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Pins & Needles

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One of the panic attack symptoms that is of limited concern is pins & needles. Often times it is felt as a creeping sensations in the skin.

The medical profession refer to pins and needles as paraesthesia and is a sign that the sensory nerves in the area of the tingling are being irritated. These electrical impulses from the nerve endings in your skin cannot harm you, but it’s got to be said that it can be uncomfortable, especially if accompanied by a burning sensation. Fortunately this burning is rarely experienced with pins & needles occurring as part of panic attack symptoms, being more indicative of pins & needles caused by nerve damage.

During panic attacks the blood chemistry changes associated with the loss of carbon dioxide explained in the hyperventilation section can cause pins & needles to be a quite pronounced part of panic attack symptoms.

Additionally, the changes in blood flow associated with the fight or flight response and its associated reduction in blood flow to some parts of the body as a result of adrenaline release, through vasoconstriction (see the panic attack symptoms section on dizziness for more information), can also give rise to pins and needles.

To sum up, pins & needles might be one of the less important panic attack symptoms, but it is none the less present in many attacks. An understanding of what’s going on, will hopefully decrease the anxiety you might feel about this symptom, especially the reassurance that they cannot harm you.


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