Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vaso-Vagal Syncope

From: Tommie
Date: 1/7/00
Time: 9:09:22 AM
Remote Name:


I am a 34 year old female who has had fainting spells since I was 13. They always seemed to happen in the morning or late at night. I would have the urge to have a bowel movement. The movement would start out slightly loose and progress to a diarrhea state. It was continuous with no stopping. By the time it was at the diarrhea state, I would get very hot, my arms would get heavy, a ringing/buzzing would begin in my ears, and my vision would start closing in from the side. Most of the time, I was able to lean back on the tank. Sometimes, I did fall forward. I would only be out 5 to 10 seconds. When I regained consciousness, I would be sweating and tingly. I would have to lay down on the floor for a few minutes. Usually within 30 minutes, I was fine. Well, since Thanksgiving of 1999, things have changes. I actually passed out at work. I was out for about 3 minutes, the longest ever. I went to the emergency room. Because of the intestinal cramping that occurs while this is happening, the ER thought I might have gall bladder problems. Yeah right. I have had a MRI, everything is fine. We did a BE. The day prior to the test, I had to do a colon cleanse. I passed out 3 times, one time with my sister present. I found out that while I am out, my eyes stay open and I shake like I am having a seizure. The BE came back fine. Next was a heart monitor. In the mean time, I had read an article from John Hopkins where they refer to vaso-vagal syncope as Neurally Mediated Hypotension. This made since because my average BP is 95/70 there abouts. So we increased my salt. I was already drinking 8 glasses of water a day. In the past month (12-9 to now), I have had many times where I have had diarrhea like bowel movements. Movements that would normally ended in me passing out. But I am not fainting. I get to the line but don't cross over. I have noticed that it now takes 1 to 2 hours to recover from each episode. This past week, I have had about a dozen episodes where I don't pass out. It has even happened when in the car. I felt the need to go to the bathroom but was able to hold it until I found one. No fainting, but I had to lay down. That happened at 6:30AM and I wasn't fine until 11:30 AM. Five hours. I am now going to see a neurologist and see what he says. If anyone has any information for me to look at, I would greatly appreciated it.

Re: Interested in hearing peoples stories about passing out it pu...

From: David Zimmerman


Three years ago I was effected suddenly and without warning, with major dizziness and unbalance while singing with a small group in front of our church. I have been effected ever since when found in the same circumstance. You may also be interested to know that this does not occur during practices. It is only during a live performance when I am more emotionally involved in what I am singing.

I am a retired Director of Human Resources and the fact that I am temporarily in a high visibility spot is not the cause unless something within me changed, like low blood pressure. I normally must manage a day to day high blood pressure situation.

Vaso Vagal?

From: Zach


Thanks to all who have submitted their stories and insights. I just learned of VV today, but seemed to fit the experience I had two days ago.

I'm a 26 year old male in good health. I was having blood taken at the doctors office - I had my hand clenched for quite some time, during which I was looking away trying to distract myself. I felt the prick and thought to myself "that wasn't bad at all". She told me to release my fist and when I did that feeling of not enough blood in my arm spread and overcame my head. The nurse asked me if I was ok and I simply said no. I felt pretty calm, but at the same time, I felt like my body was like a runaway truck, with the uncomfortable euphoria escalating terribly. I could hear her call in more nurses. By this time, I realized that I had lost control of my bladder.

They brought in more people including a doctor who told me to imagine everyone in the room naked. This sounded rediculous to me in my agitated state.

It took me about 10 minutes to recover enough to get into a wheel chair and go to a bed to lie down. Within a few minutes I felt pretty normal. When I apologized for making a mess, they didn't say "that's ok" or anything of the like - even though I was totally unconcious of doing it of course. The conclusion I got from the nurse I had seen earlier was - you're just a big weeny!

So, I guess my question is whether or not Vaso Vagal is definitely psychologically related, or not. I was definitely not that scared in the circumstances, nor at ease. Thanks

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