I began having what one doctor referred to as vegal episodes about 6 years ago. Now, everytime I go into the hospital, go to the dentist, etc., go for testing, such as a colonoscopy, I have one of these episodes. The last one was very severe, including plummeting blood pressure and extreme shaking, a hot feeling, and nausea. I was completely unaware of what was happening around me. Is this something to be concerened about? I have no control over them, and I have them even if I don't conciously feel nervous or stressed out. I always tell nurses and doctors about this, because it frightens people who have not seen one, and they think I am dying.
okay, i kn ow about these too. lets see if i can explain it. it is something you can't control as far as i know. for some reason, your body overreacts to what it sees as a threat. instead of just getting a little nervous, your body goes in to a fight or flight mode. meaning: your body gears up for s fight or to get the hell out of dodge. sounds funny but it's true. that's how people pick up cars and stuff when it means life or death for them or someone else. your sympathetic nervous system pulls all of the blood from your internal organs and diverts it to your muscles and brain. digesting the hot dog you ate for lunch is not priority. sounds like a great thing and it is if it works only when you really need it. there is also a system called your parasympathetic nervous system. it counteracts the sympathetic nervous system. it has your guts best interest at heart. while the sympathetic nervous system is taking all of your blood, the parasympathetic nervous system is trying to pull it back it's pulling so hard that when the sympathetic nervous system stops requiring all of your blood and energy and it 'lets go' the blood is sucked forcefully back in to the gut. just like if someone were playing tug of war and one side let go. the parasympathetic nervous system pulls all of the blood back into your gut so hard, it drains the brain of the blood it needs to function. SO, you pass out, and have something similar to a seizure. if the brain has no blood it has no oxygen and can't do anything without it. also, this rush of blood away from your extremities can make your blood pressure plumit for a few minutes. your pulse can drop and the rush of blood back to your stomach can cause you to vomit.so, to summarize, your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems play a 50/50 balancing act if one is taking 75% of their needs, the other one is only left with 25% to work ineffectively with. I have seen many people have vagal episodes like this and it is scary! I am a nurse and it is very important, like rlc3473 said, that you tell people you have this tendency. you should always be lying down when you have procedures done and continue to lie down for 10-15 minutes afterwards. the healthcare provider should have suction and a bucket available in case you vomit. being afraid that you may have another episode may even make it easier for you to have one. i'm not sure how you can control them or even if you can. it sucks, i know, it's like having seizures. you're not in control of your own body. the one good thing is that you know when you're most likely to have one. ever almost get into a car wreck and afterwards your legs are weak and you feel nauseated? this is another example of this fight or flight phenomenon. your legs get weak when the blood is diverted back to your gut and the nausea is from the blood engorging your stomach. the body does amazing things for self preservation. let me know if this is helpful.
yours was the best definition of what I have been experiencing for the past couple of years which has gotten worse since last year when I fell and broke two ribs. I am being treated for high blood pressure which according to what you say could be partially if not completely caused by this. I have vomitted the last two times I was given a hand IV but had no problem with an arm IV. I also sometimes feel nauseus when I have bowel problems. the flight or fright symptoms have bothered me during the night many times. I really felt I was dying when it first started as I had no idea what was causing it. I learned to close my eyes and breathe deeply and it went away after a few minutes. Last week I told my doctor about the nausea before some bowel movements and she mentioned that it sounded like a vagal response. that's when I began researching it on line. I have been under a lot of stress the past few years which according to my research can be a cause. Is there anything short of getting the stress out of my life that can help? I'd sure like to know.
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