Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: Fainting

From: Julie Porter


I've been fainting since the age of 15, frequently in the middle of the night or restaurants.

In my diagnosis, I went to a cardiologist first (Sequoia Hospital, Dr. Mead, Redwood City CA).

My EKG was normal, my glucose tolerance was normal. They did a "table tilt test" and I had a 45-second flatline within 2 minutes...dramatic positive result.

They put me on a beta-blocker, which eliminated my symptoms for 5 years, because there is an off-chance this could happen while driving; otherwise, my condition is benign.

I went off the beta blocker a few years ago becuase I've learned enough about how to manage it pretty well. For me, what's worked: 1) Don't be afraid of salt; I have low BP normally and a little salt is a good thing. 2) Regular exercise, to stimulate your body's rythms every day just a little bit and keep me out of "low" periods. 3) Stop drinking caffeine and eating high-sugar foods; there is a "crash" that follows, and my goal is to stabilize my blood sugar and eat protein every meal. When I eat a diet low in processed foods and sugar (get your carbs from fresh veggies, fruits and whole grains), I feel a lot better and have fewer episodes. 4) Get regular sleep. I need at least 8-9 hours a night and have more fainting when I am sleep deprived.

I still have fainting if I'm very sick with the flu or something, and when I break my own rules.

I see a cardiologist every 3 years or so just to check in; all my tests other than the table tilt have been normal.

Good luck!

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