Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What’s Causing My Anxiety Attacks?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:14 AM

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Question: I’m a man of 48 who recently started to suffer from anxiety attacks. Can you tell me what causes them? What can I do to get over them? Sometimes they last for five hours.
 
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Anxiety attacks have a constellation of causes. Five-hour episodes may involve medications or foods you eat. Consider eliminating alcohol and additives. Make sure you’re doing something to alleviate stress and are sleeping well. Getting regular exercise at least three times a week can lower anxiety. So can minimizing alcohol and non-prescription drug use.
 
I’d recommend you make an appointment to see your doctor to be screened for anxiety, depression, and mood disorder, as well as any underlying physical disorder, such as thyroid disease. Expect some basic blood tests for chemistry and thyroid function.

You might also consider asking for a referral to a psychiatrist for biofeedback training and cognitive behavioral therapy that will help you live comfortably without the expense and side effects that sometimes accompany medication.
 

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