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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Icy chill through my entire body.

 molhinderl - Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:40 am

Last night while I was standing outside with my dog letting her do her business I started to feel sick. I couldn't place exactly how I felt except that my stomach didn't feel right. The sensation came on instantly. I went inside and sat down. Then I started to get an icy sensation just come on and went through my entire body. Almost the feeling you get when you've slept on your arm and it hasn't received any circulation and then you suddenly relieve that pressure. At first I though I should take my temperature but then I decided I just needed to go straight to my parents room and tell them. I went to my parents room and felt like it was hard to breath normally whether it was due to a symtom or if I just felt uncomfortable with the chills. I woke my parents up but had trouble holding myself up. My mom made me lay down on the bed and checked my pulse. She's a registered nurse and said that she had trouble finding a pulse at first and then when she found it she said that it was irregular. She said she was worried I was going to faint. After a minute or two the icy sensation started to subside and I started to feel well again. The icy sensation didn't completely go away for another 5 to 10 minutes. This morning when I woke up I felt fine.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:02 pm

User avatar Hi there -

From your description of the episode, I suspect one of two things happened. Either you suffered a vasovagal episode, with slowed heartbeat and a drop in blood pressure -- something that some people experience when they have blood drawn, see blood, are exposed to cold air or are immersed in cold water, or sometimes have it triggered by emotional stressors; or you may have experienced an episode of an irregular heartbeat such as atrial fibrillation or some other arrhythmia. The former (vasovagal episode) is not serious, but usually there is a history of this happening; the latter could be serious or not, depending upon what sort of arrhythmia you may have experienced, if that's what it was.

I am inclined to lean toward vasovagal near-syncope (near faint), but you really need to be evaluated for this, perhaps having an event monitor to record the heart's activity for a month, in which case the heart's activity could be recorded (you do have to push a button to catch the dysrhythmia, then phone it in), and maybe a tilt-table test as well. At any rate, a cardiological workup is certainly appropriate. I suspect this is probably not a life-threatening thing, but it could lead to unexpected falling due to faintness, which can cause indirect injury due to a blow to the head or if one is driving, well, it's never good to pass out behind the wheel.

Definitely see a cardiologist for a complete evaluation. Most of the problems I've mentioned can be managed without too much fuss, sometimes with medication,sometimes simply with awareness of what's going on. Please do this though, and keep us updated as well. Best of luck to you.

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