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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: 4 Fainting Episodes in 3 Weeks


 Charity02 - Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:39 am

I'm a 27 yr old female concerned because I've had 4 fainting spells in 3 weeks. I know that it isn't normal. I have fainted before, but not for about 2 or 3 years now and not like what has happened lately. It happened all of a sudden. Normally before I faint, I start getting a bad headache and it feels like I"m not getting enough blood flow to the brain. I also get really lightheaded, dizzy, feel weak, feel like my heart has slowed or nearly stopped for a few seconds. Also feel really tired. Three times I fainted while sitting, and one time standing. Collapsed all times except one..cuz was able to catch myself and was sitting down. After fainting, I feel weak and heart beats fast and face gets really red/hot. I'm not in a hot environment at all..so I know it's not related to heat or heat exhaustion. I recently hurt my head so I think I have a head injury since I got hit in the head. Not sure if this is related, but adding this information. Neck has been a bit sore too. Fainting has happened each time I'm done with work. I work in a fast paced environment and am walking and moving around constantly for 7 hrs 3 or 4 days a week. I have been eating normally and getting plently of fluids (I drink a lot of water) so it's not related to that either. Was under some stress a week ago, but not anxious or hyperventilating or anything before fainting...so I know it's not from that either. One thing I noticed is that I'm really tired right before I faint.
Have no history of heart problem. I need some help figuring out this mysterious problem. Thanks.
Will also follow up with regular doctor soon about this, but would like your advice as well. Thanks.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:08 pm

User avatar Hi there -

I hope by now you've seen your doctor. An EKG at the very least is in order. While you may have no history of coronary artery disease or even structural heart disease, you may have an electrical problem in your heart that's causing these episodes, and this could be something simple or something more serious, but in either case the fainting creates a major problem on its own, even if it's essentially benign, since falling down can cause serious injury.

You may be having simple vasovagal or neurocardiogenic syncope (faint) or you may have a more serious electrical problem. Since it seems your heart slows prior to the syncopal episodes, you could have a prolonged Q-T interval (potentially very serious, but at least manageable if diagnosed) or an intermittent form of heart block. These can be essential or acquired. They can be acquired due to use of certain medications, in particular, or other conditions. The less serious issues can be managed as well, but anything that causes a loss of consciousness is a potentially dangerous one anyway, not only from falling but also because it can happen when one is driving.

A cardiological workup is the first order of business. If that turns up nothing then a tilt table test, usually also performed by a cardiologist, as well as an echocardiogram, may need to be done. If none of this turns up anything, then a neurological study should be performed, but from the description provided by you it sounds like a heart and/or circulatory problem.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please keep us updated as to what you learn from your visit with the doctor and any subsequent workups. Best of luck to you.
 darby - Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:36 pm

ask your doctor to do a tilt table test. i have the same symptoms and went through tree years of tests. it is neurologic. what i have is POTs SYNDOME, posterial orthostatic tachyrdial syndrome. your brain does not tell you blood to flow right. if you are standing in one place the blood will pool in your ankle and down you go. ask about the tilt table test and also a sitting and standing heart rate measurment.
good luck

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