Hi. Her symptoms could be cardiac or neurological as well. I've seen very similar symptoms with heart dysryhythmias & seizure activity. But wiith her hx of heart disease, I'm wondering if she had an extensive cardiac work-up. The numbness, shortness of breath, dizziness, hypotension, confusion, chest pain... all seem so familiar to a cardiac "episode" of some kind. Were labs drawn that might indicate a cardiac event? What did the cardiologist think was going on if TIA/stroke was ruled out? What plan of care does he/she have for your neighbor? I'd get on the phone ASAP & ask. And I hope someone is with her @ her appt to advocate for her care. She's very lucky to have someone like you to look out for her. Take care!
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
If stroke, transient ischemic attacks, vasovagal attacks (by tilt table test) etc are all ruled out, then it could be epilepsy, hypoglycemia, adrenal gland problem, hormonal imbalance (PCOD or menopause), or benign intracranial hypertension.
Ask your neighbor to discuss these possibilities with her doctor. Take care!
Let us assume that the problem is due to ischemia (lack of oxygen) to certain areas of the brain secondary to a spasming of the blood vessels. Under certain circumstances these spasms can be conditionable - that is linked to a certain room or person - much as with Pavlov's dog. This would cause momentary neurological symptoms, however as long as the oxygen deficit was not severe there would not be an infarct (death of tissue) to show on an MRI. The most common cause of such spasms is electrolyte deficiency, calcium deficiency, potassium deficiency or magnesium deficiency. The other possibility is she is experiencing a variety of petit mal seizures, which can sometimes be controlled through diet. Do an internet search and a search on Pubmed, the governmental data base. Since the episodes occur on a periodic basis, consider a cirardian link. In other words a link to the inner clock inside every human being. Such problems are sometimes cured by daily exposure to sunlight or a melatonin supplement. Do try to get a neurological consult from another physician.
Thank you all for your responses I spoke with my neighbor she says her Cardiologist has done zero blood work on her at all. Her medical doctor ran bloodwork checking B12 and folic acid only. She is on Lipitor so 3 months ago, before the 'episodes' she had a full blood work up done. Her cardiologist has really done no test on her, other than a heart monitor. I am pushing for her to find a new cardiologist because he just doesn't seem concerned w/her issues and they are making her feel like she is a hypochondriac, but, as I stated earlier I have witnessed one of these episodes. I can tell you that she is continually having dizzy spells between these episodes. Any bending over or anything like that she cannot w/out having them. She is also feeling weak and fatigued contstantly.
Again, I thank you guys so much for the input and if you think of anything else we can use to push her doctors I would greatly appreciate it!
It's kinda surprising to me that she has a history of heart problems, is having symptoms that could cause her harm (like falling!), yet no tests were done except a MRI of her brain. A lot has changed in 3 months; it seems appropriate to repeat a full workup. Have any doctors seen her when she's having these "spells"? Has she gone to the ER during one? There may be $$ issues but if she's still not doing well, have her go be seen WHILE she's having an episode. Clearly the two of you aren't making this up & I get discouraged when I hear that medical professionals have taken her complaints so lightly. She knows her body better than anyone & is entitled to know what her plan of care is w/ her doctor. Keep @ it until you get a reasonable answer! <3
it sound kinda like a panic attack.