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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: could this be Veso Vegal or Vertigo?

 Jes - Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:44 pm

Im a 22 year old female with a healthy fairly active lifestyle. I have ADD and currently taking Concerta 34mg. About every 2 weeks I have gotten this strange dizzy spell where I get up (dosnt matter how slow or how fast) my body starts to go numb and just when i take a step my vision goes black and my body starts to shake but not convulce like a seizure. This goes on for about 3 minutes bringing me to my knees so i wont fall and I put my head lower than my heart. This would go on for days than go away and come back in about 2 weeks.

I have seen a doctor about this and my primary doctor ruled out vertigo. She also had my blood tested and everything turned out fine and iron levels are where they should be. She thought my diet would be the problem so she had me write down things that i eat and everything was in the guidlines of the food pyramid with an exception of i could eat 1 more serving of fruit. Then she put me on a 24 hour heart monitor where i had to document everything i did. To my dismay she said that came back normal too and she could determin when i felt dizzy by the reading but said their is nothing to be concerned about. Approxamitly 2 weeks later this happened again and was my worse yet. This time I had all the same symptoms with the addition of blacking fully out and falling down as if i fainted.

Aagain I went to the doctors and told her what had happened she still ruled out vertigo and said She has had dizzy spells when she was little and she thinks i have Veso Vegal and will grow out of it.

Wich brings me today. I live in Michigan and it was about 76F outside I was in the store waiting to get my digital pictures developed when it happened. All of a sudden I got a heat wave like a hot flash all over. I started fanning myself off and i could feel my face getting red. I closed my eyes only to find when I opened them I had tunnel vision the corner of my eye vision was black and the rest was blurry with very dull colors (bright yellow looked almost a tan color). I started getting shaking and had to go to my knees and put my head lower then my heart again. After 5 minutes with personell helping me and watching me my vision came back and everything was normal.

This problem I have is getting worse it seems its starting to disrupt me from my personal life and my leisure activities. Not to mention my class woirk. If you have any ideas to what it could be so i could bring it to my docotors attention that it could be something she is over looking would be great. Untill then i will keep an open mind and keep thinking its nothing and i will grow out of it.

Thank you in advance
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:57 pm

User avatar Hello -

I think your doctor is correct that you aren't having spells of vertigo. Your description sounds, in general, a lot like vasovagal syncope (fainting), also now often called neurocardiogenic syncope. However, to be certain, a tilt table study needs to be done. This is a painless, fairly quick, sometimes very annoying test where the patient is placed on a horizontal table which is then raised quickly to a vertical postion while blood pressure, pulse, etc., are being monitored. If this test is positive then there are ways of medically managing the problem and keeping the aggravation (and potential for injury from a fall) to a minimum.

One thing concerns me, however, and it may just be coincidence, but the last part of your post mentions a different sort of episode which sounds more like either a) optical migraine or b) a partial seizure. The two are often confused and sometimes can even overlap. This, then, could also account for the other apparent fainting and near-fainting episodes, which could possibly have been partial seizures instead of vasovagal faints. Of course you could have both going on at once, also. The good news is that they are all medically manageable once positively diagnosed. None of it sounds like vertigo and one doesn't necessarily (or even usually) "grow out of" vasovagal syncope or neurocardiogenic syncope episodes. The primary danger is that of injury when "greying out" or losing consciousness for even a moment, from a fall or when driving.

You'll need to be evaluated by a cardiologist or perhaps a neurologist. I strongly recommend the tilt-table test first, to rule vasovagal problems in or out. If that is negative then a neurological workup will be necessary to determine if you are actually having partial seizures.

I hope this is helpful. I know how disturbing these kinds of episodes can be, and while they are not, in themselves, life theatening, they do make it difficult to function, can cause a lot of anxiety, and can result in injury due to a fall. None of this is necessary, as either of the possible conditions can be treated and return to a normal life is the rule.

Best of luck to you. Please do follow up with us here.

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