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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes recurrent fainting?

I’ve been passing out for no apparent reason. I just turned 70 and think I’m actually getting healthier...except for these passing-out episode. They always happen at night when I’ve gone to bed and sleep for several hours. I wake of cold a shivering severely. Twice i got in the shower to warm up. The next thing I knew I was not the floor of the shower and had been there for several hours with no memory of falling. Last Wednesday, I didn’t get in the shower, but sat down on the toilet and came to on the floor, again after several hours. I’ve seen my doctor, and they’re mystified. I’m wondering if the severe shaking could be something like an “aura”? I’m so embarrassed, but each time my bowels have also released, and I am so tired. I have no infections, though my white count was 22,000 and my procalcitonin was 4! No fever, and blood counts were down again in a few days. I’ve had gastric bypass and have lost 90 lbs in the last year...except for these fainting spells or maybe seizures. Thoughts?
Wed, 25 Jul 2018
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Addiction Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Loss of bowel and bladder is typical of seizures. If it were a Board question that would be the answer. Metabolic and electrolyte issues, even panic and hyperventilation commonly cause seizures in someone who doesn't have epilepsy. If tongue biting, then, that's it. So, typical categories for sudden loss of consciousness are brain and heart. In brain category is stroke and seizure. In heart, is heart attack, arrhythmia and loss of blood pressure control. The loss of blood pressure can also occur suddenly with illness, or electrolyte or hyperventilation or straining on the toilet. HOLTER monitor is generally useful and can sometimes show seizure activity in addition to showing heart issues.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
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