Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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fainting or seizure?

From: Maggie


For 20 years I was told I had epilepsy. I was on dilantin for 10 years, which only seemed to make it worse so I finally stopped taking it. My neurologist just sent me to a cardiologist and he's sure I'm fainting. Anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours before I pass out I get a prodrome of: nausea (comes in waves), hot flashes, anxiousness, sweating, tight chested (feeling like I have to take deep breath to get enough oxygen,sometimes feels like my hearts racing a little, a little dizzy, turn white as a sheet... then I pass out. I come too fairly quickly, but then I am usually sick to my stomach, even throwing up, sometimes for hours afterwards. There is no mental confusion as there might be with seizure. While I'm out there is sometimes a little twitching, and once there was I got very stiff and arched my back, but never any true convulsions, and most of the time there is little or no movement. The length of prodrome (sometimes 2 hours or more) really makes me wonder what's going on. Both a seizure's aura or a fainting prodrome would typically last only minutes before. I'm thinking it must be something metabolic (or adrenal) that builds up??? Does anyone have any ideas? I'd appreciate any insight anyone has.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007