Panic attacks are acute episodes of anxiety. They can be accompanied by overwhelming feeling of fear and dread. They can be associated with palpitations, breaking out in sweats, and even chest pains. Panic attack sufferers commonly say that they sometimes feel as if they are going to die during some of their attacks. Panic attacks are one of the most interesting manifestations of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome. They are somewhat the way one feels when one awakens thinking that there might be a burglar in the room. When faced with such a threat, feelings of fear and dread are appropriate and the surge of adrenaline is useful in helping one prepare to react to threatening situations. This is what is sometimes referred to as the “fight or flight” response. This response can be quite inappropriate, however, when it takes place with very little or no provocation. Common settings in which Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome sufferers will find themselves having pain attacks include shopping (especially in grocery stores, for some reason), driving over bridges, driving in heavy traffic, or flying in an airplane.
Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is characterized by the body being stuck in conservation mode wherein it feels its resources are being threatened even when such feelings may be inappropriate. In a similar way, panic attacks are characterized by the body responding dramatically to inappropriately small challenges. All of us know what it feels like to panic, however, most of us would agree that such feelings would be inappropriate if they occurred out of the blue with little or no provocation.
The “fight or flight” response is mediated by adrenaline produced in the adrenal gland, which causes an increase of blood supply to the extremities and muscles, increased heart rate, enlarging of the air passageways, etc. The adrenal gland is stimulated to release adrenaline during threatening circumstances. The adrenal gland secretes adrenaline also during normal maintenance of proper blood pressure levels. When the blood pressure is detected by the body as being too low, a signal will be sent to the adrenal gland to secrete adrenaline to increase the pulse rate and help bring the blood pressure back up to normal levels.
One characteristic of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome sufferers is that they commonly have low blood pressure and “relaxed” blood vessels. Because of the decreased vascular tone, these patients have a more difficult time maintaining normal blood pressure. They frequently can get lightheaded when they stand up too fast because of their body’s inability to maintain adequate blood supply to the brain. It seems then, that the blood pressure of such patients bounces around just above the threshold, below which a compensatory burst of adrenaline would be secreted by the adrenal gland to prevent fainting. So in essence, these patients may normally be on the verge of a compensatory burst of adrenaline. I feel this helps explain why the slightest provocation can trigger a burst of adrenaline that can bring on palpitations, sweating, fear, and panic. At any rate, panic attacks can frequently be easily eliminated with proper thyroid hormone treatment.