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Fainting, blurry vision, thirsty, cold sweats, heart racing, hungry. Diagnosis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3613 Questions
Hi. I have been having sudden spells where I am doing something like typing on the computer or meditating or something that requires very little energy ... mostly just sitting and concentrating or standing and then all of the sudden I feel like I am going to faint. I get all foggy in my mind, my vision gets blurry, and I get very thirsty. I usually then end up drinking about 3 liters of water in 5 minutes...I may get cold sweats. My heart may start to race, or not. And sometimes my arms feel heavy and weak. I am not sure if I then go into a panic attack or what happens, but then I feel like I am having a hard time breathing but I am really not having a hard time breathing at all. I can clearly breathe fine. Can you please tell me what is going on? It is a little scary. Then it passes. And I am fine. Afterwards I also may get ridiculously hungry and eat tons of food. Yet I have not starved myself throughout the day. So I am not sure why.
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 4 hours later

Thanks for your query.

The symptoms you have could be due to following possibilities considerable in you.

One being stress, there would be no physical or organic defect present but its the inactivation of the alert system of the brain as a result of stress which can lead to such symptoms.Well its not serious and can be avoided by mind relaxation exercises like meditation( though you notice symptoms during the same ) and by increasing relaxation time per day.

Second and important cause I suspect is due to improper circulation and insufficient blood supply to brain.This can happen due to defects in the pumping mechanism of the heart ruled out by a EKG and a 2D echocardiography and other being due to defective channels( blood vessels) carrying the blood to the brain a Carotid Doppler has to be done to rule out the same.

The other common considerable cause at your age could be low BP ( Hypotension) this might have resulted from low blood volume / poor hydration.This explains the thirst during the symptoms.Drinking good amount of water every day will suffice here after ruling out any underlying cause for the low BP.For this you may have to visit a primary physician who records the BP at different occasions and examines you in effort to find out the cause for the same.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Fainting, blurry vision, thirsty, cold sweats, heart racing, hungry. Diagnosis? 3 hours later
I do remember a year or two ago someone taking my blood pressure and telling me it was really low. They were making a joke about how I am still living with a blood pressure so low. I think it was close to 70/70 or something like that. If it is low blood pressure, would these spells come on suddenly with low blood pressure? And would the thirst come on suddenly? I mean it is like it hits me suddenly out of the blue and I get dizzy and faint as if the blood is draining out of my head and my arms get weak and kind of heavy and the thirst is unquenchable. All of the sudden. And then I think I panic and I have to calm myself down. If I can drink enough water, I generally am ok. But again, it takes about 3 liters to get me to be ok and that is over a period of maybe 5-10 minutes at most. And I do drink water throughout the day. Not as much as I used to. I drink maybe 2-3 liters a day normally.

I do not think it is stress as I am not stressed. I am a massage therapist and I have a very low stress lifestyle. I also teach very gentle Yoga classes.... the heart thing I would not know unless I have it checked out by a doctor.

Also, if this is blood pressure, in those moments, what can I do? Is there a way I can test to see if it is blood pressure or something i can do in those moments that may help me get over this fast and recover faster?

Could it be low blood sugar too?
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 20 minutes later
Hi again,

Thanks for your follow up,

With the above description I still do consider the cardiac and Low BP being the chances of causing the symptoms .Both can result in such a sudden episode , its very typical with cardiac illness but with low BP it depends on the underlying cause.

You may have to get the EKG , 2D echo and three readings of BP on different occasions by a physician to arrive at most probable diagnosis.

If its with the low BP , I mean only the BP issue then you can get out the episode by consuming water mixed with either ORS powder or a pinch of salt.This will relieve you in moments.

Well stress for sure do not result in sudden outbreak of the symptoms like you have.

Also low sugars rarely present this way.

Hope I answered your query completely.

Wishing you Good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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