Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Article 305

Date: 5/29/00
Time: 11:09:00 AM
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I am a 43 year old female who has had low blood pressure for most of my adult life. During pregancy I have had as low as 70/50. I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since I was a child. I have been to doctor after doctor and have received different diagnosis from each one. I have constant pressure in my chest with a sensation of "Clicking" almost as though I do not have enough pressure to open a valve. I have been said to be depressed, hypoglicemic, to have pvc's, asthmatic. I have taken prozac, ativan, proventil, and beta blockers and I still have this feeling in my chest. I also have shortness of breath when the episodes are strong. THey subside and recurr and seem to be associated with my menstrual cylce. The episodes also have become more severe within the last five years or so. I have just relealized that this may all be associated to my low blood pressure. Can you assist me in finding a doctor who can help me? I am very uncomfortable all the time and need help. I think the feeling of never knowing whether I am going to pass out causes the anxiety and the panic attacks.

Re: Vaso-vagal response

From: Sharon, RN


This is not very uncommon. Pain sometimes causes it, esp. if you have not eaten. The vagus nerve is stimulated, your heart rate falls and your blood pressure falls. You faint because there is not enough blood reaching your brain. If you faint and don't fall to lower your head, you can have a seizure (If you have one, you usually will urinate on yourself). The seizure is your body's way of making you fall to lower your head to get blood to your brain. It doen't mean you have a seizure disorder. Some people are more prone to fainting than others. Also, stimulation of the cervix, like a colposcopy or a cervial biopsy can cause it.

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