Vaso-Vagal Discussion

[ Home | Contents | Search | Post | Reply | Next | Previous | Up ]


From: Liz
Date: 6/17/01
Time: 5:40:16 PM
Remote Name:


I can’t express how reassuring it is to finally know what was wrong with me. My symptoms indicate a text-book case of vaso-vagal syncope, but I only found this out a couple of days ago. It is so good to finally have answers!

I am 19 and have been fainting for a few years now. The worst part is, that it tends to happen when I’m out at clubs/parties/concerts because I’m standing up for so long in a hot environment. I cannot even count the times I have had to explain to people that I am not on drugs or drunk, I just faint when I get hot! I have been kicked out of numerous clubs/parties – quite an embarrassment.

My most recent episode was the one that made me get up and finally see a doctor about it. I was at a nightclub, it was only early and we’d only been there about 15 mins so I hadn’t had anything to drink. I started to feel funny, and I was so used to fainting that I managed to say to my best friend “the thing’s happening” (that’s what we call it!) and I ran for the door. Very stupid move, but all I knew was that I faint when I get hot, so I wanted to be outside. I started losing it mid-run. I lost my sense of direction and was running into the walls (VERY drunk looking) and I couldn’t hear or see. I woke up a few minutes later in a cold sweat with 2 police standing over me. I had fainted at the top of a huge staircase, and had a fat lip and swollen tongue from landing on my face. That was 3 weeks ago…and now I finally know.

My doc was so surprised about how much my symptoms were so standard. Apparently fainting in church is a common problem (and I’ve done that a couple of times too). I have 3 triggers that make me faint – standing or sitting for too long in a hot environment, and the sight of blood. Does everyone have these same triggers? What are others? Pain, I guess?

Anyway, I’ve written too much. I wanted to share my experience just to give something back, because reading about everyone else is so comforting. It really is.

Just one more question: my doctor didn’t suggest a tilt-table test because he was certain I have vv. He did an ECG and ultrasound and I wore a heart monitor for 24 hours. I’ve been told to just lie down if I feel an episode coming on, and to have lots of salt and water. Is a tilt-table test really necessary? Should I get a second opinion?


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