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I've had pretty bad panic disorder for a few years which I suspected was related to gluten but it wasn't until recently I became convinced. I've done a lot of things that help, but recently I discovered that Pepto works better than all of them. Somehow it just soothes the irritation in the stomach and helps calm the nerves that are hypersensitive from the irritation. It's fast-acting, and so far it has worked every time (crossing my fingers). I just wanted to share this in case it might help someone frustrated with frequent panic attacks caused by gluten. Before I discovered this, it used to take about a week for my anxiety to subside.
I've had pretty severe anxiety for a few years now and used to get jolted awake too just as I was about to fall asleep which was pretty upsetting and frustrating. I also get weak and dizzy when I am about to have a panicky episode.
I've done TONS of research online and have a bunch of theories, one is that somehow the vagus nerve is being irritated causing all kinds of disturbing symptoms. Maybe all the bloating is causing the diaphragm to push up on everything, including the vagus nerve as well as the lungs, which would explain why I feel short of breath sometimes. I also agree there may be some malabsorption, as well as possibly lack of oxygen to the brain.
However, I have learned recently that Pepto stops my panicky feelings when I get glutened. Within 30 minutes of taking it, I feel 100% better. I also noticed that if I took it before bed, I would not be jolted awake or have nightmares. Pepto has been my best friend lately. Besides helping the panic attacks, it also really eases my GI symptoms like nausea, burning, etc.
I really hope this will help anyone having anxiety attacks from gluten. Pepto is pretty safe so it's worth a try!