Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: Vaso Vagal Syncope (neurally mediated syncope)

From: Bethany McClung
Date: 6/4/01
Time: 9:05:36 PM
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As a child, I would faint when I got nervous or saw blood. It was just said that I had a weak stomach. At the ag of 15, I began having intense migraine headaches for the first time. I went through all of the standard tests, etc to try to determine what triggered my migraines. Although the migraines were awful, the fact that I would pass out with them made it worse. I was hospitalized many times and had every test run that you can think of. I was taken out of school and given a tutor because my fainting spells became too frequent. Finallly my GP convinced my parents that my problem was emotional rather than physical and sent me to a therapist. During therapy I learned the technique of biofeedback therapy. Its a long way of saying I learned how to control my breathing whenever I felt like I was going to faint. Many times it worked. Its been 10 years since I first began having migraines. They still come as frequently but I seldom pass out with them anymore. I have learned the early warning signs (blurred vision, sweating, nausia, dizziness). When I feel them coming on, I concentrate on slowly inhaling and exhaling to try to calm myself down. Those are the episodes I can control. I still have a weak stomach. When someone tells a graphic story about an injury or I see a lot of blood, and even sometimes when I am being given a shot, I faint. Those episodes seem to blindside me. I barely have a chance to react. The greatest thing was when I was finally referred to a specialist in New Orleans at the age of 18. He talked to me for a few minutes and gave me the tilt table test. I passed out rather quickly. He knew right away I had vaso vagal syncope. For a few years I was on the betablocker, Kerlone. That really seemed to help. The older I get, I have noticed that my fainting spells are far less frequent. There is hope out there! For so long I was embarassed because I would faint and people would be staring at me when I woke up. Then when the GP told me it was all in my head, everyone thought I was doing it for attention. I was so happy to finally have a name for what was wrong with me! There is hope out there! Learning how to control my breathing has helped me out a great deal! My email is bethanymcclung@hotmail if you have any personal stories to share. Outside of this small forum, no one I have ever met had any idea what I was talking about when I mentioned vaso vagal syncope!

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