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3 episodes Syncope in a Year: Unrelated Causes

Hi everyone, thanks in advance for any responses provided. I am concerned about some fainting that has gone on in the past year, and will be seeing my doctor soon, but would like to see if I can calm my nerves about my symptoms beforehand. I am a 20 year old college women and between last summer and this summer I have experienced 3 fainting spells, all under different conditions. The first two I feel like I have a basic understanding of why they occurred, but will share them anyways as I am concerned that my most recent one has no explanation.

Spell 1: June 2009
Night before I had been celebrating and drinking at a friend's birthday party. I had been outside in the sun that very day, and probably did not have enough water in my system when I began drinking. The next morning, I walked downstairs to get a water bottle, feeling dehydrated, and turned back around shortly after to go back up the stairs. Some point during my climb up the stairs, I lost consciousness. I had hit my head on the stair, gashed my face open, and noticed that I had urinated myself. I was pretty shaken up, and went to the hospital with the friend. I was honest about the drinking and they wrote it off as dehydration.

Spell 2: July 2009
Another night of drinking, but only had three mixed drinks that were not very heavy on alcohol, maybe one shot - one and a half piece. I remember feeling like the alcohol hit me hard, like I had had about twice that amount if not more. By the end of the night I had fallen asleep, and woken up to go to the bathroom. Before I entered the bathroom, I lost conciousness. I woke up to a friend standing over me asking if I was alright. Again I had urinated myself. The next morning the friend told me it looked like I had a seizure. I wrote it off as dehydration again, but talked to my doctor about it anyways, and she said if it was only happening with alcohol, that can be assumed to be the cause.

Spell 3: July 2010
No drinking the night before, but had drank 3 days prior. I was ready to walk out the door for work at 8 in the morning, and was talking to my mom at the kitchen table. I had been standing throughout this brief conversation, and went to open the backdoor, when all of a sudden I felt like my stomach had dropped (like on a rollercoaster) and I felt not only lightheaded, but light all over my body. I walked towards a chair to sit down, but before I made it, I fell to the ground. I woke to my mom calling 911. She said I had crumpled to the ground, no seizure activity, but my eyes rolled to the back of my head, and i had very shallow breathing. She said my coloring went from pale to red. The doctors did routine testing, and found nothing wrong with my blood, urine, breathing, or heartrate. The ER doctor wrote it off as basic fainting.

I am most concerned with spell 3, as it happened out of nowhere. Also, I am wondering if the three spells could be linked in any way? Should I be worried about the possible previous seizure activity?

3 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
What you have could be due to TIA or transient ischemic attack which is a mini stroke that happens when the blood supply to brain is temporarily cut off. The episodes last for a maximum of 24 hours and then resolve or a new symptom starts. Again this can be due to low oxygen supply to brain where the blood supply to brain is temporarily cut off generally due to a spasm of the arteries, or a clot or high blood pressure causing micro leaks in the brain.
The symptoms include temporary loss of sensation in any part of the body, black outs, vision loss, tingling, loss of function of a limb etc. It is common in people with high blood pressure, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and high cholesterol.
Generally this can happen several times before an actual stroke happens. This is a warning sign for the body. If you have such episodes, then you must get them evaluated immediately.
These could also be alcohol related seizures. You must consult a neurologist as soon as possible.
What you suffer from could also be a vasovagal syncope or a vasovagal attack. The complex group of symptoms are mediated by the vagus nerve. This nerve is irritated by prolonged standing, standing up suddenly, stress, pain, hunger, dehydration, intense emotion etc.  A tilt table test, holter monitor, echocardiogram etc are done for confirmed diagnosis. Discuss this with your doctor.
Hope this helps. Take care!
Avatar universal
I would definitely have an EEG done to see about seizure activity.  I have had a seizure disorder for the last 26 years.  Most of the time mine were absence seizures.  Unless people knew what they were looking for, they had no clue that I was having a seizure.
1378214 tn?1278967116
Most probably you are having seizures. You might be having complex partial seizures. Do you have automatism?(Automatisms are nonpurposeful, stereotyped, and repetitive behaviors that commonly accompany complex partial seizures (they define automotor seizures in the semiologic classification). The behavior is inappropriate for the situation. Patients are usually amnestic to their automatisms). You might be suffering from absence seizures. Do you have a family history of seizures or epilepsy? There is a chance that it wasn't seizure you were having but simple fainting. The most important cause of fainting is the abnormal activation of vagus nerve, which leads to the impariment of the blood supply to the brain. Are you taking some diuretics, hyponatremia can also cause fainting. You might simply be dehydrated. But I think you are most probably having seizures because the syptom of loose bladder strongly points towards seizures. Electoencephalography will help to do the right classification. Get EEG done and your doctor will treat you based on the results.
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