I Just Passed Out Should I Be Worried
Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness which can be frightening to experience or witness.
Its how the body reacts to environmental triggers like pain and emotional distress and in most cases, although it can appear alarming, isnt always cause for concern.
However, if someone experiences multiple episodes of fainting, complaints of violent shaking, loss of bladder control, or long periods of blackout, their condition should be investigated by a physician who can decide if treatment is necessary.
In some cases, its important other people witness the episode to determine if help is needed. So, in the event it happens to you or someone close to you, here are three main reasons why someone might lose consciousness:
How Is A Blackout Diagnosed
A psychogenic blackout can be difficult to diagnose. Most often it occurs in young adults as a result of stress or anxiety. However, the link between blackouts and stress may not be obvious.
Psychogenic does not mean that people are putting it on. In most cases a psychogenic blackout is an involuntary reaction of the brain to pressure or distress. Psychogenic blackouts sometimes develop after people have experienced ill treatment or trauma. They are sometimes a reaction to a horrific experience in the past which a patient has not able to come to terms with.
Specialists in treating blackouts can sometimes make a clear diagnosis when you, or someone who has seen an attack, describes it in detail. Although a psychogenic blackout does resemble an epileptic seizure or reflex syncope, there are small but important differences between these types of attacks:
- Psychogenic attacks tend to be numerous, often occurring several times a day, or at the same time each day. This differs from reflex syncope which is typically no more frequent than four or five times a year.
- During an episode, the eyes may be tightly closed with a lid flutter, whilst during reflex syncope or epilepsy the eyes are often open.
- Patients can experience psychogenic syncope when they are lying on their back.
- Typical symptoms associated with reflex syncope, such as looking pale or becoming sweaty, maybe absent.
- A psychogenic blackout often lasts much longer than reflex syncope.
Syncope: What Really Happened When You Fainted
Syncope is the medical term for fainting or passing out. Losing consciousness is very scary and may be caused by many different reasons. The most important part about making the right diagnosis with your doctor is to provide a good history of the incident. This may be difficult because you might not remember all the details due to fainting. If possible, make sure to talk with those around you who witnessed the episode to hear what they observed.
Before seeing the doctor, prepare your answers to these questions:
- What were you doing immediately before the event?
- What symptoms did you have immediately preceding the event?
- Did you injure yourself?
- Any past history of fainting?
- What medications are you taking?
Syncope is defined as having the following features:
Syncope is commonly mistaken for seizures. Differentiating between the two may be tricky and has major implications for treatment. History is key!
Syncope is due to a drop in blood pressure and decreased blood flow to the brain. People fall to the ground or slump over in a chair and subsequently regain full consciousness in a short period of time because of the return of blood flow. Syncope is very common one out of every three people will experience it in their lifetime .
Other causes of syncope include:
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Why Do I Pass Out When I Poop
But straining lowers the volume of blood returning to the heart, which decreases the amount of blood leaving it. Special pressure receptors in the blood vessels in the neck register the increased pressure from straining and trigger a slowing of the heart rate to decrease in blood pressure, leading people to faint.
When Should You Go To The Er
Serious issues that cause fainting include heart problems, which temporarily lower your blood pressure. In these scenarios, you may experience palpitations your heart is skipping a beat or racing shortness of breath, or chest tightness. Experiencing these symptoms are clear indicators that you should take a trip to the emergency room. Make sure that you either call an ambulance or have someone else drive you never drive yourself.
If you experience minor fainting episodes caused by suddenly standing up or heat exhaustion, then you may not need to visit an emergency room. An exception is made if falling after fainting has caused damage to your body including concussions, fractures, or other severe injuries. If youve hit your head when fainting, are excessively bleeding, or are in pain and seemed to have broken a limb, have someone drive you to an emergency care clinic or call for an ambulance.
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What Are My Treatment Options
Your treatment options will depend on what is causing your syncope and the results of your evaluation and testing. The goal of treatment is to keep you from having episodes of syncope.
Treatment options include:
- Taking medications or making changes to medications you already take.
- Wearing support garments or compression stockings to improve blood circulation.
- Making changes to your diet. Your doctor may suggest that you eat small, frequent meals eat more salt drink more fluids, increase the amount of potassium in your diet and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Being extra cautious when you stand up.
- 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.
- Avoiding or changing the situations or triggers that cause a syncope episode.
- Biofeedback training to control a fast heartbeat. You can get more information or schedule an appointment for an evaluation with a biofeedback specialist by calling the Cleveland Clinic Department of Psychology at 216.444.6115 or 800.223.2273 ext. 46115.
- Treatment for structural heart disease.
- Implanting a pacemaker to keep your heart rate regular .
- An implantable cardiac defibrillator . This device constantly monitors your heart rate and rhythm and corrects a fast, abnormal rhythm .
Your doctor and other members of your healthcare team will develop a treatment plan that is right for you and talk to you about your treatment options.
I Lose Bladder Control When I Faint
Hello all, I am a decently healthy person who every couple of years faints from either extreme exhaustion or dehydration? Or so I thought. It started when I was in second grade. Usually I feel very dizzy if I run or exert too much energy and I feel a faint coming on, in which I need to sit down and breathe. Sometimes it works, but most times I wake up from having lost consciousness and while I am waking up I usually end up peeing my pants. I have no recollection of what happens after I feel dizzy and I regain consciousness in less than a minute.
Today it seemed to happen with NO trigger, I wasnt exercising nor had I not eaten anything all day. I was just standing and talking when suddenly I felt extreme dizziness and felt it coming, then I dropped to the floor. The person who was with me said that I was groaning on the floor? But I was definitely not conscious when I dropped. And she tried to turn me around but it felt like I was resisting rather than not being able to pick up my dead weight. I sort of dreamed during this episode until I started to hear my family yelling at me which was the exact moment I felt myself losing bladder control. This whole thing lasted about a minute.
Thanks in advance!
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When Should You Worry About Fainting
Fainting may be caused by something serious, such as a heart problem or a seizure, or by something minor, such as laughing too hard.
Don’t try to diagnose yourself seek immediate medical attention if you lose consciousness.
Fainting can be alarming, and it should be. While often the cause of fainting is something minor, fainting also can be a sign of a serious underlying medical concern. “The problem is that you can’t evaluate yourself, and you should let a physician determine if fainting is worrisome or not,” says Dr. Shamai Grossman, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School, who has conducted 20 studies on fainting.
What To Do If You Feel Faint
If possible, lie down and elevate the feet. This may prevent a loss of consciousness. Fresh air can also help, especially if you are feeling hot. If it is not possible to lie down, put your head down as low as possible.If you do faint, remain lying down for ten minutes. Sit up slowly when you need to get up.
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What Is The Outlook
Outlook depends on the underlying cause but is generally very good. In young people, when the blackouts are not associated with any heart or nervous system problem, there is nothing to worry about. In older people, there may be a risk to their health but this is due to the underlying condition and the risks from falling.
What To Do If Someone Faints
According to the NHS, if you or someone around you feels like theyre about to faint, you should:
And, if someone around you faints, you should:
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What Should You Do If You Faint
If you experience any warning signs and feel like youre about to faint, stop what youre doing and sit or lie down. Try to lower your body down to the ground and elevate your legs higher than your head. This helps support blood flow back to the brain and may be enough to prevent a syncopal episode. And if you do faint, sitting or lying down will also help you avoid injuries from falling, such as hitting your head.
If the feeling doesnt pass or if you repeatedly feel like you may faint, call your doctor. They can help determine next steps. If your doctor asks you to come to their office, have someone else drive you. Operating a motor vehicle when you feel faint is extremely dangerous.
When Fainting Is Fashionable
In some circumstances, fainting at a specific cue swooning or falling out became a cultural expectation. For example, it was common for aristocratic women in Victorian England to faint during a particularly dramatic moment. Examples abound of hysterical fainting, where large numbers of people near one another begin to faint due to an assumption of shared disease or exposure to a toxin, or even a curse. And then theres the game we used to play in the neighborhood to intentionally faint: wed breathe deeply and quickly for a while and then hold our breath and bear down. It never worked for me thats fortunate, since it can be dangerous.
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The Signs And Causes Of Fainting
Fainting occurs when ones blood pressure suddenly drops, resulting in a decrease of blood flow to the brain.
A number of things can affect blood pressure, from abrupt changes in posture , dehydration, and certain medications. Feeling faint can include dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea. Ones field of vision may even black out. This loss of consciousness triggers a loss in muscle control. Thats what causes the person to fall to the ground.
One of the most common types of fainting is caused by a sort of crossed signal between the brain and the vagus nerve, a large nerve that runs from the brain to the stomach. When this nerve is overstimulated, a person may faint. In such cases, you can usually figure out the reason maybe you were standing for a long time, fainted at the sight of blood, or due to some kind of emotional distress, trauma, or pain.
Some people faint because theyve suddenly constricted their carotid artery by turning their head abruptly or wearing a too-tight collar. Straining to make a bowel movement or even urinating can sometimes cause fainting, too.
Fainting can also occur in people who have hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, most common among diabetics because of fluctuating insulin levels. Dehydration can also cause fainting, particularly in the elderly. Certain types of medications, including
diuretics, heart medications, psychiatric drugs, antihistamines, and narcotics, can also trigger a fainting episode, as can alcohol.
Causes Of Loss Of Bladder And Bowel Control
Certain nerves in your body control those muscles that allow the bowel and bladder to function properly. These nerves allow muscles in the body to contract and relax properly, which is important for feces and urine to be eliminated from your body. The nerves in your spinal cord receive signals from the brain and send them to the sphincter and bladder muscles to control their movement. There are muscles in the anus and rectum that control your bowels, whereas sphincter muscles release and control stool. It means that problems with these nerves can lead to problems with bowel and bladder function.
Causes of Bowel Incontinence
Any damage to the muscles around the anus may lead to bowl incontinence. This damage could be the outcome of vaginal childbirth this may also affect the nerves in this area. It is due to this particular reason that women are twice as likely to develop bowel incontinence as compared to men. Anal surgery may also damage the anal sphincters and nerves in this area.
Causes of Urine Incontinence
It is not always necessary to have a noticeable cause of loss of bladder and bowel control, but your doctor can help you identify the best treatment in this case. Certain conditions can cause urinary incontinence. For instance, it may happen due to poor overall health, vaginal childbirth, and any damage to the nervous system.
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How Will Syncope Affect My Life
With the proper diagnosis and treatment, syncope can be managed and controlled. If you have had an episode of syncope, there is about a 30% chance you will have another episode. Your risk of another episode and how the condition affects you depends on several factors, including the cause and your age, gender and other medical problems you have. If you have questions about your risks, please talk to your doctor.
What To Do About It
It is important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your problem. They will consider your symptoms and then help create a plan of action. Some of the treatment options for loss of bladder and bowel control may include the following:
When other treatments do not produce desired results, you may consider undergoing surgery. Your doctor tries to repair any damage to the nerves and muscles to prevent loss of bladder and bowel control.
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Diagnosing The Cause Of Your Fainting
Whether youre visiting an emergency room or your regular doctor, a physician will first check your blood pressure and identify any medications in your medical history that can cause the issue. Theyll draw blood and perform a series of tests to check for irregular heartbeats, then determine if youve been experiencing syncope or pre- or near-syncope.
Your doctor will also talk to you about your symptoms and try and help you identify what triggers your episodes. In some cases, lifestyle changes may be suggested to avoid heat exhaustion, reduce hunger, or eliminate stress since these are some indications of minor fainting causes.
What Else Could It Be
The most common cause of blacking out is fainting. Other causes include epileptic seizures, syncope due to anxiety and other rare causes of faints.
Other causes of blacking out may be due to low blood sugar and lack of oxygen from a variety of causes. It may be due to over-breathing but this is rare.
You may also black out after a fall or blow to the head or due to excess alcohol or street drugs.
Strokes and mini strokes can also result in a blackout.
Prolonged blackout, confusion after the event, incomplete recovery and tongue biting all suggest that the cause is not a simple faint.
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What Are Treatment Options For Fainting
The treatment of fainting depends on the diagnosis.
- Lifestyle alterations: Drink plenty of water, increase salt intake , and avoid prolonged standing.
- Lifestyle alterations: Sit up and flex calf muscles for a few minutes before getting out of bed. Avoid dehydration. Elderly people with low blood pressure after eating should avoid large meals or plan to lie down for a few hours after eating.
- Medications: In most cases, medications that cause fainting are withdrawn or changed.
The treatment for cardiac syncope is very specific to the underlying illness. Valvular heart disease often requires surgery, while an arrhythmia might require medications or other treatments listed below.
- Medication and lifestyle alterations: These treatments are designed to optimize the heart’s performance while limiting its demands. Controlling high blood pressure, for example, would involve medication and lifestyle changes. In some cases, specific anti-arrhythmic medication may be prescribed.
- Surgery: Bypass surgery or angioplasty is used to treat coronary heart disease. For some valve problems, valves can be replaced. Catheter ablation is available to treat some arrhythmias.
- Pacemaker: A pacemaker may be implanted to correct the heart rate, slowing the heart in certain types of fast arrhythmias or speeding up the heart for slow arrhythmias.
- Implanted defibrillators are used to control life-threatening fast arrhythmias.