Anxiety disorders are illnesses that cause people to feel frightened and apprehensive for no apparent reason. There are five types of anxiety:
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated episodes of intense fear of sudden onset, often occurring without warning and with varying frequency. Symptoms of panic disorder include chest pains, heart palpitations, sweating palms, dizziness, shortness of breath, a sense of unreality, or an uncontrollable fear of death. Panic disorder affects between three and six million Americans and is twice as likely to occur in women. Onset may occur at any age but generally begins in early adulthood.
Anxiety and panic attacks can be produced by caffeine and many drugs, including corticosteroids (Cortisone, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone, Prednisone); birth control pills (Brevicon, Demulen), progesterone (Provera); antidepressants (Wellbutrin, Diazepam, Prozac, Haldol, Paxil, Effexor); and many others.
Perhaps the most significant biochemical disturbance noted in people with anxiety and panic attacks is an elevation in lactic acid, which is formed from glucose (blood sugar) when there is a lack of oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis).
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