Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Is there any GREAT treatment available? Surgery?

From: Rich Shockey -


I am a 25 year old male-- I was fit in college, but since marriage, that's all going down hill.

I about flipped my gourd the first time I found this website. I have had severe (I mean, i feel like I am really dying), severe fainting spells since I was about 4. The fainting (syncope) usually comes on suddenly, I go totally out (usually after screaming bloody murder in fear - every time), and I wake up very confused, like coming into the world for the first time, but with indescribable misery. I am then weak for hours, sometimes days.

These episodes are usually preceded by intense stomach pain, which usually happens about once a year when I get the 24-48 hour Intestinal Virus (or, stomach-flu, as some call it) that cleans out your system at both ends.

I can identify with everyone who says the cold floor is the best thing next to sliced bread after passing out (and before, too). I can also identify with those of you who have developed secondary problems because of V-V-- I had "episodes" almost every time I went out to eat in high school, presumably an anxiety issue connected with a previous attack at a restaurant.

I just had the Intestinal Virus (it is a dirty word in our household) last week. It came on after lunch on Sunday afternoon (i just happened to eat half a pizza with some family.) By late evening I was vomitting and having diarrhea incessantly. A short time later, I passed out - twice - and both times I woke up out of my sleep to do it. I had never been quite so scared about it, since there were two almost back to back.

So, my wife called the EMS, and I went to the ER, and the quacky Dr. and staff told me that some people are just "dramatic" about there stomach pains. He just doesn't understand the utter misery of losing consciousness like this.

My most important question is in my subject line: Is there any GREAT treatment available? Surgery? What kind of research is being done? Is this handled by Cardiologists? Gastroenterologist? Neurologists? Quacks? (ok, just the ER doctors are quacks). I've tried many "episode management" techniques, but when I've got the Stomach Virus, passing out is inevitable.

I would never ever commit suicide, but I have to admit that during an attack, I do wonder if death would be less pain. I want to end this fear of this pain. Any good treatment out there? Anyone been on anything longer than a couple of years to fix the V-V syncope?

With deep empathy,


P.S. I'm so glad I found other people who suffer like me, and I'm glad to know I'm not crazy, like the doctors think!!!


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