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I am 33 years old and have had strange symptoms, mainly headaches, dizziness and fatigue, I just got all my blood tests back and my blood work looks normal.

I was getting an orientation at the YMCA on the circuit. I was only at the 2nd machine when suddenly I felt dizzy. This happens all the time lately, especially if I do more than a lazy workout (lately I can only walk on the treadmill at a slow pace). I guess my face turned extremely red. The personal trainer took my blood pressure. My blood pressure was 95/74 (I accidently posted 85 instead in another section) and the heart rate was 71. She took it again five minutes later and it was 111/83 and heart rate was 79. She stated that I couldn't work out at the Y until I got a doctor's clearance. I guess this shows I could possibly have a heart condition. Even when I walk on the treadmill, I get slightly dizzy and feel like I am going to fall asleep.

My resting heart rate used to be at 90, which was pretty high but was normal for me. It is just strange that with exercise, my pulse and blood pressure went down. Anyone hear of such a thing? Very very strange.

Anyone else experience this? It's just strange that my resting blood pressure is normal and my heart rate is higher when I am resting as opposed to working out.

I just went to the doctor's today and the resting EKG was normal, which doesn't surprise me. He was concerned about my valves. My mom has valve problems (forgot the official name). I will be getting an stress-EKG at a cardiologist in the next few days. In the meantime, I can't exercise or do anything strenuous.
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First Helper SwizzleStick
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replied September 6th, 2008
It has been a while since you posted this, but it took me years to get a diagnosis so you might benefit from my response.

I went through the exact same thing, right down to being kicked out of the gym. My GP did a resting EKG and pretty much called me crazy. He gave me permission to return, but when it kept happening, I went to a cardiologist. I had a 24 hour heart monitor, stress test and echocardiogram, and was told I was fine. They put me on a beta blocker and it didn't help at all. After that, they sent me to an electrophysiologist, which is a cardiology specialty that looks at heart rhythms.

The ep put me on a 3 week heart monitor and did a tilt table test, but I think that was overkill. After all that, he said my symptoms were common and classic. I don't know if it is what you have, but they said I have Vasovagal Syncope.

You know those Victorian women who fainted when they got excited or those people who pass out at the sight of blood? My body responds the same way to heat and exercise as theirs did to emotional triggers. Heat and exercise both cause a person's veins to dilate. Fair skinned and thin people are particularly sensitive to this (noting your avatar, I'd guess you are at least one of the two). In people with vasovagal syncope, the veins in the legs don't constrict enough to get the blood back up to the head. That causes a fainting, lightheaded, dizzy, or sleepy feeling as the blood pressure drops. Your body is going to get blood to your brain one way or another, so if you don't do it, your body will do it for you in the form of passing out. If you lie down with your feet elevated, it should pass without your losing consciousness. Some people lose consciousness so suddenly that they don't have time to lie down.

The good news is that most people eventually out-grow vasovagal syncope in middle to late middle ages. Another benefit is that it isn't life-threatening as it is what is called a self-correcting condition. If you get to the point of fainting, your body will correct the problem while you are passed out and you'll come-to just fine. If you're like me, you'll want to avoid the fainting in the first place, and there are some measures you can take to do so.

Ask your cardiologist if you would benefit from an increase in salt intake. Some cardiological issues would be hurt by salt, so please do ask. Salt causes fluid retention and it significantly helps in low blood pressure. My doctor told me that it didn't matter how much I was drinking, that I needed to double it. I had to eliminate all diuretics (soda, coffee, tea, etc) from my diet as much as possible, as they get rid of fluid. And I had to re-structure my day to exercise, shower, and do other physically demanding or hot tasks well after I woke up. Blood pressure and hydration levels tend to be low in the morning, and can be really problematic if you have hypostatic orthotension as well (blood pressure drops when you change positions, like getting out of bed or standing up after doing floor exercises). By giving myself more time to get going, and drinking plenty of water at least 30 minutes before a task, I've almost eliminated my symptoms and the rest I'm able to control by taking a break to lie down when I first notice the need.

If you are still having problems, I strongly encourage you to look into this relatively simple diagnosis.

Susie
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replied February 21st, 2014
@ Susie. My younger brother's vagal shocks started in his 20's and at 51 it hasn't changed. My oldest brother has had vagal shocks as far as we can remember and my 21 year old son had his first episode at 12yrs old. His go to remedy is Gatorade, we always have it on hand. Gatorade balances electrolytes.... can't hurt to try. I usually have my gatorade after a workout, but yesterday after a stress-EKG the cardiologist told me to drink it before, during and after my workouts (yes, I, too, am struggling with hypotension).
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replied April 29th, 2009
I too have vaso vagal syncope
It took along time to diagnose again, And lately strange really because it literally has just happend exercise makes my condition become significantly worsend, Previously i was in the gym 5 times weekly for two hour sessions now i can only manage treadmil for 5 minute slots. If theres anything you would like to talk about or discuss dont hesitate to message me, Ill help as much as i can

Sasha
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replied August 30th, 2011
I think I may also have vasovagal syncope. Any information you would like to share would be greatly appreciated. I am as of yet undiagnosed and getting very frustrated with the process. Thanks!! Jillian
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replied February 22nd, 2012
vaso vagal syncope
Hi Sasha,
Thanks for this blog. My friend experienced these symptoms two weeks ago. He was admitted to the hospital this weekend and continues to feel weak, dizzy, less mobility. He used to go to the gym everyday and runs 5 miles before (even completed half-marathon last November) but now he can not hardly walk. Can you please share was cured you or what corrective action was taken? Your timely sharing of experience and insight will be greatly appreciated. We could be back in the hospital if he continues to deteriorate and lose weight (even if eating well). Can we call you? This is my friend Jose's cell no. (904) 662-9888. This is my cell no. if you can not reach him (904) 866-6554. Thank you very much! God bless.

Marie from Jacksonville
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replied December 10th, 2010
Low Blood Pressure Question
Hi,

If you have vaasovagal syncope.. when you get dizzy does it feel like your heart rate slows down? I've been having problems with my blood pressure (too low) which is worse when I stand up.. Also, I don't drink a lot of water.. mainly decaf coffee and some juic, and I drink several times a week..

Can dehydration affect blood pressure?

Thanks,
Jennifer
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replied July 27th, 2012
i have vasovagal syncope and orthstatic hypotension for 3 years,i have to drink at least 3 liters of water a day more on a hot day and excessive salt with my food to stop dehydration as it does cause blood pressure to drop ,when you are getting up from sitting or lying down take a few moments to let ur body adjust to the positional change ,avoid caffiene and alcohol in large quantities as this also causes dehydrayion ,i hope this information is helpful,good luck.
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replied August 30th, 2011
Could I have vasovagal syncope?
Wow, I think I may have just figured out what is wrong with me. I am 27 and have been having problems for over a year now. I was physically active, thin, in good shape. Got up to go to work one day and couldn't breathe. I was getting lightheaded, sick to my stomach, etc. I went to the doctor and haven't been back to work since. They thought it was my heart, but after a full cardiac workup, they told me my heart was fine. I have been seeing a pulmonologist, who has cleared me for anything lung related. I did a CPET (cardiopulmonary exercise test) twice, and got the same results both times. My blood pressure drops significantly (like 65/40 during the testing), my CO2 drops, O2 drops. And yet they continue to tell me there is nothing wrong, and no reason for me to be having these problems. I am so frustrated. Everybody who has posted on here has the exact same symptoms as me. I guess my next question is: How did it eventually get diagnosed?? Any information would be great. I'd love to talk to anyone who is having the same problems. Thanks!!
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replied October 15th, 2011
Wow, very interesting! I have jogged for over 25 years and in the last few I am done before I get started. Instead of my body getting stronger, I feel I am getting weaker. I too get the feelings of nausea, and being dizzy and just like I have to stop whatever it is I am doing NOW! Usually this is a problem that I can over come,with a "mind over matter" thing. The other day I was down for the count. I was riding my bike, outside, and my legs got tired so I was walking the bike. The more I walked, the worse I felt. I started seeing just bright white and felt so sick. I called my husband and he called 911. My blood pressure had dropped to 79/30. My husband said my eyes rolled back in my head and I fainted. Scared the crap out of him. I went to the hospital and they ran a ton of tests on me, found nothing but "fainting" with no reason why. That is such a strange feeling, I never want to go through that again. It is nice to hear others talk about it, giving me some insight to my own problem. Thanks so much, Sue.
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replied February 21st, 2014
long warm ups will help. Yes, loooong 30 minutes, before a good bike ride and gatorade. My dad, brothers, my 21 yr old son (first episode at 12) and now myself suffer from hypotension (aka vagal syncope/shock) I have had to change my workouts Sad
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replied February 21st, 2014
See a new cardiologist and ask for a Stress-EKG.... meanwhile drink gatorade (to balance your electrolytes), you will notice a difference.
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replied October 20th, 2015
Don't completely rely on the full cardiac workup. Went through a full cardiac workup stress, ekg monitor one week before I went in the hospital with a myocardial infarction,well surprise I had a heart attack, I did not go to the hospital for over 12 hours thinking my heart was fine. I almost believed those tests to my death.
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replied October 9th, 2011
Help!!
I have the same problem.I've been fainting ever-since 5yrs old and still at the age of 34.I am frustrated with myself,specially during exercises.I struggle with my weight and the low-blood-pressure does not help either to have an intense workout as well as an diet-plan.(I'm trying to quote smoking and the smoking really affect my well-being and to have the low-blood is a very bad combination.Somebody Please help!!!!!
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This post has been removed because it did not meet our Community Guidelines.

replied November 28th, 2011
Vasovagal syncope
Everyone - get checked for sleep apnea as a factor in creating this condition. May not be your problem, but it very well might.
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replied November 28th, 2011
Vasovagal syncope
Everyone - get checked for sleep apnea as a factor in creating this condition. May not be your problem, but it very well might.
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replied January 2nd, 2013
I just recently started having problems with low blood pressure. I was rushed to the ER after fainting at the gym and knocking myself out cold on a weight machine. I had symtoms of nausea and dizziness but sat down immediately until the spell passed. I ressumed my work out as normal and the symtoms came back so I sat on a stool on the outer wall of the gym. The next thing I remember is waking up in the middle of the room (20-30 feet from where I had sat down) with people all around me telling me an ambulance was on its way. I work out 4-6 times weekly! I hydrate well and drink only water with an occational coffee. I am now unable to go to the gym (as directed by my dr). She has me scheduled for an MRI and is reffering me to neurology. So starts the grueling testing.... Wish me luck!
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replied February 23rd, 2013
Wow, thank you for posting this! After my workout i was doing lunges and then a wall squat and when i got up i was so dizzy and my eyesight went blurry for about 30 seconds. I'm on two diuretics and don't drink water as much as one should. I drink strong green tea off and on...so it sounds like I have some things to change.

Circuit training is a no no for me, I can barely make it 5 minutes without passing out! I had a work up of my brain actually because they thought I might have epilepsy. Thankfully I don't and it was chalked up to a random fainting spell.

Looks like it might not be so random after all and why I've mostly been afraid to workout!
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replied April 9th, 2013
Anyone also have FEET tingle and CRAMP ?
Does anyone have as part of your symptoms the problem of while you are exercising that your FEET tingle and lose feeling even on the elliptical? And then my FEET start CRAMPING like crazy and my head spins and the other symptoms you all have spoke of set in.
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replied June 5th, 2013
Great to see this continuing post! My problem seems related, although I seem to have both high and now low blood pressure. Re: the low, I play a lot of pickleball...three or four hours a day, or I used to, anyway. Now, if I play outdoors especially, I can feel my blood pressure start to drop. I get dizzy, can't focus on the ball, and get very fatigued and weak. If I take my blood pressure, which is often quite high (normal in 140+ over 90+, can go much higher and I am on one blood pressure med for hypertension) will dump to 70/50. Have had a full heart workup including EKG, two CTs, all lab tests, wore a heart monitor for a day, MRI, kidney workups, etc. No abnormalities except some restricted flow from one kidney. My weight is normal, age 65.
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replied December 24th, 2013
Glad I found this site, I have the identical problem, suppose to take blood pressure meds. Happened today at the gym while on the bike. Can get heart rate to 148 no problems, but today, NO GO.Layed on floor mat for 20 min then felt fine. Now at home it is UP... cannot cut yard in summer as I will faint in the heat, blood pressure drops. I am a female age 67. Also had check up, small part of heart has hardened but Doc says I passed stress test with flying colors and do not worry about it. Maybe it is just our age?
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replied September 29th, 2013
Has anyone who's posted been checked for birth defect of the heart?

There could just a simple explanation like your arteries and veins get bigger with exercise. When I was a sixteen the doc observed this when he did a stress test on me, I'm now fifty years and it hasn't killed me yet. It does worry me enough to google it.
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replied December 30th, 2013
Hello everyone, I have had 2 episodes in the last year. Both times I was fine the entire time I was exercising and then when I sat in my car I got incredibly light headed, my vision went blurry and I felt like I wasn't there. (I know that is very difficult to explain) Dream like maybe? I came to after a few minutes but for 2 weeks I had the oddest concussion like symptoms - dizzy, disoriented, light headed, queezy. After the first instance- January 13', I regained complete normalcy. I haven't been so fortunate after the second instance last June... It is difficult to keep my bp up and I am absolutely terrified by it all. I went through a complete work-up, tilt table, EKG, MRI with contrast, Stress test, holter monitor, echo and everything seems to be fine, which I am thankful for... Just scared that no one understands it. Alot of people just think I am "depressed" or "have anxiety" and that is causing it. However, it is the situation causing my anxiety. I am terrified I am going to drop dead.
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replied January 23rd, 2014
My husband has been having these episodes where he goes out to feed the animals or does as little as stand at the sink to wash a few dishes (yes my husband does do dishes, lol) anyway he gets light headed dizzy nauseated double vision throws up sometimes and breaks out in a cold sweat and feels faint and has to go lay down. Last week he started having chest pains that radiated down his arm and made his face numb. We went to the hospital and they did sonogram and heart catherization on him and they found nothing! But during chest pain gave him nitroglycerin and the chest pain went away.
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replied April 10th, 2014
I have similar symptoms (e.g., very low BP during exercise, dizziness, foggy vision), but my HR goes up dramatically when BP falls as my body attempts to stay running and keeping oxygen moving to the muscles. Vasovagal syncope is defined as low BP AND low HR. Anyone have any idea for low BP and high HR during exercise?
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replied November 10th, 2015
Dizziness during long exercise.
I'm reading these reports with great interest, recently at age 60 I've been experiencing this phenomenon for the first time whenever exercising (cycling & walking) for times greater than 1.5 hours. Each time this dizziness affects me my blood pressure is very low (typically 72/59) and my heart rate is elevated. I can predict when it's coming by monitoring my heart rate which elevates for no apparent reason. To counteract this condition, a water bottle filled with strong ice coffee works to elevate my blood pressure. Does anyone know if there is a medical treatment for this? Thank you.
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replied January 13th, 2016
Low BP and HR
Don't know if you will see this JimVanO but I have the same thing upon exertion - low BP and low HR. Been through all the test with cardiologist and my heart is fine. Says it is just another version of Vasovagal Syncope. It is frustrating I am 59 and this just started last summer. Been active at work and play all my life.Seeing these post are really comforting knowing it is a fairly common thing.
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replied October 6th, 2016
I'm a 31 year old woman, 5'5 and 130 pounds. I just saw my doctor about this and he said that I have low blood pressure as well. He said there are 4 things I can do to improve feeling tired, dizzy/lightheaded, and weak.

-Keep well hydrated
-Increase salt intake
-Wear medical grade compression pants as high up the waist as possible (without looking like Steve Urkel)
-Eat regularly (often people who have low blood pressure also have symptoms that mimic hypoglycaemia)

Hope this helps!
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