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Hi my name is Alex and I am 23 years old. I am suffering so badly right now in life. Everyday I have multiple, very severe panic attacks. I have called 911 many times in the last 6 months. I am suffering with vertigo, intense weakness and pains, I can not digest anything, I have terrible acid reflux, I can't sleep, I can't relax, my heart constantly palpitates, my breathing is "forced labor" all day. I am suffering in a mental fog. I have been from doctor to hospital to doctor and every EKG comes back normal, every doctor says the same thing, I am struggling with anxiety and they write me whatever prescription of the week they are offering <_< I recently took it upon myself to cut gluten out of my diet, and wallah! I felt like I did in high school within 2 days. I work in NYC and many times it is nearly impossible to find something containing no gluten, and many times when I ask they tell me "No Gluten" and I eat whatever food I ordered (probably salad w/ dressing) and i find myself driving home in a terrible panic attack. Panic is my main symptom. I have not been diagnosed yet, but the difference from how I feel and how to the people around me tell me I act I am 100% convinced. The question I'm having is, what do you think? Is it possible I have Celiac? Can panic be the main symptom? I'm telling you right now, my anxiety is unlike anything anyone has ever seen. I lay on the ground for 2 hours with numb limbs feeling like I am having a stroke unable to talk to anyone. I have 2 of these a day. Please let me know your thoughts. I truly am a novice with all of this. I am suffering and I need help. Thanks

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You need to have your adrenal glands checked. I was diagnosed with celiac after my adrenal glands started to shut down. Since then I have met at least 3 others that had the same thing happen. It was missed 3 times in the hospital, for some reason the adrenals often get missed.  It sounds like the latter stages of hypo adrenalism, not adrenal fatigue. Research it to see if that seems like what you are going through and make sure you find a dr that knows how to diagnose and treat it

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Having anxiety is a major symptom of celiac disease per many of our members on this forum (including me).  These are the tests needed for diagnosing celiac disease but the catch is that you need to be consuming gluten in order for them to be valid.  

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/

Your GP or PCD doctor can order the panel.  Try to go for the complete panel.  Often just the TTG tests are given in order to save costs.  It's good, but does not catch all celiacs.

I hope you get relief!  

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Hi, Alexander,

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling so much. However, I'm glad that you have recognized that gluten is an issue and that you are searching for help! A simple thing that you can do on your own to help both you and your doctors is starting an elimination diet and keeping a journal of which foods you introduced and if you had any reactions. Dr. Oz has a printable sheet which honestly might be hard to follow if you aren't much of a cook but it has a good list of what foods to reintroduce (usual suspects of food allergies). This is a safe place to start and can have major effects on your mood, clarity, and anxiety. I found out that I am lactose and gluten intolerant. Since then I have been able to go from anxious, depressed, and below average student to currently finishing my master's thesis in telecommunications engineering! Anyways, research has increasingly shown that there is a high correlation between our stomach and mental health. This is largely because of the enteric nervous system which is usually referred to as the second brain. Here is a great technical article by Adam Hadhazy on Scientific American's website. Here is a quote from everydayhealth.com that describes it well: 

“We know absolutely that the gut has a very important connection with the brain,” Dr. Lamm said. “That’s why when people are anxious they get a bad feeling in their stomach. And when the gut is uncomfortable, it sends signals to the brain that can cause depression or agitation.”

 Of course, if you do have food allergies or intolerances it makes it hard for you body to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly as well. 

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Alex the good news is you have found a great site with useful information and warm support! You need to work with your doctor to get a diagnosis but there are plenty here who have had similar experiences: https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/search/?&q=panic%20attack so it sounds like your on the right lines :)  Take heart that you have probably found the cause now rather than later. 

Follow CyclingLady's excellent advice above and go for celiac screening asap. For tests to work you need to be eating gluten for some time. That is a scary prospect when you've finally experienced some relief but it's for a limited time period, you can get support here along the way and if you choose to you can go gluten-free at the end and get relief whatever the results. 

Once you're done testing and off the gluten you will be in a much better position to nail the lifestyle. That may mean some pre-planning, maybe taking a backpack with some gluten-free snacks with you, at least until you find the places you can reliably eat at. There are apps and sites that can help and probably local support groups in NYC as well: https://www.google.co.uk/?ion=1&espv=2#q=new%20york%20gluten%20free%20restaurants

With research you'll also get to know what fast food options are viable, what readily available candy bars are ok etc. I can eat Mcdonalds fries for instance, which can come in handy if I'm away from my kitchen or supplies. Most starbucks or equivalents will have at least a gluten-free snack bar. So although a pain in the arse, it's doable and the health payoffs MORE than make up for the hassle. 

Good luck! 

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