Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: Vaso Vagal Episode

From: Matha
Date: 3/24/00
Time: 5:49:38 AM
Remote Name:


Dear Paula, I have almost the same problem you do. all of a sudden I will get so shaky I want to cry and can hardly stand up. I don't feel the urge to have a bowel movement but I have learned from experience that if I go to the bathroom and try to have a bm the whole episode starts to get worse within seconds. Just as I finish, I am almost out cold, I have to hit the bathroom floor, the sweat is pouring off me, I am shaking with cold, my vision is blurred and my ears are ringing. Sometimes I pass out and sometimes I just wish I could because it's so awful. Within 10 to 15 minutes of lying on the floor and cooling off I'm OK. I had a sigmoidextomy (not sure of spelling) recently and by God, the same thing happened when the tube went around a bend in the colon. My bloodpressure went through the floor, it's low any way' and my pulse dropped to around 40. As soon as he backed off the tube I started to come out of it but it still took about 10 minutes for me to feel normal. I always thought I was crazy and had not said anything about this for the past 20 years, some smart apple would only tell me it all in my head. My doctor just said that it's a vaso vagal response and something to to with blood pressure. Now that I have found this forum and your letter I am going to go after an explanation. I do suffer from panic disorder but these episodes are not anything like the vaso episodes. Good Luck to both of us.

Vaso vagal

From: Lynn - Springfield, IL


I first started fainting when I was 12 yrs old. My first episode occurred when I was curling my hair (standing for a long period of time) I had about 1 episode a year after that. My mom said that she had the same problem when she was younger and so did her mother. The doctors had no answer for me even after I went to the emergency room after I split my head open from fainting and had to have 15 stitches. Finally, I found a doctor that diagnosed me with VV when I was 23. I always had symptoms that would warn me to sit down before I passed out....stomach pain, ringing in the ears, cold sweats, etc. However, if I was sick with a cold or the flu, I never seemed to have enough warning and boom...on the floor I went. Now I'm 31 and this year I have already had 3 episodes and it seems like I'm having more health problems. A few weeks ago I went to the emergency room for chest pains, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears (which is constant now, btw), and dizziness. I explained to the physician that I have been diagnosed with VV, he seemed less than concerned about that, and told me that I was having an anxiety attack and I needed to learn how to control my stress level, gave me a prescription for Xanex and he refered me to mental health. If I wasn't so humiliated by his lecture to me on how to get my life in order, I would have stayed and insisted on some more tests (which, btw, all he did was check my heart rate). My rage as this man had made my symptoms worse and I thought I would be better off to just get out of there. Yes, I do have a lot of extra stress this year, which I am sure is the contributing factor to my more frequent episodes, but I've been under very heavy stress before and I haven't had as severe of symptoms or episodes. Does stress seem to be the mitigating factor in most people's episodes? Does anyone else have constant ringing in their ears? I can't seem to concentrate on anything and I find my memory isn't anywhere what it used to be. Is this from VV or am I just falling apart?

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