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Suffered an intense feeling of nausea followed by fainting. BP was normal. What could be the cause ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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I am a 58 year old gentlemen. I recently suffered from an intense feeling of nausea followed by a fainting episode. I did not vomit. I felt flushed prior to the nausea. My bloodpressure was taken straight after the episode and was not recorded as extremely high or low. What could be the cause? I am not a smoker and I am a social drinker (not to excess). I do not take recreational drugs and am currently not on any prescribed medication. I exercise regularly and am not over weight. I am not stressed or anxious.
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Radhika 1 hour later
Thanks for the query.

The symptoms you are experiencing of nausea followed by fainting episode is most probably due to Syncope.

Syncope may be associated with a sudden fall in blood pressure, a decrease in heart rate or changes in blood volume or distribution.

The different types of syncope are following:
1. Vasovagal syncope is the most common type of syncope that occurs when the blood pressure drops suddenly, reducing blood flow to the brain. When you stand up, gravity causes blood to settle in the lower part of your body, below the level of the diaphragm. In response, the heart and autonomic nervous system (ANS) react to maintain your blood pressure.

2. Situational syncope is a type of vasovagal syncope that occurs only during particular situations such as dehydration, intense emotional stress, anxiety, fear, pain, hunger, use of alcohol or drugs, Hyperventilation. Other stimuli include coughing forcefully, turning the neck or wearing a tight collar (carotid sinus hypersensitivity), or urinating (miturition syncope).

3. Postural syncope occurs when the blood pressure drops suddenly due to a quick change in position, such as from lying down to standing.

4. Cardiac syncope is the loss of consciousness due to a heart or blood vessel condition that interferes with blood flow to the brain.

5.Neurologic syncope is the loss of consciousness due to a neurological condition such as seizure, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or other rare causes including migraines and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

You will have to get it diagnosed by your treating physician and get an overall XXXXXXX check up done and make the following changes in your lifestyle.

1. Wearing support garments or compression stockings to improve circulation.
2. Making certain dietary changes such as eating small, more frequent meals; increasing salt, fluid and potassium; and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
3. Taking certain precautions when changing positions from sitting to standing.
4. Elevating the head of your bed while sleeping. You can do this by using extra pillows or by placing risers under the legs of the head of the bed to elevate it.
5. Avoiding or changing the situations or “triggers” that cause a syncope episode.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up.

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