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Frequent Light-Headed Spells
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Frequent Light-Headed Spells

Over the last few years I experienced light-headed episodes, rare and mild (barely noticeable).

Went to doctor, blood pressure (150's / 90's) and cholesterol (275) "high", so put me on Avapro and Zocor.  I started GNC recommended naturals (CoQ10, Lecithin and fish oil).  Started regular exercise and better diet program.  Seem to recall a few mild episodes while on meds.  

Forgot my meds when on a cruise, but BP stayed normal (120-130's / 70-80's).  Decided to stay off medication, but monitor my own BP and cholesterol regulary, which remain normal.  Cholesterol dropped to around 160ish and even lower.

Now, over the last few weeks (about a week after the cruise), I experience these light-headed episodes once or twice a day.  Most are mild (barely noticeable) with an occasional stronger episode (fighting to stay conscious).  Was planning another doctor appointment this week.

However, yesterday, experienced the worst episode yet.  Sweating profusley, fighting VERY hard to stay conscious, brief (few minutes) feeling of numbness/tingling in my forearms and hands.  Firefighter noted vitals were normal, but flucuating, and suggested I go to the ER immediately.

ER did blood work, cat scan (both negative), IV (fluids) and EKG/BP monitoring.  Doctor attributed it to high blood-pressure (154/94 max) and to re-start my medication.

Is this blood pressure normally high enough to cause such a severe episode?  I think the BP may be an effect, not the cause.

What othet tests should I be getting?

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Typically patients don't become symptomatic with BP 150/90s, especially if that's what you had to start with before treatment was initiated. Fluctuations in BP on the other hand can cause symptoms like this. Avapro also is well known to cause headaches. If you were hyperventilating, that can cause the numbness and tingling in your hands. Glad the bloodwork was negative (hope they did a complete blood count as well as electrolyte testing). With your history of cholesterol and high blood pressure, you are at risk of coronary artery disease. Consider getting your heart checked out either with a stress test with echo or a cardiac cath. 24 hr monitoring with EKG to make sure you don't have a rhythm problem is also a consideration. Blood sugar is also important as too low or too high of a level can cause a similar reaction. Talk to your primary care doc about these symptoms. If they don't agree, consider a second opinion. Good luck.
16 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, curious.

My right-arm usually reads 15 points higher (systolic), but seen 30 points higher the other day.

My doctor didn't seem concerned about this, or even respond for that matter.  He said a 10 or so difference is normal, and left it at that.

Readings at home seem normal 90% of the time or more, but every time I go to the doctor they are high.  How should I approach this discrepancy.  Obviously, the doctor goes by what he sees, and not what I report.

Also, on a related cholesterol topic.  How much, and quickly, can total cholesterol readings fluctuate?  How accurate are home cholesterol test kits?  I use CholesTrak.

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have light-headed issues.  I have had them for the past 18 months.  I have seen an ear/nose/throat specialist for ear tests, balance tests, an MRI on my head, a hearing test and various others from him.  I have also seen my general practitioner who did blood work, ran an EKG, and conducted a full physical.  I've had my eyes examined too.  All tests proved nothing wrong yet I sit here with the problem.  The docs and I ruled stress as the culprit.  I'm not stressed right now nor have been for awhile and the light-headed issue remains.  It's basically a feeling of off-kilter with no spinning.  Could it be allergies?  I've run out ideas and would appreciate any suggestions.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have both stomach and light-headed issues (related).  I have been to a gastro doctor and have had an upper GI done with no success in actually diagnosing what is wrong with me.  I have been on Prevacid for almost 2 years now.  I do have acid reflux, but do not generally get the "burning" in my chest.  I have a constant feeling of nausea along with the feeling that everything I eat is stuck in my throat (like I want to gag).  This feeling is often combined with a light-headed dizzy feeling and shakiness (like I might pass out).  Any ideas on what is causing this and what I can do to stop it?

Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
I have both stomach and light-headed issues (related).  I have been to a gastro doctor and have had an upper GI done with no success in actually diagnosing what is wrong with me.  I have been on Prevacid for almost 2 years now.  I do have acid reflux, but do not generally get the "burning" in my chest.  I have a constant feeling of nausea along with the feeling that everything I eat is stuck in my throat (like I want to gag).  This feeling is often combined with a light-headed dizzy feeling and shakiness (like I might pass out).  

Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to see there is somebody else has same problem as mine.
I have Gerd and I also feel lightheaded and dizzy.
Doctor said light-headed has nothing to do with Gerd, that may be my anxiety. But I don't think so.

What do you think Gerd and light-headed are related?


Thanks

Xiaowei
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to see there is somebody else has same problem as mine.
I have Gerd and I also feel lightheaded and dizzy.
Doctor said light-headed has nothing to do with Gerd, that may be my anxiety. But I don't think so.

What do you think Gerd and light-headed are related?


Thanks

Xiaowei
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been under alot of stress lately, closing down a busines and going thru a divorce and faxing a very large financial demise.
I am experiencing light headed spells to where I think I might pass out.
I eat okay and have never had high blood pressure.. Just real
depressed lately due to everythng..  What could I be experiencing and what should I do?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been under alot of stress lately, closing down a busines and going thru a divorce and faxing a very large financial demise.
I am experiencing light headed spells to where I think I might pass out.
I eat okay and have never had high blood pressure.. Just real
depressed lately due to everythng..  What could I be experiencing and what should I do?
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Avatar_n_tn
wow I really felt terrible today. I have never felt like this before. I went to work and about an hour after I got to work, I was walking and I felt very lightheaded and dizzy. It was almost like I had a mini blackout. I fell sideway's into a table and then caught myself. I closed my eyes for a minute then stood up and continued walking. I felt wobbly. It happened several times throughout the day. I still feel the same way tonight. My blood pressure has alway's been low. I get it checked often and never have had a problem with it being high. I drink a lot of coffee, but alway's have. I also am a smoker of about a pack and a half a day. I did nothing different today but have this horrible feeling. My pupils are very glossy and large. I did have a flu shot last Thursday, but had no problems until this morning. Any ideas what this might be? I dont have any insurance so I am holding off on going to a doctor. Should I be worried?? Or is it nothing and might pass? HELP Please!
Thanks, Becca
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Avatar_n_tn
wow I really felt terrible today. I have never felt like this before. I went to work and about an hour after I got to work, I was walking and I felt very lightheaded and dizzy. It was almost like I had a mini blackout. I fell sideway's into a table and then caught myself. I closed my eyes for a minute then stood up and continued walking. I felt wobbly. It happened several times throughout the day. I still feel the same way tonight. My blood pressure has alway's been low. I get it checked often and never have had a problem with it being high. I drink a lot of coffee, but alway's have. I also am a smoker of about a pack and a half a day. I did nothing different today but have this horrible feeling. My pupils are very glossy and large. I did have a flu shot last Thursday, but had no problems until this morning. Any ideas what this might be? I dont have any insurance so I am holding off on going to a doctor. Should I be worried?? Or is it nothing and might pass? HELP Please!
Thanks, Becca
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Avatar_n_tn
Becca

I'm sympathetic toward your fears. I have had very similar experience to what you describe.  The first bad incident occurred back in April.  This was followed by several months of fatigue and just when I was starting to feel better, another incident happened.  It's also to be said that no two people are the same!

My blood pressure had always been low but when I was tested after the April episode, it was high 140/90.  I smoke 5 or 6 cigs a day, 1 coffee and do not drink.  My doctor placed me on Avapro.  My cholesterol and glucose levels are fine.  I've been on the doctor, specialist, Naturopath merrygoround for seven months now and cannot get an answer.  I had a sinus operation (on recommendation), which may have fixed my nose but did nothing for the lightheadedness.  My problem seems to that when explaining the "nearly passing out" episode to the Neurologist, I wasn't able to articulate in the manner he expected - ie. ME "I nearly passed out" HIM "How did you nearly pass out" ME "I felt like I was going to loose consciousness" HIM "How - give me details"   You probably get the idea, the circular conversation continued for about fifteen minutes without me being given the opportunity to explain how I felt afterward (and since).  

I have booked myself into a sleep clinic to test for sleep apnea (I know that I don't snore but I am overweight).  I'd also welcome any comments!


Rgs

S

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Avatar_n_tn
O sure I have light-headed spells too. I had EKG's as well but my heart is fine. But I can tell you stress is a very nasty thing.

Im 19 years of age and I always thought I handled stress well by not confronting most of my problems or by taking the route that seemed to have the least conflict.

It is true, you cannot ignore stress forever. You may think you are not stressed by not facing it but you truly are. Most stress patients say that they are not stressed, and of course those are the ones that happen to be the most stressed out of everybody.

I went through many times when I had very bad light headed spells. Shortness of breath, dizziness, and loss of sight. Its called a panic attack. Light headedness is just of course the warning its about to happen. When you are stressed, you start to breath a different way, sometimes cutting off oxygen to your blood and brain causing exphixeation. When Im very stressed I have to breath through my mouth and somehow steady out my breathing.

Its just when you hit a certain age you become more prone to panic attacks from stress. And Un fortunately teenagers have more stress then anyone these days.
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Avatar_n_tn
This post is directed to kdemarte.  I believe I know what you are talking about.  Although I have not had this feeling as long as you have, I have been experiencing light-headed feelings for that past week now.  I thought the feeling was due to a cold I have.  I went to get medicine for the cold and the nurse looked in my ears and told me that my ears were full of wax, and she thought that was the reason for my light-headed feeling.  I took cold medicine and drops to soften the wax and returned to the nurse 3 days later to get my ears flushed.  I did not notice any difference in my feelings at all!!  It got so bad that the next day I went to the emergency room to see if they could help me!!  I got a CT scan, ekg, blood work, urinalysis, everything and they said my tests were fine and gave me medicine called Meclizine for my light-headed feeling.  I have been taking this medicine for about 3 days and I still see no change in my all day, 24 hour light-headed feeling. Like you said, i don't feel dizzy or nausius, just light-headed or like you put it "off kilter." The only relief I feel is when I go to sleep.  When I wake up, the feeling is still there and I just don't know what to do.  If you could e-mail me and let me know how you are feeling or coping with this unknown symptom I would appreciate it very, very, very, much!!!  I am to the point where I feel like I should drop out of school because I am so worried about how I am feeling.  If anyone, anyone at all could let me know something about this that would be great.  Thank you very much!!
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Avatar_n_tn
i know im not suposed to post a question here but i do not know how to post questions. sorry  
   i have been experiencing light headedness for 3 weeks now.  for the first time i did g13 marajuana.  i hate drugs and tell every one DO NOT ABUSE DRUGS.  but for the first time i did this.  i felt really weard like  out my mind.  i was blacking out for seconds and seing like bug eyed.  i went to sleep and the next day it was gone.  i was terribly scared and i still am.  i think about it every day almost every minuit.  i think im going to die and i worry about it all the time.  i dont know if my light headedness is like me slowly dieng?  or from the drug.  IT might be just from me worrying so much.  i have a past history of worrying alot and getting like a feeling of  something caught in my troat and i cant breath well.  please help me and please pleas give me your coment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, all.  Some of you seem to have symptoms very close to mine.  About 8 months ago, I had a very bad spell of vertigo, and have been lightheaded ever since then, with almost no exception, though it varies in intensity.  I have had an MRI, blood work, and a full ENT exam, all of which came back negative.  The ENT thinks that these are atypical migraines, and gave me beta blockers, which haven't had any effect.  Have any of you found anything that works to decrease the lightheadedness?
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the same symptoms for 4 months ever since I had the flu shot
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