Panic Attack Symptoms

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A panic attack can be defined as the sensation of intense fear or discomfort that starts abruptly and reaches its maximum peak in a few minutes. In most people, it can occur without warning and no apparent reason; however, some people usually experience a panic attack when they are in a dangerous situation or facing something that causes great fear.

When a person has a panic attack, they may feel very frightened and distressed. The symptoms of a panic attack can be very varied; however, below are the most common:

1. Palpitations

The fear sensation increases the secretion of the hormone adrenaline, also called the hormone of the fight-or-flight response. This hormone induces the heart rate acceleration, so the patient refers a pounding heart, medically called palpitations.

The person can also refer irregular heart beating during a panic attack; in fact, the heart rate is so accelerated and the chest discomfort so intense, that when a person is experiencing a panic attack they may think they’re having a heart attack, which makes the fear sensation worse.

2. Sweating

The adrenaline hormone also stimulates the sweat glands to produce and secrete sweat. Even people that usually do not sweat notably may release big amounts of sweat when they are under a panic attack.

The armpits, chest, neck, head, hands, and feet are the parts of the body that usually produce more sweat during a panic attack. The sweat that comes from the sweat glands in the armpits is combined with other substances and hormones that can produce a bad odour.

More symptoms on next page…

About Dr Aury Perozo 13 Articles
Aurelysmar Grimán Perozo is a doctor from the Centroccidental University "Lisandro Alvarado", with a diploma degree in occupational medicine, and certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and advanced electrocardiography. In addition to her work as a doctor, she also writes as a freelancer in medical research.


The content of this website is not intended to be taken as a replacement for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor, dietician, nutritionist or fitness instructor. If you experience any medical symptoms you should consult your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.