ZocdocAnswersWhat kind of doctor should I see about panic attacks and anxiety?

Question

What kind of doctor should I see about panic attacks and anxiety?

I'm 19 years old and I have hyperthyroidism. Last night I had a panic attack on the street. Could my thyroids be the cause of that? Also, I ate pizza not knowing that I'm allergic to tomatoes and peppers. Could that be a reason too?

Answer

The first step you should take is to find out if your hyperthyroidism or allergies caused you panic attack and if your hyperthyroidism is a cause for your anxiety. To do this, you must seek out care from the doctor that is treating your hyperthyroidism (primary care physician or endocrinologist). You need to make sure that your thyroid hormone and TSH test are within normal limits. If you have Grave's disease (a cause of hyperthyroidism), this means that you may benefit from a thyroid ablation followed by thyroid hormone replacement. If your thyroid is under control, and you still have anxiety and panic attacks, then you will know that these need treated separately. Panic attacks can be treated very effectively with a class of medications called the SSRIs (example prozac, zoloft, or celexa). These medicines can also help with generalized anxiety. In terms of your potential allergy, it is not clear from your story if you are truly allergic to tomatoes and peppers. If you are, then your symptoms are more likely to be itching, burning, and feelings like your chest is tight or your throat is closing. Since your situation needs some clarification, I think the best initial visit for you to make is with your primary care physician. He or she can take a more detailed history of these attacks and review your recent thyroid tests. From there your doctor will be able to determine what the best course of action is.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.