Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Diagnosed w/ Nuerocardiogenic Syncope

From: Thomas Stewart


Hello There. I was diagnosed w/ Vaso-vagal then N.C.S. a few years ago. Before this everyone said I was just having "panic attacks"- There is no doubt that anxiety and stress are a factor( for me ). The was I deal with it is not w/ drugs or a pacemaker- (both may be great for others ??) Instead I practice midfulness meditation and keep a very healthy life-style. After a tilt-table test it was documented that at times my heart stops when I black out.

The best resource I have found is in the link below. from Heart Care Associates. This gives some basic tips for us to cope. It is 7 pages of helpful insite to what you are all talking about. These are the things my Doctors never told me but are very helpful:

General Measures:

The first step in treating this problem is to increase fluid intake. We cannot stress this enough. Patients who drink fluids regularly throughout the day seem to do better than those who don't take this task seriously.

If low salt intake is an issue, we recommend an increase in the amount of salt for patients to add to their food. For some individuals with mild symptoms, an increased intake of salt and fluids may be all that is needed. Most of those with chronic fatigue syndrome and more severe symptoms require one of several medications in addition to the increased salt and fluid intake. The increased salt and fluid intake continue regardless of which of these medications is added. To be successful, though, the increased salt intake must be accompanied by a sufficient increase in the intake of water and other fluids (minimum of 2 liters of fluid per day). Please contact your physician if you have high blood pressure.

Where practical, avoid circumstances that might bring on symptoms.

Shop at non-peak hours to avoid long lines

Take shorter showers and baths and aim for a cooler water temperature

Avoid saunas, hot tubs, and lying on a hot beach

Avoid standing still for prolonged periods in hot environments, and on very hot days

Flex your leg muscles and shift your weight when you are standing still, or better still, walk around.

Avoid alcohol because it leads to dilation of the veins and arteries, and this can steal blood away from the central circulation

Reduce caffeine intake

Certain postures and physical maneuvers are helpful in raising blood pressure when sitting for a prolonged time, mainly by helping use contraction of the leg muscles to pump blood back to the heart and by compressing the abdomen to reduce the amount of blood that pools in the intestinal circulation. The helpful maneuvers include:

standing with one's legs crossed


standing with one leg on a chair

bending forward from the waist (such as leaning over a shopping cart)

sitting in the knee-chest position

sitting in a low chair

leaning forward with hands on the knees when sitting

elevate the head of the bed slightly by 10-15o, a position that appears to help the body retain fluid at night rather than lose fluid into the urine

waist-high support hose can prevent some of the excessive pooling of blood in the legs (knee-high support socks may not work as well

Exercise is important in regaining the effects that fitness brings in counteracting neurocardiogenic syncope. Because exercise can initially make symptoms worse, it must be done carefully at first. -------------------------

PS: Does anyone know of a good Dr. in the Los Angeles area that has helped them w. VV. ? I welcome a referal...

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