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Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Salt Helps Me

From: Bob
Date: 11/6/99
Time: 4:47:32 PM
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Enjoyed reading others experiences. I have had to deal with fainting since teenage years. I learned early on not to get up fast or I may pass out. Stress due to seeing blood and going to the dentist caused me to feel faint during my younger years. I am 61 now. A number of times when I had the flu I knew I was going to pas out so I learned to lay down when I felt it coming on so as not to hurt myself due to the fall. During my forties I passed out after eating large amounts of sweets and nothing else. The doctors determined I had hypoglycemia and told me to eat protien every 3 or 4 hours. This seemed to solve the problem. However, I always liked to salt my food. During the 1980's my wife believed those stories about salt being bad for us, so we went on a low salt diet. That is when the passing out problem started again. I started feeling faint in the summertime while in hot weather and when I got the flu. I passed out a number of times while in air conditioning. Like others, I went through many tests at the hospital before they finally gave me the tilt table tests. I passed out on the table and my heart stopped for 15 seconds. I awoke with with many people shaking me and calling my name. That was the first time I heard about vaso vagal syncope. They put me on florinef to control my blood pressure, but I did not like the way it made me feel and a side effect. Knowing I had been on a low salt diet, the doctor allowed me to eat plenty of salt instead of the medication. I have done this for the past 9 years and have had no problems except once when I stopped eating as much salt while dieting and in six months I had another fainting attack. Needless to say, I am back to eating a lot of salt and drinking plenty of water. Eating plenty of salt and drinking plenty of water has worked very well for me. At first I took my blood pressure every day or so to ensure my blood pressure did not get too high. Now I take it every week or so. The doctor said to keep the lower number between 80 and 85. Before we found out the problem, the worse I felt, the more my wife would try to keep salt away from me. That was the time when everyone was saying how BAD salt was for you. Obviously, she was making the problem worse. I believe the medical profession is causing harm to some people when they bad mouth salt with no caution statements about the need for salt. I have never suddenly passed out. I always know it is coming on about one or two minutes before I pass out. As I pass out, I have this terrible aching over my whole body. It is so bad that I want to pass out to stop the ache. I wake up in a cold sweat and in a few minutes I can walk around and continue what I was doing. Since vaso vagal syncope is a blood circulation problem, I wonder if others have the same charteristics as I have. My hands, shoulders and neck are always colder that the rest of my body. Also, my feet are hardly ever cold. Is anyone else like this? The doctors found that I have vaso vagal syncope, but most of the information about it I found on the internet by Johns Hopkins University articles. For instance, if you must stand or sit in one place for a while, flex the muscles in your legs to assist the blood return to your heart and brain. Eat plenty of salt if your blood pressure doesn't go too high and drink plenty of water to sustain your blood pressure. Has anyone else been told to pour on the salt?

The Bridge Pose for vasovagal

From: Heather L.


In the Dec.2002 issue of Yoga magazine on page 103 is a yoga pose called setu bandhs sarvangasana or bridge pose. It says: Opens the chest, stimulates the vasoconstrictor and vasodilator nerves that regulte the closing and opening of the arteries and improves circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet by your buttocks, hip-width apart. With your arms straight, place your hands palms-down on the floor and, one side at a time, roll your upper arms and shoulders toward your midline. Slowly push into the floor with your feet, raising your hips and resting weight on your shoulders. Breathe first into the abdomen and then into the ribs, chest, and shoulders. Breathe out in reverse order. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths then release. I haven't tried this yet as I just found it. I wonder if this is something that will help alleviate any symptoms over time.If anyone tries let me know.


On Sabbatical!

When my office lease expired at the end of 2004, I decided to turn it into a "sabbatical" from my private practice. Many years ago, in my grandfather's 89th year of life, he told me, "John, it is important to smell the roses while you can still smell them." His life gave living a very good reputation. It is also true that the pursuit of that philosophy required my grandfather to to re-open his assay office/ore market in Wickenburg, Arizona as a 75-year-old because he had run a little short of retirement money. Thus, if blessed with his luck and health, I'll be back.. --jjh

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