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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.