Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: Vaso-wacko ???

From: Catherine
Date: 11/28/99
Time: 6:36:01 PM
Remote Name:


I was recently diagnosed with vaso-vagal syndrome. My first fainting spell occurred in church when I was 16 (I am now 49). I did not think much of the event for many years until quite recently. During the summer of 1997, I experienced a violent episode--diarrhea, vomiting, profuse perspiration, trembling, general weakness--while touring Egypt; the temperature was 125 degrees and I was obviously dehydrated. I was puzzled that, among a group of about 70, I was the only one who became so ill. On occasion, I feel faint when standing up too quickly from a kneeling position (e.g., while gardening or searching the lowest library shelves). On June 1, I underwent major surgery (intestinal) and felt wonderfully fine during the 5 or 6 days immediately following the procedure. Quite unexpectedly, however, one evening about a week after the procedure I was overcome with intense abdominal cramps. I tried taking a walk outdoors to work off the pain, but vomited--the first of 23 episodes in a 12-hour period. The abdominal pain did not subside, and I began to feel clammy and shaky. I was readmitted to the hospital for 5 days. Diagnosis: dehydration. In a seemingly unrelated set of circumstances, I underwent various tests (30-day Holter monitor, treadmill stress test, series of EKGs, and finally tilt-table test) for an irregular heartbeat. My normal blood pressure reading was 90/60. I now learn that I have the very condition that so many of you have described. I am not affected by the sight of blood except that I felt terribly weak while watching Braveheart. I take Pro-Amatine (5 mg bid). My doctor tells me that I am more likely than the average person to grow dehydrated and so must take measures to prevent the condition. He recommends that I take salt tablets--where do I find them???--and that I also drink sports beverages.

pre attack warning signs

From: Blanche


I am a 41yr.old female smoker just diagnosed with veso vegal. I have had two episodes and prior to each of them I had a sudden feeling of exhaustion then I felt dizzy then my head started spinning the next thing I knew I was being picked up off the ground/concrete. This all happened in a three minute time frame. Does anybody else have prior warning signals or do they just pass out?

Re: vaso vagal response (and fear)

From: Lisa M.


Fear is not a factor for me, and it doesnt seem to be for most of the people posting. Although I must admit, I am somewhat trepidatious when I know I have to get a shot or some other invasive procedure nowadays, but that is because I know I might have the (somewhat embarrassing) reaction.

As a teen, I was ill with mono and hep and had plenty of blood drawn, blood gas, shots, etc. I have never had a fear of needles- it was only a few years ago, at around 28 yrs, that I started fainting during these things and also when I am sick. The "control your fear" idea may be helpful to some, but it is a dangerous assumption which keeps many people (esp. women) going to doctor after doctor who says "it's all in your head."

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