Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
It has long been studied and noted that women are twice as likely as men to experience and endure anxiety or panic attacks. What has not been clear is why. Medical research is now beginning to discover and expose the explanations for this gender-based incongruity.
To shed more light on these conditions, here are anxiety and panic attack symptoms in women that you should pay attention to.
What are the signs of anxiety in women?
- Immoderate worry
- Unexpected overwhelming fear
- Nervous sensation
- Quivering or shuddering
- Difficulty in breathing or breathlessness
- Feeling or perception of choking
- Feelings of being disconnected or separate
- Fear of dying
- Feeling helpless and vulnerable
- Numbness or prickling in the limbs or entire body
- Chills or sweating
- Feeling of an imminent terrible fate
- Chest pain
- Struggling to focus on things that are trepidations
Research Explanations On Why Women Are More Prone To Anxiety And Panic Attacks
A neurotransmitter called serotonin acts as a messenger that transmits signals within your brain. The medical community has acknowledged that low serotonin levels is a principal cause of panic attacks, depression, and other signs of anxiety in women.
Women are more likely to have serotonin deficiency than men because of their more sensitive and intense responses to stress, also called adrenal fatigue. Add to that their higher rates of thyroid problems.
There has also been some evidence that female hormones connect with serotonin to cause symptoms of anxiety to materialize or worsen around premenstrual time, during postpartum period, and around menopause time.
These are all periods of time when sex hormones are continuously changing. This is in contrast to men who experience a steady level of sex hormones until middle age then it gradually diminishes.
Serotonin and Panic Attacks
A research published in the medical journal Biological Psychiatry found that men with decreased serotonin levels resulted to becoming more impulsive but did not experience mood changes. In contrast to this, women experienced responses usually connected with depression like worsening of their mood and became more cautious or anxious.
They also uncovered that mood-lowering effect in women was swayed by a variation in a gene called the serotonin transporter gene.
Results of the study indicated that men and women use serotonin differently. Women are highly susceptible to lowering of serotonin levels and as a result exhibit multiple symptoms. Men, on the other hand, experience a lowering of serotonin levels but do not result to depression and anxiety.
Serotonin is manufactured and performs its main functions in your brain. Around 90% of your body’s serotonin supply though, is found in the digestive tract and in the blood platelets. For that reason, serotonin affects multiple systems like the nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems.
This is the reason why most women who have serotonin deficiency experience many symptoms at the same time like stress and anxiety, depression, nervousness, panic attacks, change in sleep patterns, food cravings, weight gain, and upset stomach. This also suggests the reasons why depression and signs of anxiety in women have been associated with increased frequency of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
Panic Attack And Anxiety Signs In Women Caused By Vitamin B6 and Iron Deficiency
An additional study has connected vitamin and mineral deficiencies to panic attacks and other signs of anxiety in women. Vitamin B6 and iron both play important roles as cofactors for the combination of serotonin.
The researchers tested whether low levels of the nutrients played a significant role in the incidence of panic attacks and they have found that low blood levels of Vitamin B6 and Iron were indeed related to panic attacks.
Since you already know what causes panic attacks and other signs of anxiety in women, it’s time for you to take action. If you or your loved one experience and endure panic attacks or any forms of anxiety, consult your doctor immediately. While you’re at their office, try asking about natural remedies.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.