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Help Anxiety – No Hot Pepper

Stopping all forms of caffeine is a #1 step as part of anxiety therapy. It’s and absolute truth that caffeine can trigger anxiety & panic attacks. After much frustration, trial, and error – surprisingly I figured out one of the things that would set me off besides caffeine was hot peppers. Hot, super spicy foods were one of my ultimate favorite things! Anything with cayenne, chilies, habeneros, and jalepenos would make me do an unwelcome sanity dance. Go figure? Help anxiety, cool out on the hot stuff.

Lovely Peppers!

Lovely Peppers!

My two fold theory:

1) When the adrenals are weak, so is the mucosa lining in the intestines. Therefore, irritants like capsicum from hot peppers just makes a bad situation worse by creating more inflammation in the fragile intestinal lining. It’s like getting hot peppers in your eye, ever done that? With increased inflammation, digestion and absorption of proteins in the intestines gets jacked up and the body cannot make brain calming neurotransmitters since the raw material (amino acids) can’t be absorbed. Hence, general anxiety increases because feel good brain chemicals aren’t in supply.

2) The other deduction I’ve made is how hot peppers must stimulate an adrenaline response. Hot stuff are stimulants right? I have found no specific research to back this up this ‘hot pepper & adrenaline’ theory. (If any of you locate some, please let me know!) An adrenaline response from fatigued adrenals can create anxiety and even a panic attack. I’ve lived it. In years past, almost every night I used to eat spicy foods, as I hit rock bottom I could no longer eat anything spicy without ‘loosing it’ a few hours later. Now that my adrenals and gut are getting stronger I can do spicy here and there. THANK GOD! Missed that one as much as I still long for coffee…

So, if you are still narrowing down causes for anxiety and panic attacks – eliminate and re-introduce things and note your body’s response. You might be surprised and what your triggers really are. Never would have thought hot food would trigger panic attacks!

8 Responses to “Help Anxiety – No Hot Pepper”

  1. joe mens says:

    I have been having panic attacks whilst driving, to the point where i infact had to slow down to about 25 mph on a 65mph hwy on my way home from work this evening whilst looking for the next exit to pull off. I was so scared I felt i was gonna crash any moment, and slowed down almost to a stop whilst semis were flying by me.

    I pulled off and packed at a wendy’s, then looked for store to walk around and cool off my nerves. it took me 2 hrs instead of 30 min to get home this evening.

    I have sinvce been looking for the reasons for these attacks online, and just found this clue about hot foods. You sound just like me when it comes to hot foods. In fact habaneros are like candy in my mouth, bcos I eat them so much, I only enjoy the flavor but don’t even feel teh heat that much anymore! Now there! there is probably teh source of these panic attacks then.

    Thank you, and hope to hear from you as to how to get out of this.

    I am going to stop eating them peppers immediately and see how it goes.

    I am evening so scared of getting back on the highway going to work tomorrow.

    Really need help!


    Cincinnati, Ohio.

  2. joe mens says:

    Another clue is loneliness and possible depression.

  3. admin says:

    I have had the “traffic jam” panic attacks too, they are REALLY awful! Nothing like being trapped between semi’s in construction zones in the rain, my heart is racing just thinking about it.
    Stopping hot peppers, all forms of caffeine, balancing my blood sugar, and rebuilding my adrenals were the ticket back to health. For the immediate attacks, I used essential oils to keep me “sane” and “grounded”, I love them because they work immediately.
    The entirety of what I did to get better is outlined in my book “Let’s Get Physical” and is found here http://letsgetsphysicalebook.com.
    Be well,

  4. joyce says:

    I have adrenal issues. Ive been good for awhile. I take drenamin, good b complex, extra b 12, vitamin C;1000 mg three x a day. calcium, magnesium, and thytrophin. I was recently put on synthroid. I used to have those terrible panic attacks while driving. many times during the day so terrible that I couldn’t leave the house or my bed room. I usually don’t get sick but now I caught a cold from a co worker. Ive been using sinus buster, a red pepper nasal spray. the panic attacks and depression are over the top!! I have been trying to figure what is causing it. now it makes sense. thank you. I will not be using them any more

  5. Jb says:

    Had a super, super spicy curry last night and had a (rare these days, thankfully) panic attack!

    I thought maybe it was a coincidence. Perhaps not.

    About your theory: the same day I had a headache and took a couple of NSAIDs (aspirin-like painkiller) and these irritate the mucosal lining in the stomach.

  6. Dave says:

    Wow, you nailed it. Exactly what happens to me. It is usually the next day. If I limit it to one meal, one day, I’m ok. But multiple days of spicy stuff I’m freakin’ out. Sucks. Little tip, carrot juice, (homemade) helps a lot. Right on. Later.

  7. Joy says:

    I found your website today on a quest to locate confirmation of my hypothesis that hot chili peppers cause or affect anxiety in certain people. I have noticed this in myself when I have chili peppers. I miss enchilada sauce the most but it is easy to avoid as I realize its affects on my mood and nervousness shortly after. I avoid it now, other than in very minimal amounts in a mild India or Thai curry, which I have on occasion in small amounts. When at home, however, I use a homemade no chili pepper curry powder that I put together. It works great for the coconut curry soups I like to make sometimes with leftover no-oil stir-fry veggies.

    Thank you for your insight! It is most helpful on this journey.

  8. Michelle says:

    I just googled this topic to see if anyone else had this problem. I’ve been doing so well with my panic attacks that I’ve started to forget about the whole sorry experience. I just bit into a sandwich with hot chilli sauce which was particularly hot and I felt the panic coming on again! Noo This happened before in subway when I had horrible panic reaction without realising it was that! I just put 2 and 2 together. Seems I’m not the only one. I used to also eat super hot chilli with no problem at all and was a real Starbucks addict. Now since I had panic I attacks I can’t seem to go near either one without having instant reactions 😵

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