Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vagal Discussions

From: Christine F
Date: 6/29/01
Time: 2:22:04 PM
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I was so glad to stumble upon these postings! I'm 23 years old and had my first "vagal reaction" this May on my birthday. I had no idea what was happening to me and unfortunately was in my car driving to get gas during my lunch break. I thought I might be dying as strong, almost fuzzy current or wave of sensations rushed through my body. This started at my head with the feeling that my eyes were swelling which at first made me think I was having some sort of allergic reaction. I then had an extremely strong urge to vomit and release my bowels simultaneously (fortunately I did neither). The heart palpitations were what scared me the most. I was struggling with passing out as I turned my car around and pulled back into the parking lot at work. I got myself back into the office where I coworker ran to get an ice pack for the back of my neck she said I was looking extremely pale. I felt extremely weak and felt like I had no control of my body. My skin went from burning to becoming cold and getting the chills. Of course the next available doctor couldn't see me until much later (almost several hours) and she diagnosed it as a vagal reaction. She said that there is a massive rush of histamine released the the body causing a drop in blood pressure and heart palpitaions/nausea. She wasn't too concerned or sympathic and told me there was no way to find out what caused it and nothing I could do to prevent it. I was so exausted I went to bed at 7:30 and when I woke up the next morning it was like my body was "hung over". I chalked up the whole experience as a freaky one time thing. However, to my surprise (a very unpleasant one) this week on June 27th I had another "episode" while sitting at home alone on the couch around 9:30 in the evening. It wasn't nearly as severe as the first one. I think because I was relaxing on the couch and I realized what was happening as it started. This one was a little different too, because it started with almost an acid, sour stomach feeling and I was about to go get some tums when the dreaded "fuzzy wave" passed through and the awful heart palpitations and breathlessness. After I recovered I called my husband and then the 24hr "ask a nurse" line at the local hospital to get all the info I possibly could on this vagal business. I find this so frustrating because after these "episodes" you recover to normal so there is no real need to rush to the doctors. Yet, they are very uncomfortable and scary and I don't like not knowing why they are happening. I'm also worried that the doctor is going to think I'm a hypochondriac. I spoke to my doctor's nurse the day after the 2nd one happened and she suggested I make an apt. for a routine physical to discuss this problem with him(of course he's not available until mid september). In the meantime I'm just hoping that it won't happen again. Some things about me that might relate to others and possibly this whole vagal thing... I suffered from severe childhood asthma and allergies. have grown out of all of that respitory stuff but still get skin allergies(hives, rashes)occasionally. I was diagnosed with allergic conjunctivitis several days before my second "episode". I also had extremely painful cramps with vomiting and diarrhea from menstrual periods from approx 12yrs through highschool. I took Anaprox to solve that problem and going on the pill at 18yrs stopped all of that completely. Please reply! I am looking forward to comments and/or advice. Thanks!

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