Caffeinism masks panic disorder.
I have studied the enigma of panic disorder as a patient since 1985; the symptoms have developed logically to a point where the only thing left now is the clinical "core" of the phenomena. While addicted to caffeine, I developed a chronic poisoning, caffeinism, probably because of my slow caffeine metabolism. I have studied my symptoms in retrospect, and noticed that the pharmacodynamic effects of caffeine and symptoms created by caffeinism have together masked the symptoms creating panic disorder.
I believe that caffeine and its metabolites disturb the excretion of porphyrins, the pyrrole color agent in hemoglobin. Porphyrins start accumulating in the body and are released to bloodstream for various reasons, creating symptoms known as the panic attack. I stopped my caffeine dependency in February last year, and the mixing factors created by caffeine abstinence have faded slowly. I have had several episodes when I have experienced daily "panic attacks"during a period of a couple of days to a couple of weeks. The symptoms include heavy sweating of palms and feet, tinnitus, dysphoria, muscle ache, stomach pain, diarrhea, severe vasoconstriction of peripheral blood vessels, anxiety and symptoms pointing towards psychosis, hypertensive crisis with blood pressures up to 245/165, red urine, and hyponatremia.
I have concluded that panic disorder must be a form of porphyria; it just may be hard to detect with lab tests. You would need to measure the excretion of porphyrins from 24-hour urine sample and compare it with a baseline blood test and a blood test taken either right after a panic attack, or during a period with frequent attacks. This procedure would reveal whether the problem lies in the production of porphyrins or in excreting them from the system.
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|Title Annotation:||Letters to the Editor|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2009|
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