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I just found this forum, and hope someone can help. I've seen many doctors over 8 years who cannot figure out what my "episodes" are....

I've had about 8 - 10 of these total, sometimes weeks apart, sometimes years apart, but always exactly the same: Within the first hour after going to sleep, I awake with a profound wave of nausea and within 5 - 10 seconds I lose consciousness - whether I get up or stay in bed. (I used to get up to rush to the bathroom to vomit, but learned to just stay put - I don't hit the floor that way!!) After 30 - 60 seconds of unconcsiousness, I awake and vomit once, and have such weakness that I cannot move for about an hour. It takes about a day to fully recover.

Doctors are puzzled because this occurs while lying in bed. I've seen cardiologists, neurologists, had sleep studies, ekgs, nothing ever shows up as abnormal. Does anyone recognize these symptoms? I'd be forever grateful for some help in figuring this out.

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Sorry Ernie, I'm trying to learn how to reply here! I'm not the most savy computer gal....Thank you for your reply.

No other symptoms, no other medical problems, I don't faint at any other time. I've not had a tilt table test, no one had ever suggested it including docs at the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale where we went after local doctors had no idea. I have never even heard of it being available where I live, which is in Wyoming.

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Hello,

Well, as you probably know, syncope is associated with low blood pressure. How's your pulse/ BP?

I suggest getting a home blood pressure monitor. (I presume that the arm cuff ones are more accurate than the wrist ones.) That way when you have an episode you can check to see if your BP is low and tell your docs that.

Based on what you said, I doubt a TTT will show much. The TTT brings out symptoms of POTS and other posture related blood pressure problems. Your problem sounds like it's related to sleep not posture.

Maybe next time you have an episode you could try leaning off the side of the bed to keep your head below your body (over a bucket :) ) to keep as much blood in your head as you can? I suppose you don't want to fall out of bed if you pass out though.

Jesse

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Bonnielee,

I get what feels like a wave going through my chest and come close to almost blacking out while I'm lying in bed when I'm trying to fall asleep or shortly after I've fallen asleep. I've never actually passed out, it always startles me awake before I do. It feels like it might having something to do with my heart either getting too slow or just getting into a funky rhythm - sometimes I get a horrible headache along with it and nausea as well. Mine will go aways for months at a time too and suddenly reappear. It's a very scary feeling. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it to my docs though.

gena

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Hi! Have they done a 24hr holter monitor to check if your heart rate is dropping really low at times while you sleep? This can cause you to faint... Do you have an idea of where your pulse rate is at when you are awakened with the nausea? (can you tell if it's pounding fast or going slow) It makes things that much harder to diagnose when it doesn't come regularily or have a trigger! I'm so sorry you're experiencing this! Do you have any other investigations happening at this time? Laura

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You described me to a "T". I frequently wake up with these episodes. Dr. Low at Mayo had no explanation for them, but my cardiologist told me he has some POTS patients that this happens to. I just wait for it to pass.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Bonnielee,

I had to search for your post regarding this issue because it just happened to me the other night. I had just gone to bed and my heart was still beating really fast. I got dizzy, started yawning, got very nauseated but did not vomit, and next thing I knew, it was lights out! It happened twice, one right after the other. I have come close to fainting before, but never have, and certainly never in bed. Let me know if you find out anything else...take care,

Ann

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What about a sleep study? Have you had this done or are they lining you up for one? My Father has sleep apnea and when he stops breathing, his pulse & BP drop. If he stops breathing for an extended period of time, he has the nasuea and syncope issues that you describe. He also says that it takes him a full day to recover from it. He feels extremely weak afterwards.

I hope this helps!

Susan

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Hi All,

Just got back from my cardiologist yesterday and spoke with him about this. I have fainted about 6 times now in the last week while flat in bed. He said it is NCS. Actually, he called it Vasovagal Syncope, but I guess it is the same thing. He said it is not that unusual for Dysautonomia. Though my bp rises when standing for POTS before it ultimately drops, it must be dropping at some point when I am flat in bed. I looked up NCS on our main page and did read something about this. Also, I posted on excessive yawning. He said that yawning is also part of Dysautonomia, that Dysautonomia is dysfunction of the autonomic system and basically anything can go wrong at any point in the game. There are not necessarily as many steadfast rules as many people think. Any comments? Thanks!

Ann

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You know, keeping an activity/stress journal would be very helpful. I have had times when my diet made absolutely no difference; however, stress always gets me good. With the sensitivity of the Dysautonomic's ANS, you can be setting yourself up for these episodes without even realizing it.

Have you tried keeping your life very well scheduled and predictable? Lifestyle is a huge part of controlling symptoms and crashes - which is something I'm just now coming to fully understand. Our systems like the security of a routine - right down to when/what we eat, how much sleep we get, pretty much anything you can think of to maintain consistency will help.

You just have to be ready for anything. The ANS controls SO much of the body.

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