Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Are your episodes triggered by pain in your left shoulder/arm/neck?

From: Linda Steinbach
Date: 8/22/00
Time: 2:37:43 PM
Remote Name:


Was just diagnosed with VV Friday night after the second episode in the past 3 months. Both times it was triggered by pain in my left shoulder after reaching for something nearly out of my reach. A rush of nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating so much my clothes were WET, the feeling I was going to faint, and then...gone. The first time I was on an airplane, travelling alone, so I have no idea how long I was out. I came to and headed for the bathroom. I passed out again before I even got the door locked, and had a distinct feeling I was dying. As I came back to consciousness, I was urinating all over myself and the bathroom floor. By this time I was aware enough to really wish I had closed and locked the door. :(

I went to my primary care physician the next week and he ordered the obvious tests (EGG, echocardiagram, cat scan...) all negative. He had no clue.

Then Friday, it all happened again, except I was sitting on a bar stool at a restaurant. I picked up my purse from the floor and hurt my shoulder again (but not too badly this time), mentioned to John that I felt dizzy, and immediately collapsed, head straight toward the bar. Luckily John caught my face just before it struck, or I would have a broken nose now. I was out of it until the paramedics placed me on the stretcher. Then came the gastrointestinal discomfort...I only passed gas this time...and a trip to the hospital. Very low blood pressure, ok EGC...doc nailed the diagnosis right away.

What amazes me is how similar my symptoms and medical history are to others who've posted here. I've always had low blood pressure, Raynaud's (although I didn't know it had a name until I read these postings), have had a few other fainting episodes before (38 years old now).

How many of you are triggered by shoulder/neck pain. How many are left arm/shoulder? Seems to be a considerable number.

aching hands & feet



I am a 52 yr. old female who was diagnosed with VV 3 months ago by a tilt table test. I was really symptomatic for the first 6 weeks after the attack but now am doing better. Staying hydrated & salt tablet. I do have problems with my hands, they just ache for no reason. Occassionally, my feet do too. They feel like I've been jogging on cement with no shoes on. Is this common? Does anyone else experience this?

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