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does anyone else feel like this at times??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I've noticed how sometimes, all of a sudden I'll get really really drowsy..and at the same time as soon as I get up from sitting everything goes black for a few seconds and I see flashes of light. Lol this isn't something new but I'm just curious. one time this happened and I fainted at the doctor's office!! They said I just need to drink more water. But that was due to my blood pressure being too low, and I think it was a different kind of feeling, I was feeling dizzy then. Now as soon as I get up from a seated position my head feels hot and heavy for the first few seconds. Does anyone know what goes on when that happens? I'm sure it's something that at some point happens to everyone but I'm curious. It could be anemia, I know for sure I haven't been eating enough iron lately cuz first I was on a diet for 3-4 months recently which wasn't really great for my nutritional needs, and after this diet i feel like I have barely been eating meat and vegetables, all I've been eating has been junk food and salty food. I know I need to improve my diet and I'm working on it...But yea I was wondering if anyone had a proper explanation for why that could be happening?
post #2 of 12
I expect the nurses and medically oriented people will have a MUCH better insight. But this happens occassionally to me too, and I know I have low blood pressure, and keeping hydrated is SO important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally, I think I've also got some kind of glucose level thing going on or something, because every once in a while I start feeling really light headed (not from going from sitting to standing - I can already be sitting or standing), I get tunnel vision, see stars - and if I sit down and put my head between my legs in time, the tunnel vision and stars go away, but if I don't eat something, I still feel really weak and lightheaded. If I don't do that right away, I have passed out for a little while. It's weird.

But yes - work on improving that diet! You NEED the energy (and vitamins and minerals) from them, rather than the short-term boosts!

Laurie
post #3 of 12
What both of your are describing that happens right after standing is called orthostatic hypotension. When you sit for a while blood pools in the lower part of your body - your abdomen and legs, when you stand up gravity further pulls blood away from your brain. That heavy/lightheaded or even dizzy feeling accompanied by temporary loss of vision and even hearing is simply because your brain isn't getting enough blood for a few seconds.

A healthy person will recover quickly or rarely have this. To complicate matters, even people with high blood pressure can get orthostatic hypotension. Several medications can make it worse due to dilating blood vessels and lowering blood pressure (narc painkillers, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, beta blockers, etc). Heat will cause this as well, as again it dilates blood vessels (your body does this in an attempt to cool off).

One of the reasons for low blood pressure is low blood volume. Which is why doctors will say drink more water and/or eat more salt. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. Being anemic can be a possible factor, but isn't usually the cause of low blood pressure or volume for many. (RBC counts almost always look normal for many of us with low BP and volume).

If you have these same symptoms of pre-fainting (actually called pre-syncope) while sitting or standing in place it suggests other possible causes. In those without hormone or blood sugar problems a common cause is called vasovagal syncope (also called neurocardiogenic syncope and neurally mediated hypotension). It's basically caused by your blood pressure falling due to blood vessels dilating when they shouldn't, a part of your nervous system misinterpreting this and making it worse. It then throws on the "brakes" so to speak and you're out - fainted.

There's a lot more to it. If anyone is interested in the mechanism behind syncope and pre-syncope researching the autonomic nervous system, vasovagal syncope (along with neurally mediated hypotension or neurocardiogenic syncope), low blood volume, to name a few can provide a lot of information.

Be careful in the heat, drink plenty of water, watch your electrolytes, don't drive if you feel off, get up slowly, sit down (anywhere) if you feel lightheaded, and if it happens too often go to the doctor. Otherwise, at the very least you do face the risk of head injuries or hurting yourself some other way. You may need to see at least a cardiologist or electrophysiologist for them to even have the slightest idea what is going on - some neurologist understand this as well.

ETA: Laurie since you're 46 and have this feeling quite often, please get your heart checked out. In those of us who are younger and have no history of heart disease it may not be something very serious but that changes when you get older. So please don't ignore this - it could possibly mean for some reason or another blood is not getting from your heart as well as it should. Lots of things can cause that.
post #4 of 12
I was thinking along those lines, but I was beaten to it!

It does seem to be about blood pressure and volume, maybe consider having it checked out? I think they can prescribe a med for that...
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDeeMay View Post
It does seem to be about blood pressure and volume, maybe consider having it checked out? I think they can prescribe a med for that...
Yes and no. There's a few things that can help blood volume - fludrocortizone (a steroid that makes the body hold onto salt and fluids), something like erythropoietin to help a person make more blood. Less commonly DDAVP (to hold onto fluids) or IVIG (if it's related to illness) gets used. A common non pharmaceutical some have tried when other things make them ill is licorice root extract. Some rely on regular IV transfusion (ouch!).
But there's no guarantee that any of these will be of much help if something is messed up - for those of us with low volume our bodies think this is normal. The first line of treatment "drink more and eat more salt" doesn't always help because we just pee it all out (likely a problem somewhere along the renin angiotensin system). .

For low blood pressure vasoconstrictors are sometimes used. These help the body constrict the blood vessels because they're not doing it well enough on their own. A common med for this is Midodrine (NASA uses it, too). There's also mestinon and another drug that will hopefully be approved in the US soon. There's also caffeine if it doesn't make one's heart react.
If there's tachycardia or other arrhythmias medication to control this may be used. It's great for some and for others it makes them much worse.

Another very simple way to fight blood pooling is compression hose. There's no chance of permanent damage to one's self but they're rather hot in summer and can be hard to wear.

All of these, even the hose, do have the chance for side effect - namely raising blood pressure too much.

So yes, there's treatments but finding a doc that even knows what's going on and whether it should be treated is difficult. Finding a doctor who is willing to do more testing to try to actually find out where the body is messing up seems to have the probability of getting struck by lighting...
But ultimately it's not as simple or easy as getting treated for many other things. Doctors tend not to worry when they see someone younger with a blood pressure of 90/60 or 90/50, they think this looks great (even when you report that you are taking medication to get your blood pressure that high) because they're trained that high blood pressure is serious and that low is good (unless very very low). Never mind that living with low blood pressure is very tough on some of us and can have negative effects. Getting pasted this first hurdle, unless one seeks a specialist, is tough. I wish luck to those who seek treatment. Don't give up if you're feeling terrible and if you drive and have had these symptoms while sitting, please do seek treatment!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for that extensive answer!! I don't think this deserves treatment for me because usually this happens when I'm in my room and it reaches like 90 degrees in here, there is something wrong with my vent and so it's always hot in my room. But yea surprisingly enough this only happens to me when I'm lying down on my bed in my room lounging all day or just on super lazy days. On those lazy days though, I get up from bed and it's like whoa I'm blacked out and it's very unpleasant sometimes I even avoid getting up and sitting down so many times. I haven't checked my blood pressure lately but normally it's on the low side. When I fainted at the docs office, they were all freaked out at first but when they checked my blood pressure, it was so low that for the first 5 minutes their machines would say error and they tried several machines. And then after 5-10 minutes my blood pressure went up to like 30/10 and then 10 more minutes it was 40/20 and at that point I was like I want to get out of here because I felt okay. But they didn't let me and made me stay there until it was at least 90/50. This happened in the middle of summer as well so I'm thinking it has to be the heat. But even when I fainted I don't remember my vision going black like it does now sometimes...It probably did though.
post #7 of 12
^If you fainted, everything did go black. I suggest you look into neurocardiogenic syncope/neurally mediated hypotension as I mentioned. With your age and such dramatic blood pressure drops that could be what is going on.
I've had occasions where my diastolic wouldn't register and my resting blood pressure is ridiculously low. I am lucky that my heart does not stop when I do faint, it would be wise to make sure that with your blood pressure drop that your heart isn't stopping.

Just be more careful getting up and don't lay around for so long on lazy days. Make sure you drink enough, too. Caffeine can help a little as it's a vasoconstrictor.

I've noticed that if I take a nap in the afternoon (when my BP usually tends to get a little lower) that I will fall every single time when I get up after those naps. Getting up slowly doesn't help me as much, though, because I have tachycardia when I stand, as well. I nearly fell at the hospital yesterday (had been waiting on family too long and was due for my next dose of midodrine) - the knowledge that people would make a big deal out of it kept me on my feet!


I hope you can get that vent fixed. If you don't cool down well enough it can make you sick.
post #8 of 12
Wow - thanks for all that info!!!!!!!!! The second time it happened we zipped off to the doc. All the stress test showed is that I have mitral valve prolapse - so now I have to take antibiotics before dental work (though I went decades without it! ). The next step was some glucose test, but I never had it done. But it's been a few years, so maybe I'll make an appt with Gary's cardiologist. You're right - I'm getting up there in years now!

Laurie
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^If you fainted, everything did go black. I suggest you look into neurocardiogenic syncope/neurally mediated hypotension as I mentioned. With your age and such dramatic blood pressure drops that could be what is going on.
I've had occasions where my diastolic wouldn't register and my resting blood pressure is ridiculously low. I am lucky that my heart does not stop when I do faint, it would be wise to make sure that with your blood pressure drop that your heart isn't stopping.

Just be more careful getting up and don't lay around for so long on lazy days. Make sure you drink enough, too. Caffeine can help a little as it's a vasoconstrictor.

I've noticed that if I take a nap in the afternoon (when my BP usually tends to get a little lower) that I will fall every single time when I get up after those naps. Getting up slowly doesn't help me as much, though, because I have tachycardia when I stand, as well. I nearly fell at the hospital yesterday (had been waiting on family too long and was due for my next dose of midodrine) - the knowledge that people would make a big deal out of it kept me on my feet!


I hope you can get that vent fixed. If you don't cool down well enough it can make you sick.
WOW! I have to think of some questions for you.

I had this happen starting in my teens. Can MVP also be a cause? My primary doctor always suspected I had it but the echo and cardiologist never heard anything. I am with a new primary and they don't hear it either. I haven't had a spell like this in years. It also happened after I was laying down(waking up in the morning) for a long time.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyforinfo View Post
I had this happen starting in my teens. Can MVP also be a cause? My primary doctor always suspected I had it but the echo and cardiologist never heard anything. I am with a new primary and they don't hear it either. I haven't had a spell like this in years. It also happened after I was laying down(waking up in the morning) for a long time.
Yes, it can. In those with MVP it's typically called MVP syndrome. As with NCS, blood volume can affect one with MVP. When volume is lower the heart doesn't fill quite as efficiently as it should, when one has MVP and adds this in their valves get a bit more "floppy". This is why some with MVP are perfectly fine, others are affected by it, and even why some will get this after a bad virus.

To explain the last bit, some people's bodies go haywire when they get sick. The autonomic nervous system gets a bit messed up in the process and the person is left with ANS related problems (generally those people have a better chance to eventually recover).

What's your ancestry/ethnicity? It sounds crazy but there's a strong leaning towards those with this and MVP that are of northern European descent. Blond/light hair, blue or green eyes type, and especially those who are taller.
But, it's not a rule set it stone since people all over the world do get these type of problems.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Yes, it can. In those with MVP it's typically called MVP syndrome. As with NCS, blood volume can affect one with MVP. When volume is lower the heart doesn't fill quite as efficiently as it should, when one has MVP and adds this in their valves get a bit more "floppy". This is why some with MVP are perfectly fine, others are affected by it, and even why some will get this after a bad virus.

To explain the last bit, some people's bodies go haywire when they get sick. The autonomic nervous system gets a bit messed up in the process and the person is left with ANS related problems (generally those people have a better chance to eventually recover).

What's your ancestry/ethnicity? It sounds crazy but there's a strong leaning towards those with this and MVP that are of northern European descent. Blond/light hair, blue or green eyes type, and especially those who are taller.
But, it's not a rule set it stone since people all over the world do get these type of problems.
Italian descent...I think Polish too(long story)
Blue eyes

I love how much knowledge you have in the medical field. Something I was always interested in but didn't persue.
post #12 of 12
^ I should have, I have a great memory for anything I read. But I would not have the people skills to pursue any career in that area. When caring for other people one must have empathy and compassion... I come off as cold and reserved in person.

Since I'm not a healthy person, and haven't been for some time, I've researched and accumulated information.
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