Spasmophilia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And How To Manage Panic Attacks

Spasmophilia is a syndrome that involves several symptoms related to a state of anxiety. It is expressed by crises that are very impressive at times.

Definition: what is spasmophilia?

Spasmophilia is a syndrome that has several symptoms related to a state of anxiety. It manifests itself through hyperventilation and neuromuscular hyperexcitability. This is a controversial concept that is not universally recognized.

Spasmophilia works through the appearance of crises that resemble anxiety attacks. It affects more women than men, and mainly people aged between 15 and 45.

Symptoms of spasmophilia

Spasmophilia is defined by several symptoms related to anxiety. The first is hyperventilation, which is an acceleration of the respiratory rhythm. This results in a feeling of tightness, jerky breathing and a need to find air.

There is also muscle tetany that is manifested by tingling, numbness, cramps, an intense and painful contraction of muscles resulting in a curl of the hand ("obstetrician hand") or foot and difficulties opening the mouth. A person will usually experience asthenia (intense fatigue, especially when waking up), either physical or intellectual.

A spasmophilia crisis is often impressive and is expressed differently for each individual: heart (tachycardia, palpitations, chest pain), digestive (intestinal spasm, abdominal pain, nausea) or sensory (tremors, chills, cold sweats) disorders.

Causes of spasmophilia

The mechanisms of spasmophilia are rather vague. It is believed to be a disproportionate reaction to a stressful or anxious situation. This fear causes the appearance of symptoms that, themselves, will fuel fear. This is called a vicious circle.

Another hypothesis is that spasmophilia is explained by a chronic lack of magnesium and calcium, which play a role in muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. This would explain the neuromuscular hyper-excitability.

Sleep disorders that are responsible for asthenia and neurodystonia are also thought to be involved.

Treatment of spasmophilia

Therapy makes it possible to limit or even eliminate the onset of crises. The most used type of therapy is cognitive and behavioral therapy.

In the case of a crisis, it is important to calm your breathing, breathing in a paper or plastic bag, for example. Similarly, it is recommended to think of something else so as not to fuel the vicious circle.

Drug treatment with antidepressants may also help reduce the frequency of crises. However, attention must be paid to side effects and possible dependence.

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