I have a strange situation that has been unresolved by GPs, cardiac specialists,
neurologists, and pathologists for almost ten years.
When I was about 15, I passed out on the football field during after-
school band practice. Every day, while standing completely still,
I continued to pass out. The heat was not too bad, though everyone was
sweating. My parents passed it off to heat exhaustion and took me out
for a few weeks. When I went back, it came back, and I continued to pass
out after standing still for a few minutes.
Finally, they took me to the hospital for some tests to see what the
problem was. They ran the following tests on me over the next few
weeks, and all were declared normal:
Sleep Deprived EEG
Regular Glucose Test
Fasting Glucose Test
Two years later, I became pregnant. I noticed during the entire term
of the pregnancy that my heart rate would become elevated for long periods
of time, causing me to become dizzy and sometimes pass out. At this point
my OBGYN ran another glucose test, which was normal. He said I was anemic
but it wasn't related to my problem. He referred me to a cardiologist,
who then ran an EKG and an ECG, as well as a 24-hour holter monitor. When
the results came back, he said there was definitely an increased rate of
heartbeat but that it wasn't my heart that was the problem. Again, I
was back at square one.
A few years later, I went back to my GP for another opinion. He took my
blood pressure, which was the same while laying down, sitting up,
and standing up, though the heart rate was markedly increased while standing
up. He couldn't explain the probem, prescribed beta-blockers, and they
seemed to help. However, when I went back for a re-eval a year later to
get another prescription, the condition was gone, and he couldn't
re-prescribe it again.
Here are the symptoms:
When I'm standing still for more than a few moments (ex. standing in a check-out
line) my heart rate increases to anywhere from 120 to 180 and stays there until
I either pass out or sit down. When I'm sitting down, it can run anywhere
from 100-140, and when laying down is around normal (70-90). My blood
pressure remains the same no matter what position I'm in. This condition
appears sporadically; it's not a constant every-day thing. It comes and
goes seemingly at random; the majority of the time I am under stress but
not always. It comes in periods of a few months and then goes away again.
Beta blockers seem to help. (I was on Lopressor 50 mg twice a day to control
It seems to be aggravated by heat but is not dependent on heat to occur. It
occurs when I'm fully rested or completely exhausted. It doesn't appear
to occur any more intensely after eating. Caffeine and nicotine intensify
the effect but stopping the intake of them have not stopped the problem.
I've looked for resources for an explanation but have come up drastically
short. Every doctor has been baffled and no one seems to know why I have
this problem. Since it's sporadic, I never know if it's going to be happening
when it's time for a new prescription. Help!!