Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vaso-vagal response

From: Kathy Lange, RN


I experienced a severe VV response yesterday and ended up in the ER with severe head pain, extreme SOB, extreme weakness and shakiness, feeling very light-headed to the point of almost passing out. I also had circumoral numbness and numbness/tingling in my L hand.

I felt I was having a stroke or something, I also had some tightness in my chest.

These symptoms all started when I went to the Bathroom at work and had to have a BM, after eating some shredded wheat and some donuts, like one and a half/w/frosing.

FYI- I wasn't constipated, but did have ABD cramps during the BM.That seemed to last a long time. The pain in my head was unbearable, apparently I was extremely pale and about the color of the sheet on the Ambulance stretcher.

All labs and ECG, CXR, UA, etc.came back Negative. Could it have been r/t the sugar in the donuts, I'm usually hypoglycemic.!! Or a wierd response r/t the BM.

It was just a normal BM, however, then with each wave of the BM, the pain in my head seemed "Hooked-up to the BM." It was very weird, and scary. The normal pressure of bearing down for a BM, seemed to trigger the severe pain in my head, which was frontal and at the top of the head.Like someone was smashing me on the head with a heavy mallet.

I'm sure I'm looking at a tilt-test soon, or EEG, or CT scan . Are any/all of these necessary? I'm a good nurse, but a Bad patient...Thanks,

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