Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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I have spent the past two evenings reading the posts on this site, and I have to thank everyone who has contributed. Since I was 10 (I am 45)I have been treated off and on for low blood sugar. The symptoms are similar for me: weakness, unable to lift my arms,legs, dizzy, visual changes like blurred vision, feeling cold or feeling hot, mental confusion. I experience any or all of these, and my breathing becomes shallow, my heart pounds fast or sometimes slows way down. I don't get a headache, stomache pain, or chest pain. Sometimes my hands get really cold. I am always mentally aware, but sometimes I feel "out of it". I have never passed out. It happens frequently, almost daily sometimes. It seems to come in spurts, having episodes every day, and then I will go for days or a week without any problem. Sometimes when I have to have a BM, I feel rectal pressure, weakness,need to lie down, and yet I have to have a BM so I can't lie down. After a bad episode, I am exhausted, need to sleep, and am cold. I also get cold "for no reason" sometimes, like now I am sitting here, fully clothed, and shivering in my bathrobe. I have found that I get these symptoms when I am nervous, upset, angry, and sometimes for no recognizable reason. Going up and down the stairs does it sometimes, and I have found that if I make sure I breath going up the stairs, it isn't as bad. The heat got me the other day, coupled with doing the stairs several times. We had family over, and ate outside. The grill is in our backyard, which is down a flight of stairs and out the back door. Needless to say, after many trips up the stairs to get back to the kitchen, by blood pressure was quite low, I'm sure, and between that, the humid heat and probably dehydration, I had a really bad episode that night. I have had these so often over the years, my boys (3 of them) just step over me when I am on the floor. As I said, I was told it was my blood sugar, so I taught my family to give me sugar when this occurs. Now I know it was coincidental that I would feel better after eating the sugar. A doctor gave me a machine to check my sugar during these spells, and it is always normal. (85-105) So the past two days, I didn't eat anything during the spell, I just lay down, and the spell passed. Yesterday I lay on my left side, as I was told years ago when I was lightheaded during labor. It seemed to help pretty quickly, although I know (I am a nurse)that keeping your head flat and raising your feet is the best method. I just didn't have the strength to move to my back. Now as crazy as this might sound, it happens frequently after my ex-husband calls me. He always upsets me, so there is that emotional piece in my case. I used to think that the emotional phone call would cause an addrenaline rush (it does) and that would cause my sugar to drop. Not I know that it actually due to a V V. ONce, when I was a kid, I had the stomache pain, went into the bathroom, called my mom in cuz I was scared. I got really hot, ripped off my clothes, and my poor mom stood there with her mouth open, like I was posessed or something. I lay down on the floor, got back up, all moving really fast, almost like I was trying to get away from the heat. Then I had the bm and felt better. Haven't had anything like that heat since. Just to compare notes, I take Prosac for depression (it's fantastic), a thyroid pill for hypothyroid, Toprol XL for palpitations and Protonix for acid reflux. I started on all these meds at various times in my life, and am curious to know if they are familiar to anyone else with V V? I may add to this if I think of something else that might be helpful to anyone. I guess you all know how this website (I found it last night) has made me seems everyone thinks he is the only one to experience this. Thanks again. Oh yea, had an echo cardiogram and stress test years ago which were negative (had it due to the palpitations which aren't related to this). I will not do that tilt table test, it sounds horrible. I now know what I have, I know my triggers, and know that I need to lie down with my feet up to get thru it. Tonight I bought a bottle of Gatoraide to keep by my bed. Also, get out of bed slowly, sitting on the edge of the bed before standing, and take deep breaths when getting up. Oh, and somebody mentioned squeezing your little fingers??? Exactly what do you do? Use one hand to squeeze the little finger of the other hand, and then switch? Jean

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