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Fainting
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Fainting

Hi All,

I am a very healthy 29 year old female who fainted a few months ago.  I was sitting for about a half hour prior to the event when I started to feel funny- like maybe I was going to vomit and it came on very fast.  I fainted while still sitting and vomited while still out.  Emergency medical techs were called out to the scene and after continuing to vomit after waking they said that my vitals were normal and I declined a vist to the ER.  A few months later a similar thing happened without actually fainting.

When I told my regular doctor during my normal visit she sent me to have a Holter and then to the neurologist.  My regular doctor told me that my Holter came back "fine- nothing they could put their finger on" and said I needed to see the neurologist.  The neurologist said she didn't think I really needed to see her but did an EEG.  The EEG came back slightly abnormal (slowing on one side of the brain) and she ordered a MRI.  MRI showed nothing that confirmed the slowing and she said she had looked at my Holter report and wanted me to see a cardiologist.

The cardiologist was not a very nice man and never asked me a question about what had happened to me and said from the report I had a simple faint.  I have marked sinus arrhythmia that will stimulate the vagus nerve and that this is all completely normal in healthy people.  I didn't even get a chance to tell him that I had another near faint that week and I have rounds of dizziness several times a week.  When I did tell him that I do feel much more fatigued in the last several months than I ever have- he just shrugged and said it wasn't related.

I'm happy he thinks it's nothing serious but do people really live this way?  Three episodes (of varying degrees of severity) in 6 months difficult to accept.  While I feel my palps they don't bother me- it's just embarrassing to get sick like this.  Twice it's happened with friends.  It may never happen again but does this sound familiar to anyone?  Does anyone think it would be a good idea to get a second opinion?  Or do you think this guy is just a bad communicator but probably had the right idea?

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5 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
wow, i am sorry you are not feeling well, first about your doc, i would soooooooooooo say something to him, how dare he blow you off!!!
let me tell you, i finally went to an ep doc but let me tell you i don't think he thought anything much of my arrhythmia until i wore a 30 day event monitor, i had vtach, i had arrhythmia all day everyday!!
ok point here, you are the patient, he NEEDS  listen to you, you know your body better than anyone else, i would see someone else, an ep(electrophysiologist)~!
ok good luck, let us know, and feel better
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255722_tn?1333378910
Hi Pebbles.  I have extensive experience with the fainting issue.  I was diagnosed with vasovagal syndrome when I was 17 years old and have struggled with fainting issues since before then.  Here is what happens.  The vagal nerve is part of the autonomic nervous system.  When adrenaline gets your system hopping, the vagal nerve sends a pulse that calms things down. Sometimes, however, the impulse is overly reactive and slows everything down so much that you faint.  

Other times the issue is a result of lowered blood pressure.  Sitting in a certain position for a long period of time can bring on a fainting spell, as it can allow the blood in your legs to "pool."  By not exercising the muscles in your legs, the veinous blood has a harder time returning to your "trunk" and therefore collects in your lower extremities.  This results in a decreased blood flow through your heart, and allows for a very low blood pressure.  The low blood pressure causes a lesser amount of oxygen rich blood to reach your brain, and can cause a faint.  Once in a supine (laying) position, your blood travels more easily and restores a normal flow...then you recover.  

One way to diagnose these issues is to put a patient on a tilt table at a 45 degree angle.  You just stand there for awhile, and your BP will drop...you pass out, and the doctor can observe your body's reaction to the situation.  In my case my heart rate drops to about 13 beats per minute...scary.  But upon fainting returns to normal rhythm.  Once the docs observe this though, they tend to take you a bit more seriously :-).

Sometimes the treatment is as simple as taking salt tablets to increase blood pressure.  Other times, you need to take some medication that will help.

I would definately get a second opinion (a new cardiologist) and request a tilt table test to observe your physiologic reaction during the fainting spell.  It is a manageable condition, but an understanding cardiologist is key to dealing with it appropriately.

Let me know if you want more information.
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Avatar_n_tn
you know rather if he is right or he is wrong I hate doctors that treat you like that becuase then there is no trust if you think he doesnt take you serious Id get a new doc and a second opion and ask the next doctor about Florinef for the faiting and dizziness and see if it helps you its very safe low to no sideffects and worth trying it ups your blood volums and keeps you from feeling dizzy and passing out. how is your blood pressure when going from sitting to standing? and you also need a tilt table test and if hes not willing to do this test you need to find someone who is!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi I started fainting and being sick at same time in Nov 05 just now and again but SVT's as well.  One doc said Heart Block another said epilepsy. I went down Neuro route and then renal and then back to cardiac. I was fine on the tilt table, normal echo, treadmil normal, as at the time it was ok again. Then started fainting 3-6 times a week sometimes a couple of times a day then fine again. Had swollen legs, ankles and feet. Then saw new Cardiologist and diagnosed 2nd degree AV Bloc type II, right bundle branch block and needed dual pacemaker have had pm now three months am a lot better but still dizzy and lightheaded most days not fainted again, almost but not quite.   I think you just have to keep on going and insisting you are not well or as you were.  It took me nearly 2 years to get right diagnosis.  I had never been ill before and just would not be taken seriously until I thought I was going to die.  It is embarrasing and you feel stupid but I feel for you and hope you get on ok.  Best Wishes
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi I started fainting and being sick at same time in Nov 05 just now and again but SVT's as well.  One doc said Heart Block another said epilepsy. I went down Neuro route and then renal and then back to cardiac. I was fine on the tilt table, normal echo, treadmil normal, as at the time it was ok again. Then started fainting 3-6 times a week sometimes a couple of times a day then fine again. Had swollen legs, ankles and feet. Then saw new Cardiologist and diagnosed 2nd degree AV Bloc type II, right bundle branch block and needed dual pacemaker have had pm now three months am a lot better but still dizzy and lightheaded most days not fainted again, almost but not quite.   I think you just have to keep on going and insisting you are not well or as you were.  It took me nearly 2 years to get right diagnosis.  I had never been ill before and just would not be taken seriously until I thought I was going to die.  It is embarrasing and you feel stupid but I feel for you and hope you get on ok.  Best Wishes
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