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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Passing out

 user - Sat Dec 25, 2004 3:25 pm

About 4 times now I have lost conciousness, or at the very least ended up on the ground unexspectedly.

1st awoke from sleeping gasping for breath and feeling "woozy" lasted 10 min.

2nd awaoke from a nap, stood up and felt lightheaded...then felt awful and fell to bed. basically unable to move and feeling seriously unwell for perhaps 20 min. then unwell for hours. Back to sleep, awoke feeling fine

3rd stood up from breakfast and hovered on the edge of conciousness for several seconds, came to on the floor feeling unwell. Went to emerg, all bloodwork normal. EKG showed only known right bundle branch block and ???left anterior hemi block...or something close to that.

4th Went to urinate middle of the night. Was fine then a bit woozy for a couple seconds, resolved then maybe 20 seconds later severe and protrated wooziness. Lowered myself to the floor. Next clear awarenwss I was gasping uncontrollably and sweating. lasted a long time...or it seemked so, maybe a minute or two then I was able to rise unsteadily and make it to the bed.

Saw the GP, am being scheduled for head CT and one other test I forget now.

5th after dinner, sat in car on verge of losing conciousness for perhaps 15 secs, was able to take pulse immediately following, while still quite woozy. Couldn't cordinate looking at watch at the time, but pulse was solid and VERY slow.

A bit of history now... Tried the Atkins diet anbd felt poorly ...noticed serious arrythmia while symptomatic and consulted cardiologist who found the two EKG abnormalities noted above. He was unconcerned, mentioned that a "normal" diet was step 1 and "down the road" I may need ..or may nhot need a pacemaker. This was roughly 1 year ago.

What should I do...wait patiently or be more proactive. If it is heart related...what are the odds that I won't recover from an attack?

245 lbs 6' in poor physical condition.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sun Dec 26, 2004 3:32 pm

User avatar Dear User,

The heart has electrical wires that conduct the electricity to its various parts to make it contract. There are 2 main wires, the right bundle and the left bundle (the left bundle consists of 2 wires the left anterior and the left posterior fascicles). As every thing else in the body, with age, these bundles degenerate. Your right bundle and left anterior fascicle (that's 2 of the 3), as evidenced on the electrocardiogram, are degenerated. That's what it is meant by right bundle branch block and left anterior fascicle block, so your heart has only one wire left, the left posterior fascicle.

It could be getting to the point of degeneration that it is going to have a block as well. This means that the attacks that you have been having are warnings that your conducting system has worn out. When there is no electricity, there is no heart contraction and there is no blood flow to the brain and you lose consciousness.

Your description of having a very slow pulse is consistent with that because when the original heart wiring is blocked, there is an intrinsic back-up system for the heart to initiate and conduct electricity once more but this back-up is much slower than the original. And as it takes a while for a generator to kick in after the electriciy goes off, it is the same with the heart. It takes a while for the back-up system of the heart to kick-in.

You have to see your cardiologist immediately as you might need a pacemaker. Having a 24 hours Holter monitor most probably is not needed in your case.

i would urge you to refrain from driving or operating any heavy machinery for the time being.

Passing out has lots of other causes but this is the most obvious one for the time being in your case and i think it has to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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