View Full Version : Near Faint Issue
3rd Mar 2012, 12:36
I was in Tesco with the family on Wednesday and almost fainted - no warning at all and all over in a few secs. Went to the doc, BP fine, blood tests booked next week. Didn't think it was anything sinister and gave me a number of possible reasons. There was no chest pain, just a sort of rushing feeling - very scary. To help any would be advisors:
I have just turned 50
Overweight - can't exercise as much as I'd like due to hip problem
Drink at weekends
Have irregular heartbeats (since 1998) - went for ablation but they didn't ablate as they found nothing wrong when pacing the heart
Have an excellent job where I am very happy
I am anxious however due to other reasons
Needless to say I am very worried - any pointers ( weight I understand) would be welcomed and I just wondered if any one else has suffered from similar?
3rd Mar 2012, 18:08
just a sort of rushing feeling - very scary.
they found nothing wrong when pacing the heart
I am anxious however due to other reasons
Reasons that make me think outside the box - but remember, I'm a retired pilot, not a doctor.
If all tests fail to find anything, and given your age, you might consider the possibility of having had 'a touch of migraine.'
So many people have a kind of late onset deal, where it's nowhere near as bad, but the symptoms do manifest themselves in strange ways.
Have irregular heartbeats (since 1998)
Well, this may well be a factor, but you're doing all the right things now, however, I swapped with my wife as the family arrhythmia oddity at about 55 years old. Really pronounced miss-firing sometimes.
They went away for more than a year after stress testing. So, what's the deal with your hip. Are you able to have it replaced, with the hope of regaining a level of fitness?
Are you having the 24 hour monitor fitted? I had a GP's test after the funny thing I reported on JB 18 months ago - it was fine, but I started miss-firing the moment he took it off. Has to be long term sample.
4th Mar 2012, 11:33
LR - many thanks for your response. Yes, due to go back to the OS in June to discuss next steps with my hip but a replacement is on the cards at some point.
I have done all the Halter tests and, like I said, they wanted to do an ablation but after a couple of hours of poking around, they couldn't find anything wrong so didn't ablate. They suggested that the top part of the heart is "sensitive" and various triggers could cause the problem. I have lived with this since 1998 and, although frightening at times, I am so used to it. I was taken OFF beta blockers after this procedure but now back on Propranolol 40mg, one a day - they make me feel pretty odd too!
Doc suggested I carry on as normal as possible but sometimes it is worrying
4th Mar 2012, 18:36
I'm not sure if you're still flying HR, but I'd be a little careful about banding terms such as "faint" around. An isolated incident that you describe doesn't raise too many alarm bells at this stage.
Sounds like your gp is going down the correct route, maybe worth repeating an ecg also,
5th Mar 2012, 06:02
Ginger - not sure what you mean - I am describing exactly how I felt - I felt I was going to pass out, faint, lose consciousness.
Maybe something very simple but as it is the first time I have felt like this it is an alarm bell nonetheless for me although I agree the doctor doesn't seem overly concerned.
5th Mar 2012, 16:34
I think the thing is not to mark your records too vividly - it may come back to bite you!
A one-off near fainting experience could be caused by a very varied mass of reasons: Infection (low level), iron deficiency, and certainly migraine related issues can all cause that feeling. Nasty, but it just fades into history.
Checking your main hydraulic pump is of course important, but even in the wildest excursions from a regular beat, I've never felt faint, so the arrhythmia in itself might not be an issue. I emphasize might not.
There are other reasons to try to normalize that arrhythmia. I don't know if pacemakers are ever fitted for this alone. I now have several friends who have them. Walk in, local anesthetic, and walk out. Unbelievable compared to the early ones. They feel so much better afterwards.
If you've enjoyed good health for a long while, such an episode will seem alarming, but some people live their whole lives with fainting spells, and they carry on regardless. Clearly, they are not doing a demanding job.
5th Mar 2012, 19:33
"Faint" can mean different things, to different people, (medical people included.) and is prone to subjectivity, a dangerous quality in a pilot's medical notes.
Not doubting your description, just flagging a warning about labelling. :)
I too have had "problems" with palpitations. They started many(!) years ago in my 50s. More recently (after 65) they became more frequent; quite often everyday and lasting for at least half an hour, rather disturbing to say the least. Doctor said no problem, it happens. I did have a cardiac catheritization test for unrelated symptoms, chest pains after initiation of exercise that would disappear if I kept going. Turns out that some extremely small arteries are constricted, but the rest of the hydraulics are in good shape (thank goodness). So no problems there. So I let it go for a couple of years until it was beginning to get a bit worried by them; they can escalate into panic attacks and even sensations of fainting.
Stress test fine. Doc says everything fine. BUT why the palpitations I ask; stress he says (didn't realize the wife was nagging that much).
Anyway, quite by accident I noticed that the palpitations were always more frequent if I didn't drink enough water. In addition, if I drank water at the onset of palpitations they would usually (not always) subside within maybe 20 mins. Doc says, yes that is possible. I thought he would think I was nuts if I mentioned it so was a bit surprised by the response. He prescribed beta blockers which so far have completely cured the palpitations. Now, I didn't particularly like some of the side effects and so cut down on the prescribed dosage to half his recommendation. Still some side effects, so cut down to a quarter. The palpitations returned, although very much reduced, so I increased it to 1/3. Result, no side effects and no palpitations. I don't think he was overly impressed with my experimentation but did agree with my findings! All I have to do now is reduce the stress level that I apparently have (not that I've noticed). Maybe need a new wife (or maybe none)?
6th Mar 2012, 06:57
Appreciate all the replies.
Ginger, I am not a pilot - I used to run the other side of the cockpit door - get what you mean but again just describing how I felt and what I felt.
LR = yeah you're right, if something happens that hasn't before it is very scary indeed.
Jim - if you do a search myself and several others had a thread going about the heartbeat issue. Beta blockers are weird things - had no issues previously but these are making me feel quite odd, so much so I am going to speak with the doc to ask for an alternative - they have never stopped my irregular beats but, as I mention previously, they have gone the whole hog with me and found nothing wrong "top part of the engine is sensitive"
Step by step I guess and we'll see.
6th Mar 2012, 07:30
I have only ever felt faint near an aircraft once. In my case it was food poisoning coupled with very hot weather, which took me out for a couple of days.
However, an ex-colleague of mine (RAF pilot) suffered a one off "faint". He lost his medical cat and never flew again. I think this is why folk are saying don't be too vocal about this.
7th Mar 2012, 07:20
Another thing is that the Propranolol aren't reacting well - constant nausea and light headiness ...
Shy Torque - I get it but if you'd enlighten me how I could word how I felt then I will happily edit my post to avoid causing upset amongst my peers :)
7th Mar 2012, 09:55
HR - it is possible that something etremely simple is at the bottom of this. Were you perhaps a little dehyrated and/or was it very hot in the supermarket? On the odd occasion when it has been freezing outside and I've been dressed for the weather, I have felt sick in the increased warmth inside but feel better once back outside in the cold. Look at all the simple things first and listen to Ginger, he knows what he is talking about and is more up to date with adult medicine and practice than I am.
7th Mar 2012, 10:04
I would Google Atrial Fibrillation Association and find out how many similar sufferers there are around. It seems to be an area that needs more attention from the Medical Profession.
There are non Beta Blocker drugs that do a similar job and have been approved in the EU
IVABRADINE or PROCORALAN for example.
I am utterly non medical but have AF via a viral infection of the heart.
Also check Vagus Nerve as that is a serious contender for weird feelings of non well being. It starts in the Central Nervous System and affects the heart and bowel conditions.
Being a hypochondriac doesn't help! :rolleyes:
7th Mar 2012, 11:29
Appreciate all the replies - I am the biggest worryguts ever which doesn't help either!! Yes, will speak about coming off these blighters an see how we go.
As has been said, my layman opinion (now that's worth a lot - NOT!) is that it could be a number of things which could include a transient hypoglycemia or hyperglycemic event. E.g. if you'd been drinking alcohol the night before and hadn't yet eaten but you say it occurred on Wednesday and you only drink at the weekend.
Who knows? Sounds like monitor and see doc if it happens again.
I'd an inverted P wave on my ECG. That triggered off a whole series of tests which found yet another possible defect. In the end it was decided that there was nothing wrong and never had been :ok:
7th Mar 2012, 13:30
Basil, yes happened Wednesday - last alcoholic drink prior to this was Sunday. Yes, have been through so many tests over the years - could be any number of things. I guess as it was something totally unexpected it was even more scary.
10th Mar 2012, 12:17
Spoke with doc and explained how I was feeling nauseous since I started taking the pills so he suggested I can stop. Took half yesterday and a quarter today. Really weird light headiness going on - ears seem to be pulsating slightly I feel slightly "disconnected" - very odd.
10th Mar 2012, 18:34
Look at all the simple things first and listen to Ginger,
Wow, that's a very kind thing to say DX :)
These sort of things can sometimes lead to a "diagnosis by internet," which, although well meaning, isn't always that useful.
I'd stick to your GP's advice, which is likely to be both accurate and proportionate.
13th Mar 2012, 09:49
Just had my test results back as follows:
Repeat fasting Glucose test
Make a telephone appointment with my GP
Gingernut - I' ll follow your lead on this but is this an indication of poss diabetes?
13th Mar 2012, 21:03
It's difficult to say without knowing all the facts.
A repeat glucose is usually performed for one of several reasons:
a) There is a sampling error-ie the nurse didn't label the sample correctly and the lab won't process it.
b) You have a raised blood glucose level-in the absence of obvious symptoms (thirst, malaise etc), two readings are required for a diagnosis of diabetes.
c) The sample was a "non-fasting" sample-(or rather the doc doesn't know whether the sample was non fasting.)-and is seeking clarification-repeating the test is usually the quickest way of doing this.
d) Your result is borderline.
a&c are the usual culprits.
b usually leads to a diagnosis of diabetes. More info to follow if this is the case.
d is usually followed by a "glucose tolerance test" which invariably leads to the delightful label of "impaired fasting glycaemia/tolerance."-which roughly translates to "lose weight and do more or get diabetes in the future."
Either way, I wouldn't get to hung up, it doesn't sound like you're too ill, keep us posted:)
13th Mar 2012, 22:00
A "one off"?
Last year, while in training for a marathon, I got up at about 3 am to make my wife and myself a hot chocolate. (yes, I'm good that way.) I started to feel faint, and got down on all fours to avoid keeling over. Managed to get to bed, and told my wife I wasn't feeling too good. She got out the monitor, and it gave a BP reading of 68/40, with a HR of 31. I'm usually about 130/80 and HR of 50. I persuaded her not to call an ambulance, and eventually went to sleep. The next day I felt tired, but 36 hours after the episode I ran ten miles, and in the following month completed two half marathons. Naturally, a visit to the cardiologist was made (it takes a while to see a specialist in UK, and anyway I was by now feeling fine), and he set up a whole battery of tests. I had both a resting and stress ECG, 48hr BP monitor, Aortic Echogram, Cardiac Echogram and contrast MRI on the heart. There were a few minor irregularities but he wasn't concerned about them other than to warn me that marathons might not be a good idea. When I pressed him for the cause of the "collapse" he admitted that he didn't know, and said it was just a "vascular event". Could be you suffered something similar, and no definite cause will be found. Good luck, and keep us posted.
14th Mar 2012, 07:40
Many thanks for the reply - yes have come off the Betas as felt they were making me feel a bit off kilter - feeling fine in all honesty - I guess anxiety could have added to my "symptoms" - will surely keep you posted. Yes I do need to lose weight and try and walk as much as possible even with my dodgy hip.
Thanks too. Yes agree, could well have been just one of those things and will let you know of any updates.
14th Mar 2012, 15:43
See the latest findings on replacement hips. I don't know how these translate across the Atlantic.
Metal to metal. By far the highest fail rate.
Ceramic. Much better.
Metal to Plastic? Nylon? who knows, but that was even better.
15th Mar 2012, 16:12
Ok - my initial glucose reading was 6.1 but yesterday's test 5.6 so all good. My cholestrol is a little high at 5.8
No explanation of the issue I had.
Many thanks for all the responses.
15th Mar 2012, 21:14
That's good news on two counts, you're not diabetic , and there's no explanation to your symptoms.
Your cholesterol level hasn't got a bearing on your episode.
21st Mar 2012, 11:36
Spoke with the doc about another issue (documentation) and she just said that my episode was due a cardio problem that could occur in anyone and kind of "one of those things."
All good to hear.
Gingernut, I posted on here a few months back about persistent headaches and causes and received some interesting responses. The fact is, and wasn't feeling this at the time and have spoken with the doc previously about this, I have a one sided headache that keeps coming back from time to time. Was told by the doc that it was sinus related and she gave me olba oil plus amoxycillin which SEEMED to do the trick but it keeps coming back from time to time. Didn't have it yesterday but woke up feeling it this morning - not agonising at all but painful and VERY annoying. It started about 6 months agao when I had a "viral infection" - severe cough and then the headaches came - was told initially it was the strain of the coughs and then told a sinus infection. I know there are about 200 possibilities but value your opinion.
22nd Mar 2012, 20:01
Sorry mate, I find it hard to give personal consultations on the M&H thread, as I don't always think it's the best thing for the patient.
What I would say though, is keep diary of your symptoms, as most headaches are diagnosed on the history. A simple examination from your GP (he may also want to do some simple blood tests) is usually enough to rule out any "nasties."
Persistent headaches on coughing needs investigating further.
Your GP is your best friend. :)
22nd Mar 2012, 23:21
Wasn't meant to ask for a personal consultation:oh:
Gp told me that she wasn't concerned. Headache is not constant and doesn't come on when bending down - except for odd occasions - but CAN with coughing but not all the time. The feeling is like a strained muscle in your back for example and you suddenly move - it is that kind of pain - pain doesn't feel as if it is "right inside" the head but more on the "outside" if that makes sense.
Guess I need to go back to the original thread and indeed, perhaps, back to the GP.
28th Mar 2012, 14:59
I know I posted on this a few months back but this seems to be a recurring thing with me.
Just to recap, had been diagnosed with a viral infection (very bad cough mainly) and had had this for about 6 weeks - after about three weeks started getting headaches when coughing - right side from temple towards back of head and above right ear - not agonising by any means but very annoying. Doc said I had a sinus infection and gave me antibiotics which appeared to do the trick.
The headache has come back briefly a couple of times and now the past few days accompanying a tickly cough.
Had all my bloods done the other week for another issue and all fine.
No expert, of course, but it feels "related" and "feels" not "inside" my head if you know what I mean?
Any ideas? Yes I plan to go back to the GP but has anyone had similar. Head doesn't ache on every cough and I feel generally fine otherwise - slightly jaded if anything.
31st Mar 2012, 06:26
Trying to be flippant.
31st Mar 2012, 14:13
Sinus infection headaches are notoriously difficult to cure completely. I have been troubled several times since spending so much time in Texas. Having said that, I think my UK dentist infected me and it spread up one side and was really bad for a week or so.
The point being, two separate courses of antibiotics didn't really help. The third did. When it reoccurred a year or so later, one doc said Tetracycline has to be the one, and I had the script filled with an alarm bell ringing.
Years ago, (1980) tinnitus had started after a course of that, and I didn't take it this time around because of the link. Almost at the same time the headaches vanished and I felt much better, so that issue was never addressed.
It seems that when one has it once, there is a tendency for it to reoccur. I've described on this forum about hanging over the bath trying to get saline water into my sinuses. The relief in the past has been instant - once I can force the stuff into the cavities. You can hear the squelching, clicking and popping if it goes in. Then sniff/suck like hell to get it out again. Upside down, fill head, and blow. I even get it coming out of one tear duct. Don't know why only one.
Sterile warm water, about as salty as the sea. After several tries it usually starts to work.
Spasms after infection.
If you're like me, the body seems to react to being attacked by certain muscles going into spasm. If it becomes a real problem, ask the doctor if you can use the dreaded Valium AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL ONLY. It works miracles as a muscles relaxant, but is as dangerous as hell to people that get addicted or have major kickback when it wears off.
I get (almost) uncontrollable rages, after even minor irritations. It's not allowed in our household in more than one tablet at a time.
4th Apr 2012, 17:56
It's an odd one - not there all the time but comes back now and again during the day - then will disappear for weeks and come back again. Feel fine just annoying in - temple, above the ear - that part of the head.
4th Apr 2012, 18:18
When I was a little younger than you apparently are now, if I wasn't on the receiving end of pretty regular female sexual liasons, I used to get the most dreadful headaches bang in the middle of the temple.
5th Apr 2012, 09:51
Very good Cheetah - that part is okay I am pleased to say:p
Would just like to get rid of this niggling thing!
5th Apr 2012, 18:37
Perhaps just to put your mind at rest you should insist that your doctor refer you to a neurologist.
6th Apr 2012, 00:15
Cheetah - I agree. Shitscared to be honest.
That said, headache has now gone...
12th Apr 2012, 16:02
A repeat glucose is usually performed...
...Slightly off topic but there's nothing worse than a worried
looking nurse or quack calling you back for another test you
just done. In SE Asia the buggers have a predilection for not
giving you the reason - just shuddup and do the test again.
One was a repeat ECG - didn't THAT freak me out! Turns out
the machine was duffly calibrated being the first run of the
day but they didn't bother telling me all that. Everything ok
thank christ on the second.
Another was a repeat chest Xray. This one was because their
stupid machine wasn't preloaded! But before I found that out
the bloody nurse stared at me the whole time as if I have just
been condemned to the gallows.
Had to do the odd re-piss now and then but since my urine is
as pure as freshly driven snow I knew it was only because of
a corpuscle count due to age. Another guzzle of water and a
pee one hour later clears up most noises from the quackery.
12th Apr 2012, 19:34
Once went for a medical at Manchester, told the doc who I worked for and what I was up to, as he was performing the ecg. (I think he was trying to relax me).
He then spent the next few minutes ranting about how, who I was working for and what I was doing, drove him from the NHS.
Reckon he stirred a little emotion in me, 'cos I had to do the ecg again. (Passed eventually).
Lesson learnt? they 'aint there to fail ya':ok:
13th Apr 2012, 16:38
Cheetah - spoke too soon - back again. Definitely APPEARS to be sinus related - temple, around the ear, eye, above the ear - after I cough mainly - stabbing pain then throbbing. Subsides and goes away but comes back. Feel fine - no dizziness, vomiting or nausea.
Just bloody annoying:(
15th Apr 2012, 05:26
Sorry to hear that. I'd want a CT scan perhaps or at the least a referral to a specialist such as ENT surgeon who might be able to take this further?
I'm no medical man and I try never to use Dr Google but it sounds as though your GP has reached the end of his knowledge level. My view is that if your GP cannot solve the problem he has a duty to pass you on to a specialist. If your GP can't think of what sort of specialist you might need, then you'll have to brief the quack. My opinion of British diagnostics is that they do not merit first world consideration. This is due to national health financial constraints, and the quality of many GPs, not to the actual research capabilities of British chemists who are world class. Their efforts to cure human misery have now been seriously curtailed by the likes of Peta who have threatened air lines and shipping companies that disaster will befall them if they transport animals for medical research. So next time you pass a Peta petitioner in the street, blow him a little bubonic plague please!
15th Apr 2012, 08:47
Cheetah - thanks for the response. Headache gone now and hoping this will be it. Oddly enough I tried to call my GP the other day but the phone lines were down so sent an email....appointment never confirmed due their comms issues. Will see how things go but I do, like you, think an ENT person could be the solution.
18th Apr 2012, 06:42
Your GP should be able to refer you to both a Neurologist and ENT consultant. You will probably need an MRI scan and one scan will satisfy both consultants. I would see the Neuro first.
18th Apr 2012, 09:59
Is what I have common? Pain kinda creeps down from temple onto cheekbone, behind the eye - not excruciating but annoying - odd stabbing pain then throbbing then it goes. Feel absolutely fine.
Hopefully see the GP this week.
18th Apr 2012, 10:24
I'm not a medic' and so can't comment. But If I was in your shoes I would get referred to a Neurologist as soon as......hopefully all will be well and your mind will be put at ease.
Don't delay & good luck again!