Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: Vasovagal reaction

From: John L
Date: 4/19/00
Time: 11:18:24 AM
Remote Name:


You should really discuss it with your doctor who may be able to explain your situation better, being fully aware of the circumstances. This is how I see my situation from what my doctor and specialist have explained to me (and I could have misinterpreted what they were saying)

My episodes occur generally after eating certain foods (deep fried, hard to digest & with coffee) and after a fairly long gap between eating and drinking (six hours)

I feel my heart rate increasing, blood pressure goes up, then I know it will drop and I will pass out. Therefore I will try to lie down first. I get two to three minutes warning.

I am told the stomach draws on the blood supply to action the digestion process. This reduces the blood supply elsewhere and the heart gets the message to increase the flow (up the rate & strength of the beat) The automatic system sends a message that if this continues your heart will be damaged, therefore as a self protection system, it shuts things down. In normal people this does not happen until there is a serious risk (if at all) Our systems send the message too early. In my case this seems very strange in that I consider myself very fit (I am > 50 and participate in multisport events some over 24 hours) I can run/cycle up hills where my heart rate is in the 150-160bpm range for in excess of 10 minutes and I have no adverse reactions, yet when I have an attach, the heart rate is only 80-90bpm.

I do believe that what we have is an over sensitive auto protection system, be it protection from pain (eg Colon distress) from fear (possible sight of blood?) from chemical reaction (smells?) or anything else. I have learned to live with it and try to avoid the circumstances where it may occur. Others are not so fortunate, where blood has to be taken, smells cannot ne avoided, scabs get knocked colons cause problems and all the other symptoms this group suffer.

While there may seem to be alot of us,we are a worldwide forum. This is a relatively rare problem.

I am interested that it seems to have a genetic link in your case. I am not sure in my case although I do know my father did have low blood pressure as do I, and may of this group seem to have this same condition.

Hope this is of some help. Would also like to hear from others as to their interpretation of their episodes.

Kind regards to all good luck

John L

My experience with Vaso-Vagal Episode

From:                Bethlyn Gee


I went to the emergency room twice in one week.I felt as tho I was going to pass out several times. My heart rate was low, my neck and shoulder muscles were tense and sore, I had the headache from hell, I was sweating, sick to my stomach and just could not stay focused.But all my test results were perfect as one doctor told me. I was sent home with painkillers and muscle relaxers still not sure as to what the problem was.One doctor put on my report that I had a vagal episode,I asked what is that? They said to look it up on the internet they really could not explain.Thank you so much for this information, it somewhat eases my mind.I have had an awful lot of stress and tension for quite a while in my life. I want to know more and the treatment for this and maybe a physician in my area that knows about this condition.Please reply back to me a.s.a.p. I have my E-mail and name at the top of the page.Thank-you!

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