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Scout

Anyone else faint easily? Vasovagal Syncope

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Does anyone faint easily when it comes to triggers like pain, sight of blood, etc?

I've always been someone who faints suddenly after seeing something upsetting, or in response to sharp pain.

I've been told by my GP that this is a survival response from the body, and approximately 2 - 4% of the population experience vasovagal syncope. But I'm intrigued as to whether this is more common with folks with dysautonomia? 

Earlier today, I cut my finger as I was cleaning something, and suddenly had tunnel vision and passed out briefly. It wasn't even a severe cut, either, and it's so odd, because I don't have a phobia of blood really either. 

Anyhow, was just curious how common this was. 

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Not too long ago I accidentally cut my finger trying to open a can, wasn't even a bad cut, but I went white as a ghost, got super nauseous and fell over almost passing out. I'm a nurse so I have absolutely no issues with wounds, blood, etc., so it's kind of funny/weird that my body can have such an exaggerated response like that...

I think it has more to do with perceived control. If we had been forewarned that we were going to injury ourselves on those household items (or watching a gory movie scene, witnessing an accident, surgery, and so on), the stress on the body wouldn't have been so significant, giving the heart rate and blood pressure more time to adapt and react appropriately. 

Hope you're doing ok!!

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@jklass44 It definitely is funny and odd, isn't it! Sorry to hear you have it happen, though, too.  Also hope you're OK! 

I certainly agree that sometimes, it feels as though these events happen suddenly, so our bodies respond suddenly as a result.

I've had several occasions where sharp pain, out of nowhere, has made me faint. Once, I was standing in line to order a burger at a busy shop, and I had a sharp, deep stabbing pain in my hand for some reason - must have just been a severe muscle spasm or ache. I remember thinking "ouch", feeling dizzy for one second, and then waking up on the floor with people around me. It was funny, scary and embarrassing. 

Our bodies can be quite over the top, but from everything I have read, this reaction is largely genetic and all we can do is hope for the best. 

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@Scout what you describe is called neuro-cardiogenic syncope and it is caused by dysautonomia. But it is different than POTS syncope. Only 30% of POTS patients actually faint. So you would have both - POTS and NCS. I have hyper-adrenergic POTS and I do faint but it"s a different mechanism than NCS. When I have a flare or a triggered event I faint and take seizures due to excessive vasoconstriction ( seizures ) or vasodilation ( syncope ). The triggers are the usual POTS triggers. You could show me the goriest scene and I would not faint, not even when I hurt myself. But if I stand too long ( my limit is 45 seconds ) or get too hot etc …. thump, there I go. With NCS you have to make sure you are aware of the possibility of fainting, identify your triggers ( blood and pain are common ones ) and then sit down and prepare for the inevitable when needed. I know - that sounds dumb but with syncope the most important thing is to avoid injuries from falls. 

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it’s happened to me my whole life. first time it happened, I was like 5. pediatrician was doing a finger stick on me & I told my mom I felt tired & I fainted lol. you definitely have to learn what triggers you may have like @Pistol said. 

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