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Chronic fatigue syndrome and panic disorder?

Q. Over a two year period I've suffered from three hospitalised episodes of paralytic ileum (2), a panic attack and presently have signs of chronic fatigue such as joint/muscle pain, flu-like symptoms, restless sleep for the past two months. Has there been any "speculation" about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Panic attacks being interrelated? Thank you.

A. We are not sure what paralytic ileum (2) is so we cannot assist you with this but in answer to your question about Chronic Fatigue and panic attacks : as far as we are aware there isn't any speculation about CFT and Panic Attacks within the main stream literature, but there certainly is speculation about the link with many people with Panic Disorder! But Panic Disorder is very precise in its experience of uncued panic attacks. As you would know the attack can be very 'violent' and people do feel as if they are going to die or lose control in some way. People with Panic Disorder also have joint/muscle pain, flu like symptoms and restless sleep, but the sleep disturbances are usually a result of anxiety over having another attack or people will be woken from sleep with an attack. There is also no doubt people do become extremely exhausted, but exercise actually helps people overcome this.

There was a report in the media here in Australia that researchers in the USA have now found the virus/bacteria which causes Chronic Fatigue and people are being treated successfully with antibiotics. This in itself demonstrates the CF and PD are two discrete disorders.


Q. Please advise if caffeine plays any role in Panic attacks?

A. It can play a role for some people. In others it doesn't. It is very individual and it is an individual decision not use products which contain caffeine.

The same applies to decaffeinated products. Some people move over to these and find they are allergic to the chemicals used to take out the caffeine. Some people find the allergy reaction worse than a caffeine reaction and so they go back to using products with caffeine in them. As we have said, it is very individual and there are no clear cut guidelines.

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