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How can I be tested to determine whether I have dysautonomia? Prone to fainting

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Practicing since : 1981
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Hello. How can I be tested to determine whether I have dysautonomia? All of my life I have been prone to fainting (vaso vagal syncope) in certain situations. Any type of medical situation, whether it is a simple check up, getting my blood drawn, getting a shot, or going to the dentist, triggers fainting in me. I even fainted last year at the vet with my dog, when the vet started explaining that my dog may have a heart murmor and was telling me about how to go see a dog cardiologist. I have even fainted while getting my hair cut when the hair stylist started speaking to another employee about her son breaking his jaw. I can barely even read about vaso vagal syncope on the internet, because I start feeling woozy. Hot heat also triggers my fainting, and heat combined with a closely packed environment (like a plane) is a huge trigger. In addition, over the last few years I have noticed that I am very overly sensitive to heat. I am a fit woman, 33, in very good health generally. But in the summer time I feel like I perspire excessively, with perspiration soaking through my shirt or shorts very soon after being outside, much quicker than other people. It seems like I can handle heat far less well than other people. When I was about 13 years old I had head exhaustion after spending a long weekend sitting in 100+ degree temperatures at a softball tournament. (I was not admitted to the hospital but ended up spending about 3 days resting at home in a very hazy state of mind, with cool water soaked towels placed on me and I drank lots of fluids.) Also, I usually have pretty low blood pressure. The last time I fainted an ambulance came with paramedics, and after checking me out they said I had super low blood pressure and they were very surprised. My father and twin sister also faint easily so I believe it is at least partly genetic. I recently read of dysautonomia and it sounds like I may have that - a nervous system disorder. I am interested in being tested for it, so I can go on medications if appropriate. I was born 5 weeks premature and was in an incubator the first month or two of my life because I wasn't fully developed yet (I am a twin and was born with my twin sister), so I see how I could have some nervous system dysfunction due to being born a preemie. I also have been diagnosed with ADHD and differing forms of depression (clinical, SAD), which I think trace back to my premature birth and also to my family, as my parents have those also. All of this leads me to believe my nervous system is dysfunctional in certain ways. Can you please tell me how I have this tested? And what kind of treatments are available for the easily triggered fainting, and heat sensitivity? Thanks very much!
I apologize, I listed one of my current medications incorrectly. I am taking Adderall XR, Wellbutrin and Lexapro. I accidentially listed "Effexor" instead of Lexapro, but I am taking Lexapro and not Effexor. Thank you.
Posted Sat, 29 Sep 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Follow-up: How can I be tested to determine whether I have dysautonomia? Prone to fainting 2 minutes later
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 29 hours later
Hi there,
Thanks for writing in.
I am a qualified and certified cardiologist. I read your mail with diligence.
There is merit in what you have described but I am not sure you have been investigated by a cardiologist. If you have been what is the exact opinion given by him/her?

If asked, personally, I will like to do the following test on you (if EKG and BP is normal before test):
Head Up Tilt Table (HUTT) Test
A HUTT is used to determine the cause of fainting spells. The test involves being tilted, always with the head-up, at different angles for a period of time.
Heart rhythm, blood pressure and other symptoms are closely monitored and evaluated with changes in position. The patient is completely conscious for the test and an intravenous line is placed prior to the exam. This is an outpatient procedure.

With your eloquent description I am now aware of the full history and treatment which has been given to you but not effective. Now if you can describe what was found by the doctors that would really help.
If on followup if you let me know about the opinions of various sub specialists who have seen you and results of investigations done on you.
Looking forward to hear from you.
With best wishes.
Dr Anil Grover,
Medical Specialist & Cardiologist
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW

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