Dizziness and heart palpitations

Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 02:23 am
Hello there

I am at a loss and need some help.

I am a 22 year old, british male, I am sporty and have a sleek frame with good muscle definition. I am 6ft 1inches and weigh just under 12stone.

Since I was a child on and off I have suffered with 'dizzy spells' as my parents called them. Throughout my life they have been sporadic one year I may have 2 the next none and the next 6.....In the last 4 years they have become more frequent and intense. In the last month I have had them each week. They can range from 1 an hour or 3 and hour. If an hour goes by and nothing happens after the first it usually means Im okay. Except last night. I had 3 in 3 hours so I went to sleep. I woke up this morning and had another 3. One was extremely intense everything began moving in slow motion and I couldn't really see anything in front of my eyes for a few seconds.

Typical 'spells' are. My heart will palpitate uncontrollably. It feels almost like a sheet will go across my eyes and my head will spin and I will be un able to focus. I will move my head between my legs to try and get it to stop but everything is hazey and slow. It feels like I'm going to faint but I never do. I also hear like a rushing noise in my ears. It's almost as if I can feel my heart truggling. For a period afterwards as in now my arms and hands feel like they are numbish. A better way to describe it is it feels like, for a period after, my arms limb and body are on cruise control. I often feel very tired afterwards and recently after a spell I am out of action for a few days.

These spells can happen anytime morning, noon and night. Sometimes I've even been asleep and have awoke because of it. I can be sitting, lying or standing. I can't get rid of them nothing I do helps, head in btwn my legs doesn't work relaxing....On occassion eating has helped but not recently.

I have been to the drs and tested for all sorts, Thyroid, Diabetes. I've had ECG's and blood pressure but nothing. I have explained the symptoms to the drs on several occasions but when the test have come back with no answers they brush me under the carpet.

I am now at a point where I am desperate and finding this increasing difficult to live with!

Any advice or anyone know what this may be down to?

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Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 05:49 am
Hiya Kyle,

I get occasional dizzy spells as well. My doc calls them vasovagal episodes. I had a lovely ride in an ambulance last year so I think I know how you feel.

A few things may be causing/exacerbating them, in no particular order
  • low blood sugar/not eating for a while - maybe make sure you have an apple with you or something like that, and eat it between meals, trying not to let yourself go more than maybe 3 hours between eating spells, except overnight of course. This doesn't necessarily mean diabetes or hypoglycemia. You may simply be going too long between meals
  • dehydration - how much water do you drink/day? I drink (I kid you not) 88 ounces. It takes a while to get used to this but I find it helps
  • water in the ears - how well do you clear water out after showering or swimming?
  • excessive heat - a very hot shower can make me see stars
  • it can be a fear/nervous response, too
  • I see you have been tested for low thyroid (which is one of my issues)
  • plus of course if you haven't already been tested, be tested for really scary things like a brain tumor and brain cancer - not to alarm you but it's better to know if that's the underlying cause, yes?

I hope these help!
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2011 10:01 am
Hello Joseph

Thank you for all this. My doctor has also claimed it is a 'Vasovagal episode'. I just don't buy that. In the last month it has got so bad that it happens weekly. Did you ever go through a time in your life that it got more frequent and would happen almost weekly.

The food thing is something I have thought about except the episodes sometimes happen immediately after eating?

I went to the hospital with it this morning after sending out this topic. I had ECG and normal, blood pressure normal. They are referring me back to my GP monday. I have actually pushed for tests on my brain and eyes but they have seemed reluctant. They did some sort of blood count to check for that and nothing.

I'm sorry to hear it got so bad you have had to take a ride in an ambulance.

May I ask how old you are. How long you have had the episodes and how are the episodes for you now? Also what helps you when you have them? For me nothing works, I just have to ride it out be it an hours worth, 3 hours worth or a day or two.

All the best

Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2011 06:32 am
I am 48 (and I'm also female - my username is Jespah, not Joseph).

I have had some in my teen years but they got more frequent in the last, I think, 5 or so years. I have also lost a lot of weight in the last 3 years (about 140 lbs). That may be related.

Vasovagal pretty much means a generalized form of unexplained fainting spell. Technically, it's a correct diagnosis, although it's also something of a copout. It's kind of like calling sniffles a cold. Well, yeah, it's a cold, but which type?

For me, I drink water. Lots of it, but also am mindful of the fact that too much water screws up my electrolytes and will also bring it on. For swimming, I bought ear plugs, and I still mainly try to swim with my ears out of the water and that helps. I also stop swimming when I feel myself getting too tired. Getting overly fatigued can help bring it on, too.
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