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feeling faint
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feeling faint

for the last week or so i have been feeling really faint and light headed all the time. i havent actually passed out but i have to keep lying down or sitting down because i feel so awful, and i keep thinking im going to pass out. i was abit sick at one point too. iv also been hot and cold, my hands and feet are normally cold but have been extra bad lately and i keep shivering. then i wake up in the morning soaked in sweat. i dont know if thats related to the faintness. its getting really ridiculous because i have to keep sitting down in classes. any ideas?
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15 Comments
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144586_tn?1284669764
Goodness gracious.

Needless to say, you need to visit your faithful trusty family physician for a visit.

You need, what is called in the field a "work-up".  Blood  pressure and heart rate. A full blood panel.  Blah, blah. That will provide a definitive diagnosis.

There are lots of possibilities, but usually this isn't too serious. Don't worry.

In females, anemia, or a low red blood cell count is a common cause. This can be determined by a test called a hematocrit. Humans lose 1/54th of their blood every day.If there is iron deficiciency ortoomuch menstrual bleeding you can get behind the power curve.

Space aliens are also ocasionally involved.

Once in a while, vampires. (Now that's scary! You must remember to wear a garlic necklace - that's in the alternative medicine forum).

Or itcould be dehydration.

If you don't have health care coverage you can register at a clinic or bargain with a physician if you are willing to pay cash. You can also get a substantial discount.
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144586_tn?1284669764
Infections can also cause this kind of presentation.

Mother nature causes the blood vessels to widen, or dilate, in the face of systemic infection. Not always, but sometimes.

This causes an increase in what is called "body capacitance". The "container" in which a given amount of blood is held becom larger. This causes a decrease in blood pressure which causes the light-headedness. Sometimes illness prevents the peripheral vasculature from compensating rapidly when you stand up, which also causes light-headedness.

Drink plenty off fluids (electrolytes such as Gatorade) , get some sunlight every day, and if it persists for another week or you get a fever or it gets significantly worse don't hesitate to see a physician.

Usually these conditions are self-limiting.
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
There are many causes of dizziness, lightheadedness, passing out, blackouts etc. It is difficult to comment without examination. I am just enumerating the possible causes. You can discuss this with your doctor and get yourself examined. Dizziness could be due to postural hypotension (blood pressure falling with change of position), internal ear problems and cervical spondylitis or compression of cervical spinal nerves. All these cause dizziness when you get up from lying down position or when you change position that results in a change in the level of your head. Cervical spondylitis and ear problems also cause dizziness on changing the position of the neck.
Other causes are anemia, claustrophobia, GERD, hypoglycemia or low sugar and some endocrine problems. Endocrine problems, such as an underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism), overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism), adrenal insufficiency (called Addison's disease), low blood sugar levels, and in some cases, diabetes, may lead to hypotension and hence lightheadedness and an off balance feeling.
Since you are sweating a lot anemia, hypoglycemia, low blood pressure or postural hypotension and disorders of thyroid gland should be ruled out first. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!

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Avatar_n_tn
tthanks for your replies. my blood pressure is fine and its not just postural, and i had my thyroid function done only a couple of months back, and although i do get hypogycaemic iv checked that to and its not that. i was anaemic a while back so i did think it could be that again although last time my hair fell out with that and its not really this time. iv booked a docs appt but you know you can never get in and i feel so faint the whole time its hard to do anything. i dont think its an infection or ear problem. i guess i need my bloods doing because thats the only thing the doc can do.

and i hope its not aliens.
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875426_tn?1325532016
My doctor has told me recently that ferritin is the best indicator for iron deficiency.  That is your iron stores, so be sure and ask the doctor for that one!  

I've had everything normal in a CBC in the past with low iron.  It made me more light headed (though I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome which can already do that), made my pulse rate even faster and made me extremely tired!

  Recently, I was iron deficient again.  I sensed I probably was before they retested, because of symptoms.  My RBC flagged low, although I have an old lab book that put me in okay range there for females.  My hemoglobin and hematocrit numbers actually were great, but my iron, while still in normal range, had dropped by over half from the test about three months previous and my ferritin had dipped into the flagged as low category.    

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Avatar_n_tn
yea last time my ferritin level was really low but my fbc-rbc/hb were only just borderline low. i had an fbc done a couple of months ago but judging by that it could have been normal. thing is the checked my iron levels when id finished the iron course to check it had gone back to normal, but then they never checked it again after id been off the treatment for a while. hmm
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875426_tn?1325532016
Time to ask for ferritin testing!
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Avatar_n_tn
my ferratin was normal as were thyroid. only thing to remark was my calcium and creatinine were low. i still keep feeling faint and headaches. its not an infection as wcc was normal.
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875426_tn?1325532016
Please take a look at the dysautonomia forum as a lot of us are dealing with similar issues with lightheadedness, feeling close to fainting.  Some are cold.  I have sweated heavily when sleeping since at least kindergarten.  

I think as doctornee mentioned, you should get your adrenal function checked.  

I've got some info I want to share about low calcium but it's really late here, so I hope to get to it tomorrow.  The only thing my old lab book, A Manual of Laboratory Diagnostic Tests, 2nd edition by Fischbach, mentions can cause a decrease in creatinine is muscular dystrophy and thiazide diuretics.
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875426_tn?1325532016
In the book referenced above, it has a whole flow chart to try to help with diagnosing, though it says it "may not reflect some clinical situations.  The things to rule out are listed as: "Hypoalbuminemia, renal failure," (renal means kidney), "nephrotic syndrome" (symptoms include protein in urine, low blood protein, high cholesterol, swelling & can be fat in the urine also), "hemochromatosis, anticonvulsant therapy, glucocorticoid therapy, parathyroid trauma"   If you have had any of the following tested, let me know the results, because there's more info on this flow chart:
serum magnesium, serum phosphorus, serum c-PTH (parathyroid hormone), Serum 25-(OH) vitamin D, and Serum 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D.
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Avatar_n_tn
well my u's/e's, albumin etc where normal so it wouldnt be those. my calcium level was abit low but my doc said it wasnt low enough to cause symptoms really,, but iv got to have it checked again in a few weeks. thanks ill try that forum.
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875426_tn?1325532016
What do you mean by u's/e's?  Did they not test or are they going to test with your re-testing of calcium, your magnesium, phosphorus, PTH (parathyroid hormone), and vitamin D levels?
And you're welcome!
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Avatar_n_tn
u's and e's, is the basic testing for kidney function-electrolytes.
my calcium was low so they are going to recheck that its gone up again in 8 weeks, they didnt check the others but they wouldnt because my intial kidney function was normal and high phosphate etc are signs of kidney probs. my calciumisnt low or high enough for there to be a PTH problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
i still keep feeling faint though, and my blood pressure was fine before but i checked it last night when i was feeling faint and it had dropped to a diastolic of 60. stupid bp.
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875426_tn?1325532016
I never had heard they look at electrolytes to determine kidney function.  They do look at things like serum creatinine, by which they can determine your glomerular filtration rate and levels of urine protein to see if it is significantly elevated.   Also, your magnesium and vitamin D, I believe, are separate issues from looking at kidney function but are valuable when it comes to absorbing calcium.

Did the doctor tell you your low calcium could not possibly be caused by primary hypoparathyroidism then?  My book (referenced above) says it is "accompanied by elevated phosphorus, decreased calcium, and normal renal funcion" (kidney function).

What does the doctor say about your decreased creatinine?  Does he/she feel there is no need to test for muscular dystrophy?  

Did you get a chance to take a look at the dysautonomia forum on medhelp?
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Dysautonomia-Autonomic-Dysfunction/show/266
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