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    What causes fainting spells when smoking?

Posted on Mon, 30 May 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: Doctor, I am Having some fainting spells when I smoke. I have been a smoker for 50 years. Recently I had a check of my arteries in my neck and they have 50 % obstruction. My Doctor recommended to check every 6 months and I agreed. What is concerning me is that the fainting spells are increasing and the test was 3 months ago. Is there a vargus involved in this?
Answered by Dr. Ajay Panwar 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Needs evaluation.Please tell further details.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for being on healthcaremagic.com.
I am Dr.Ajay Panwar,a neurologist,here to answer your query.

With current clinical details,as you mentioned,it is difficult to say -one possible cause or exact pathogenesis of these fainting spells.Vagus involvement(Syncopal attacks) is a close possibility,though.

Please tell some more details so that I can answer this well further-

1)Do you completely lose consciousness during these fainting events?If yes,for how long?
2)Is it a specific posture which is associated with these events?like-do you faint when you are in standing posture?
3)Do you have a history of frothing from mouth,tongue bite,twisting of neck or jerky movements of limbs during these fainting spells?
4)Do you have any other disease(like Diabetes,thyroid,heart disease) or medical history?
I shall be glad to have you in follow-up with details so that I can answer this well.

Dr.Ajay Panwar,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ajay Panwar 6 hours later
1) Sometimes more frequent now lose consciousness for 1 to 5 seconds
Having 1 or 2 a day after lighting up a cig which brings on the coughing
and being lite headed
2) Could be standing or setting
3) NO
4) I am diabetic #2, overweight by 35 pds and do watch my AC1 been below 7.0 for 6 years and take Metformin HCL 1000x2 a day

I am watched by my physican very 3 months and have had good reports except I smoke 15 cigs a day. I am 69years old and I need to loss some weight.....Thanks
Answered by Dr. Ajay Panwar 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
Needs autonomic testing/Is it associated with cough each time?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for being in follow-up and providing further details.

In the background history of Diabetes,it is most probably syncope due to autonomic neuropathy.You need to get 'autonomic function tests' done like postural fall in blood pressure,tilt table test,sweat test-which will confirm the diagnosis.

Cough syncope is also related autonomic dysfunction.Is this fainting spell always associated with cough?

Management should include-

Positioning maneuvers-At the moment when you starts having lightheadedness ,tense your arms-cross the legs and tighten them.If possible,lie down on the floor.

adequate fluids intake
high compression stockings in legs
Treatment of cough

Medicines for autonomic dysfunction needs to be given if above measures don't work.

If you have any further questions,I shall be glad to answer them.

Dr.Ajay Panwar,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Ajay Panwar


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