Some of these symptoms fit in exactly to the bodily effects of stress from the 'fight or flight' syndrome. A panic attack is a massive stress attack on the body, one that the person is not able to cope with.
The good news is that panic attacks are treatable - and not necessarily by medication. However, it does require a desire to eliminate them from the sufferer's life.
You may think that anyone would want to stop them. However, some people are so frightened by the situation, they try to ignore them, avoid situations or even experience denial.
Treatment essentially involves counselling. In addition, panic attack sufferers are usually tense. For example, breathing becomes difficult because the chest and lungs are tensed, together with the throat and neck muscles.
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.