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Near Fainting Episodes

3 months ago I started experiencing weekly episodes of near fainting/fainting. Usually before I have an episode become very spacy and objects seem to sway. I get a strange tingling in my lips, tongue, toes, and fingers. Then, suddenly it feels like all the blood drains from my head and I get close to blacking out, but before I blackout I get a jolt of adrenaline. I notice that somedays seem cloudy and my body has this uncomfortable aura. I just feel sick and drained. It is on these days that I feel like I'm vunerable to an attack. Once an episode starts it can reoccur for about two to three hours and I've noticed that if I go to sleep I can usually shake the worst of it.

I have numerious blood tests, a 24 hour urinanalysis, thyroid tests, EKGs, an MRI of my head, chest x-ray, and a two-day holter monitor that showed that I had one instance of 170 bpm. However, everything has come back clean. I've been placed on 20mg of Lexapro thinking they were anxiety attacks. Everytime I have an episode I'm sitting calmly not hyperventaliting or stressed. I tried believing it was all in my head and ignored the warning signs of an episode and got knocked on my *** and went to the hospital.

This is becoming a debilitating problem. I can't control whether I will faint at work, watching tv, or driving. I'm convinced its not in my head, and wondering if there were some tests or possible explanations for what is happening?
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Most commonly, fainting occurs because the brain does not get enough oxygen or sugar (glucose). The brain needs oxygen and sugar to function. These vital fuels are carried to the brain by the blood. If the brain does not get enough blood, the brain may not get enough oxygen and sugar, causing fainting. Or if the level of oxygen or sugar in the blood decreases, the brain may not get enough of them. Many disorders interfere with getting enough oxygen and sugar to the brain and thus can cause fainting. A less common reason for fainting is temporary interruption of consciousness by a seizure. Fainting can result from overstimulation of the vagus nerve, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Stimulating the vagus nerve causes the heart rate to slow and blood pressure to fall. This type of fainting is sometimes called a vasovagal attack or vasovagal (neurocardiogenic) syncope. The two large arteries in the front of the neck (carotid arteries)—one on each side—have a specialized area that helps control blood pressure. This area, called the carotid sinus, can become overly sensitive to pressure caused by movements of the neck or by a tight collar. This disorder is called carotid sinus syndrome. In people with this disorder, pressure on the carotid sinus can cause the heart rate to slow dramatically or blood pressure to fall. Fainting can result. For complete information on fainting , please visit the site - http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_ha/sec3/ch20/ch20c.html. Please consult a cardiologist for the management of symptoms . Hope this helps you . Take care and regards !

Hi sir, i am 26 years old female. I had an attack of vasovagal syncope a week back. It was while cooking, as i had to stand for too long in a single place to make chapatis. I had all the symptoms and fell down. Though i had recovered from the event soon, still i have a kind of heaviness in my head. I feel like i may fall again if i stand for even sometime. I don't have any other severe manifestations. I had such events even before during school prayers and anatomy labs. But never i felt this for so long. It had been a week and still i feel something wrong in my head. I have been doing yoga and drinking electrolyte solution. Do you think i can get any better or do i need to visit a specialist. Please suggest me. Should i see a cardiologist or a neuro?
Avatar universal
Two months ago, I developed a very similar problem with some differences.  I generally not always get hot and sweaty with these episodes.  Also, they seem to occur more often in the evening and night time hours but again can happen in the day. I've had an MRI/MRA of the brain and neck (some minor plaque but neurovascular surgeon assurred me it was not coming from that).  All my EKGs were fine.  Had a stress test, an echo and 48 hour Holter that were also okay.  I'm waiting for the results of the 24-hour urine, but I am beside myself.  In 2 months (the worst being the last 1 month), I have become debilitated.  I'm afraid to drive or go anywhere alone. I have to talk myself into getting into the shower.  I have started taking my blood pressure when this happens and it too is okay. I am on thyoid replacement after Grave's disease and iodine ablation many years ago and my last levels showed me to be just a little hyperthyroid so my replacement dose was cut a month ago.  Can't get another level drawn for another 2 weeks. If you've gotten some answers or relief please let me know.  I feel like I will lose my mind if this doesn't stop.
Avatar universal
I recently have started to experience "near fainting episodes" within the last 8 -9 months.At first I thought it was just head rush from getting up too fast from sitting down.On one occasion I stepped off a bus and had an episode and this time my legs had a funny sensation. After visiting my GP he advised that it was vertigo but referred me to a neurologist as well. Months have passed and after having blood tests, heart tests, blood pressure tests and finally a CT scan, i am still having the episodes.They dont happen suddenly. I can actually feel it coming on and it feels like I am going to fall if I dont sit or lean against something.I also lose my hearing during an episode. I am deaf in one ear since birth and no abnormalities have been found in the other. I would like to know if anyone has or is experiencing similar or exactly the same.
893993 tn?1258134911
I've had similar episodes now for the past year or so... they thought I might have MS but my MRI's revealed I have Chiari Malformation Type 1

One of the worst episodes I had was on the bus on the way to work, I was feeling "foggy" since waking up, then on the bus, I got really clammy and nauseous. I must have passed out because we were much further along the route than the last time I looked out the window. I panicked a bit and pulled the cord to get off at the next stop. Immediately after getting off the bus I ended up throwing up while calling my mother to come get me. I was totally disoriented and had no idea whatsoever where I was. Scared the **** out of me.

You could be getting less oxygen to your brain as a result of sleep apnea. My neuro thinks that was a lot to do with my issue. Have you gone for a sleep study? If not I recommend it. (has your neuro checked for any sort of brain malformations such as chiari?) best of luck! please keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Hi Everybody, I have never fainted in my life but i have had 3 near fainting episodes the first time was really scary and interesting. I was on the toilet in the evening time and felt myself getting uneasy and black spots were appearing before my eyes like i had stood up to fast but getting much more frequent and that kind of started a panic feeling that i was going to faint for the first time in my life. But something really weird happened i started to lean forward and i couldent think, i was a conscience but my trail of thought was stuck and couldent move. After what could have been a second or eternity i slowly was able to think and move again. Now i can tell when it happens and there are some similarities in all occurrences like:
Being on the toilet in the evening or night (usually with stomach pain)
Sudden sweat over my entire body (even when its cold)
Black spots appearing in front of my eyes (starts slowly becomes more frequent)
Light headedness (like you have to lean against something or lie down)
And finaly cant move or think (even though im still awake with my eyes open)
Btw im 32 its happend 3 times in the last 8 years or so and i dont think its drug related and to be honest i dont really have a problem with it.
Makes a for a great story.
Avatar universal
I started experiencing near fainting episodes last Aug. I've had heart testing, MRI of my head. I have ended up at the emergency room twice from being so disoriented and can't breathe.   I have them often while driving.  I have had fibromyalogia, anxiety, and depression since menopause, but it has all gotten worse. . I feel like I'm just existing--in a fog most of the time.  And sometimes my depression makes me feel like I'm in a deep dark hole and it scares me.  My doctor took me off Premarin recently because the MRI showed an "ischemic" spot and said now they are saying older women (I'm 62) should not take Pemarin. I've been on it since I was 42, when I went thru menopause.   I'm so discouraged and don't know where my life is headed but my health has gotten to the point of applying for SS, and that's depressing in itself.  I just want some answers.
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