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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.