Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Can Eating the Wrong Foods Cause Anxiety Attacks?

I have not had an anxiety attack in weeks and today i did something stupid after weeks of eating good like oatmeal for breakfast,a small turkey sandwich for lunch and broiled fish and veggies for dinner.Today i ate two slices of pepperoni and sausage pizza for lunch and within 2 hours i felt the symptoms of the good ol' anxiety attack comin on like sweaty feet and hands heart started to take off and lightheaded.I got it under control before it got real bad but ever since i have felt like crap all day and very tired.Now i have been doing nothing but worrying about having another one,something i have'nt worried about for the last few weeks until today when this happend.I am really really tired of this crap,weeks that i felt great and had put this crap out of my mind and then this.Seems like this disorder will never let you forget,oh maybe it will tease you for awhile then it rears it's ugly head again.Does'nt seem like it will ever fully leave my mind,as soon as i forget about it and life seems normal again it's back.Sorry for the ramble but i'm tired of this.My question is can some foods cause anxiety attacks,can the pizza i ate have caused it since i have'nt eaten anything like that in weeks? P.S. I have been caffiene and junk food (Chips Soda ect) free for over a year..
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First Helper Dancingwater
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replied December 5th, 2007
Well I don't know if food actually can cause anxiety attacks, but I do know from experience that hypoglycemia can cause you to feel anxiety. I don't know if you are hypoglycemic but I have found that when I eat foods that are high in carbs and sugars I start to feel shakey and that shakey feeling can make me worry and I have gone in to panic mode because of stuff like that. Lately I have been limiting my sugars and eating mostly proteins and good carbs from stuff like wheat bread or wheat pasta. It sounds to me like your body wasn't used to having the pizza and it really effected your sugar levels. Next time you start to feel that way and you suspect it is something you ate, try eating some peanutbutter crackers or something with a good amount of protein in it, that should help a little. ^_^
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replied July 9th, 2009
Thanks guys this helped Smile I'm ab to go grocery shopping and shop for healthy foods and grains to help with my anxiety. I understand how u feel about being sick and tired of it...it seems like it controls ur life. I'm going to get myself back on track and remove some people from my life who don't help my mental health too Smile
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replied June 24th, 2011
People, When will u get it? It's M.S.G. Sausage is a culprit for having this junk in it! You will have extreme anxiety attacks while or after eating processed food. The food companies are wise to this so monosodium glutamate is hidden in almost every food under names such as yeast extract, hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast extracts, natural flavors, soy protein isolate, etc. etc. Clean your diets up. Panic/anxiety disorder is also related to multiple chemical sensitivity. Have thyroid checked. Get checked for leaky gut syndrome, hypoglycemia, diabetes. These also are related to anxiety. But it's mostly hidden MSG! Pure poison for the body. Hope this helps someone. Eat a pure, clean organic diet.
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replied June 24th, 2011
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No, you bring on the anxiety and stress...If the food is rich it may bother your system, however, if you know it may do this the worry alone will bring on the stress...Today I had pizza and soup at a neat place..I knew of the calories ahead of time and figured this in my diet for the day...I added them up...Knew I was safe, so no stress...nor anxiety...Take care...

Caroline
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replied June 24th, 2011
Huh?
Sorry. Calories have nothing to do with getting sick. I think u might be on the wrong blog. Calories just make u fat
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replied June 24th, 2011
Sorry. Calories have nothing to do with getting sick. I think u might be on the wrong blog. Calories just make u fat
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replied June 24th, 2011
Community Volunteer
No....This has nothing to do with calories...People think what people think...You can produce anxiety and stress yourself...I drink and have drank three 24 oz. bottles of Diet Pepsi a day...Have done this since they produced it...Drink near the same amount of water.....Maybe more now as we are retired and travel more...My husband is into Diet Mountain Dew...Health wise it has never bothered either of us...I have cleared this with IM doctors since day one...I had heard it raises your blood pressure...Mine was 118/76/61 last night when I took it at midnight...This I brought down from not eating as much salt and watching my stress level...Anxiety is not a reaction from food, but from stress...However, if you eat something loaded with salt or sugar this may work on your blood pressure...I have not altered any item I eat...Only I eat in moderation...Whereas I love 10 and 15 year old cheddar cheese, I now have only small amounts when my salt intake has not been high...If I eat some Summer Sausage or Pizza, I may get a sick stomach from it being rich, but not anxiety...I would if I worried that I would put on weight from this, but I don't...

When I talked to my doctor Monday, she again told me that this does not raise my blood pressure and that I alone raise it by worrying that it will happen...This has never happened, but I had read of people saying things about food as you are saying...Frozen Custard can bother me, but only because of the salt in it...Not with anxiety, but with the urge to vomit...It wants to come up on me...So I stay away from it unless it is just a few tablespoons...

Stress is and can be the culprit in my life...Calories are not...I have learned to control them as by doing this I now control me and my weight...People believe what they want to believe about food..I am sure that I don't eat healthy in your estimation, yet I buy organic cauliflower, carrots and radishes...This only because I like the way that they look vs. Dole or whoever has them...

The only thing I am trying to make plain is that in my opinion and my opinion only, that unless a person lets food control their mind and bring on their own anxiety and stress from foods that they fear, that they are OK....This is the end of this thread for me....I'm just not into arguing a point...Take care....

Caroline
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replied December 2nd, 2012
food can cause anxiety
Food does cause anxiety. If you do the research you will see. Everyone is different and maybe it doesn't cause you to feel bad but I know from experience and through talking to dietitians and others in the celiac support group.
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replied July 3rd, 2011
anxiety symptoms and carbs
For me, simple carbs cause anxiety. Once the simple carbs are out of my system Im fine. It probably has to do with exhausted or fatigued adrenals because the adrenals and thyroid are part sugar metabolism. I'm still in the process of trying to figure out how to fix it. I'll post when I find an answer, in the mean time, stay away from simple carbs. Including fruit!
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replied July 3rd, 2011
For me, simple carbs cause anxiety. Once the simple carbs are out of my system Im fine. It probably has to do with exhausted or fatigued adrenals because the adrenals and thyroid are part sugar metabolism. I'm still in the process of trying to figure out how to fix it. I'll post when I find an answer, in the mean time, stay away from simple carbs. Including fruit!
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replied November 3rd, 2011
carbs cause anxiety
Dancingwater, I just discovered for myself! Any info you have would be MUCH appreciated! I have tried staying away from caffiene - no difference, zoloft - no difference, celexa - no difference, I have recently thought it might be carbs, sure enough sugar smacks for breakfast - 1 hr later anxiety belly! Strawberrys this am - 1/2 hour later anxiety belly, pretzels for afternoon snack anxiety belly! Help, I am afraid to eat!
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replied November 3rd, 2011
Low blood sugar and anxiety
Since my last post, I found out they low thyroid can cause anxiety also. Because all of this is involved with the endocrine system, it makes perfect sense! Low thyroid effects adrenals effects the pancreas effects low blood sugar effects anxiety. I went and got my thyroid tested, sure enough I have bad bad hypothyroidism and started taking a natural thyroid prescription called Naturthroid. It feeds the damaged thyroid and lowers tsh. Synthroid on the other hand, and it's generic names, just stop the pituitary gland from producing too much tsh. It does nothing to replace the hormone's missing from the thyroid gland. Since being on the naturthroid for 5 months, I don't have anxiety attacks anymore. Thank the Lord. A couple of websites for information is stopthethyroidmadness.com and a place where you can go get natural help for the anxiety if it's not thyroid or low blood sugar related. They treat anxiety with amino acids. I have personally done this program and it works wonderfully! Hope this helps.
Dancingwater
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replied October 10th, 2012
It CAN go away!
Hi All... don't despair... your anxiety can go away and become much less intense... I went through a 3 year stint of major anxiety attacks.. one that sent me to the hospital... I now rarely get them and when I do feel it start, I can usually center myself again within 10 minutes... I agree that high sugar and caffeine and simple carbs can definitely trigger attacks. I had just a mild attack about 1/2 hour after eating some junk... I was otherwise having a peaceful evening... but have faith, it can go away... I did a lot of exercise, massage etc... and got myself into a better emotional place and it drastically subsided. Good luck!
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replied December 2nd, 2012
Wow, I thought I was the only one dealing with this, or that it was just in my head. Junk food and sugar does have an effect on my anxiety levels. So does dairy, which I've reduced a lot in my diet.
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replied February 25th, 2013
Diet and Panic attacks (there is a real connection)
I've been doing a lot of research about this for a university paper (we had to write about food, and since I struggle with anxiety, I thought this would be the perfect topic). I haven't read everyone's posts, so I apologize for any overlap.
From what I've read food can lead to panic attacks if you already struggle from panic disorder. Some foods have natural calming properties, and others act as stimulants. These foods affect everyone, but it is somewhat amplified in anxiety depression sufferers (these foods include caffeine, candy, alcohol, and overly processed foods). The body is very concerned with sugar levels, so by eating a bunch of pizza (like Keith64) your body has a sugar rush. These feelings are very similar to a panic attack, but the food itself isn't the cause of a panic attack. Although your body is reacting to a sugar rush, your mind remembers the feeling as anxiety, which then leads to an actual real panic attack.
I hope this is helpful. I'm the worst, because when I start to get depressed I'll binge eat, which then leads to panic attacks. Understanding your body, and what's happening is super helpful. Oh, and a fact that I learned in my counseling is that a panic attack can only last around 10 minutes. This is a scientific fact (for those of you who have experience longer, it's one panic attack, that triggers another). The best thing to do is to become an observer of your anxiety. Once your body is in the middle of an attack, you cant stop. So just ride it out, and know in ten minutes it'll be over.
I wish all of you struggling with anxiety the best. Knowledge and understanding your condition is really your best tool.
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