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Teen daughter fainting repeatedly
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Teen daughter fainting repeatedly

I am the non-custodial parent of a 15 year old daughter. She has had fainting episodes for years, sometimes several a month. She has been taken to her doctor many times, but they keep giving her a "clean bill of health." From what her father tells me, they have given her an EKG, blood and urine tests. The doctor says she sees no reason for my daughter's problem, and that my daughter shouldn't skip meals.
Two days ago, she passed out at school AGAIN. Only this time, her teacher and other students said she had some sort of "seizure" while passed out. I am concerned about severe hypoglycemia, but her doctor says they checked for that. I am unaware of any glucose testing. Her father refuses to take her to the doctor again because it's fruitless, and since she always "feels fine" afterward. She is typically unconscious for less than a minute.
The only other thing that may be connected to it is her throat. It has been severely swollen for years. Sometimes it's painful, other times it doesn't hurt her at all. All strep and other throat cultures come back negative, and she shows no other signs of infection. (no fever, chills, etc)
She's been sleeping more than usual lately. And where she used to have no warning signs before passing out, she now feels nauseous and shaky right before fainting. It also bears mentioning that she has always had a major sugar-addiction. She gets severe migraines and chest pains frequently as well.
Aside from hypoglycemia, is there anything else this could be?  What tests should she have done?
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There are many reasons for fainting.  This can include cardiac causes (i.e. an arrythmia or disturbance in heart rhythm), neurological causes (i.e. a seizure, vasovagal syncope), or the cause can be unclear.

Further testing can include an event monitor or Holter monitor to evaluate the heart rhythm, an echocardiogram to evaluate the structure of the heart, neurological exams (i.e. an EEG, and brain imaging), as well as tilt-table testing.

It is generally a good idea to try to find a cause of the fainting.  These options can be discussed with your personal physician.  A referral to a cardiologist or neurologist can be obtained for further evaluation.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
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I used to have the same thing when I was a teenager.  They tested me for everything... all normal.  I, however, was not forthcoming with the fact that I was starving myself at the time.

I'm not saying that is the case with your daughter, but just my experience with what I knew was the explanation of my passing out.

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Avatar_n_tn
if her throat is swollen - perhaps she has a goiter.  all her symptoms are those that could be related to hypothyroidism.  i would check thyroid antibodies, TSH, and Free T4 and Free T3.
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Avatar_f_tn
Paste this into your browser & see if it doesn't sound like your daughter.   Arnold-Chiari Syndrome It's very hard to diagnose & often missed. My neice suffered from this & I just seen it featured of Discovery health. Reading you post reminded me of what the teenager featured went thru....       Good Luck!!
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Type this into your browser. In reading your post it reminded me of my neice & something I just seen on discovery health.
Chiari Malformation: Introduction
     From the Hyman-Newman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery
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Avatar_n_tn
well i hope this helps, my daughter had fainting spells when she was about 15.  she was diagnosed with neurocardiogencisyncope.  has to do with the heart and brain not working at the same time.  i believe they fool each other.
any how just look up the term online and it will tell you all about it.  syncope is another word for fainting.  her blood pressure would go up and down in a short period of time thats how the dr came to the conclusion to do a tilttable test.  she tested positive and they then were able to give her ther correct treament.  they say its pretty common in thin girls.  she is doing great its not life threatning either.   godd luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recently had the same problem, getting dizzy and sometimes blacking out. I have now been diagnosed with vasovagal syncope. Your daughters symptoms sound very similar to mine. I f you have ANY questions and would like to email me, my email is ***@**** GOOD LUCK!
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