, 03:26 PM
Steve1
Everything I mentioned is established by dozens of pieces of research and is accepted as dogma in panic disorder, so I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for a link to. If you mean the lactic acid studies, this technique appeared in many research articles published by the panic disorder research group at Columbia University some years ago; Jack Gorman and Michael Liebowitz were two of the investigators under whose names you might find the references. They used the technique as part of pharmacology studies, showing for example that pretreatment with Xanax blocked the lactic acid (sodium lactate) induction of panic attacks.

SteveI
09-09-2008, 06:19 PM
Steve1
Everything I mentioned is established by dozens of pieces of research and is accepted as dogma in panic disorder, so I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for a link to. If you mean the lactic acid studies, this technique appeared in many research articles published by the panic disorder research group at Columbia University some years ago; Jack Gorman and Michael Liebowitz were two of the investigators under whose names you might find the references. They used the technique as part of pharmacology studies, showing for example that pretreatment with Xanax blocked the lactic acid (sodium lactate) induction of panic attacks.


Thanks.. Off to Goggle. Great stuff!

Regards,
Steve

Postsosne
09-10-2008, 08:39 AM
:twisted:...everything came back fine. Looks like this is purely a psychological thing. great!

albino smurf
09-10-2008, 10:15 AM
IMO it is probably your breathing. I have experienced similair things when playing and it has always been a matter of forgetting to breath. It is easy as you're tensed up waiting for the ball, focused on so many things and that tension leads to a tightening of your abs and solar plexus resulting in less breathing. Inhale on backswing, exhale on hit and follow through. Good news on tests. Have you checked out any other exercise to see if it happens when say jogging.. or tennis only.

Postsosne
09-10-2008, 09:03 PM
actually it started just on the subway... then at work,,, then finally during tennis. it's getting better though. it all stems from an incident when i was very dehyrdrated after playing for 3hrs in the sun without eating then feeling faint on the train. once i forget about all this i think i'll be fine... especially now since i have a clean bill of health.:neutral:

beamjayman
02-06-2009, 09:32 PM
I also have generalized anxiety and hypoglycemia. Make sure to eat every couple hours and consume fat and protein alongside carbohydrates when you take them in. Also, take a glucose tolerance test from your physician and see a phsychiatrist.