Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vago-vagal syndrome

From: Alene Sutherland


Dr. Herr: I read your website with much interest. I was just diagnosed with vaso-vagal syndrome yesterday. I would like to share wiht you some of my history in the hope that it may help some of your other patients. My symptoms have spanned 40+ years, starting at eleven years with the most recent episode earlier last month at age 54. I am also a RN so I have spent considerable time piecing together my symptoms and trying to understand what causes my brand of syncope. Although I have passed out 4 times, I have had many more "near misses" when I knew my BP (have a history of hypotension) has dropped, but did not progress to fainting. Most often the fainting episode has been preceeding with nausea. However, I have been nauseated without symptoms of fainting. This is only anecdotal information, but I believe that one common thread may be changes in hormone levels. I have fainted at ages 11, 20, 21 and 54. For the past 9 years (following a major trauma), I have experienced numerous episodes of irregular heart rhythms. It would not take much to convince me of a connected to menopause. Although my physician does not know what to do about either the irregular rhythm or the syncope (and that is not reflected on his education, skills as a physician or interest in my well-being). He is willing to consider a connection with menopause. As I progress through menopause, my heart rhythm is less irregular. There may be a connection between syncope, hypotension and arrhythmias. One reason I am posting this information is that I realize that medical science does not have all the answers and patients cannot always get the attention of a physician who is trained to cure. We may not be able to cure this condition, but by sharing information and hunches, each of us may better understand what triggers vaso-vagal responses in our own body. It's difficult to expereince unexplained symptoms. I hope this helps.

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