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Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Response to vaso vagal

Date: 11/21/99
Time: 1:24:44 PM
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I had my first episode 20 years ago when I was 27. My episosdes have become more frequent as I have aged. I have been having 2-3 per year, when I used to go 2-3 years without having one. It makes me very uncertain about traveling alone, not having someone with me when I go to the bathroom (as this is when I always experience my "episodes". I have seen a cardiologist who thought I might have an overly sensitive carotid artery and did a carotid massage. This did not prove to be the case, however, my BP dropped 10 points when he did the massage. My last episode was Oct. 30 of this year. My husband wanted to call an ambulance, but I knew by the time they got to me I would have come to. I could not do much the next day, and my BP stayed about 70/54 all day. On a normal day it is about 90/62. Like some others, I chill easily, have had some episodes with my menstrual cycle - but mostly in the bathroom. It is like my colon empties all at once, I get weak, sweat profusely, and pass out. Fortunately there has been someone to catch me except once when I passed out in the bathroom at church. I rebounded in about 20 minutes, with some weakness afterwards. It is terribly unnerving at times. My family is afraid I'm going to die during one of these, and they will have to live with the guilt of not doing something. My doctor mentioned a tilt table test, but did not follow through with the order. Has this been helpful in treatment to anyone else? After doing a tilt table test, was there medications, etc that were suggested. Any info would be appreciated.


From: Mike


Everytime I get my blood drawn I faint. Additionally, I get very sick at movies when there are scenes involving blood. I'm 33 years old and have failed to solve this problem. Please help!

vaso-vagal reflex

From: I. Falls, MN


I have recently been told by 2 doctors that I to suffer from vaso-vagal reflex syncope. The first time (March 20, 2002) I fainted I choked on coffee, stood up to cough harder and passed out, fell and slammed my head into the floor. I was out for approx. 15 sec. was bleeding from my nose and taken to hospital by ambulance where CT scan was done of my head and it was normal. I did have a HUGE swollen area on my head, but I was ok. Then on March 29 while coughing due to a bad cold I stood from my recliner and instantly passed out and slammed into 2 wooden steps between the family room and the great room. I suffered a deep gash to my chin requiring 4 deep stitches and 4 outside stitches and cracked ribs. I have been seen by 2 ER doctors and an MD at the local clinic, none of whom have referred me to a specialist when I asked stating instead to train myself to sit down whenever I begin to cough. Well, my wife and I figured that out almost immediately. I understand the vaso-vagal reflex but what has caused this to occur NOW in my life. What else can I do to prevent these episodes from recurring and prevent further injuy to myself?

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


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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