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Old 04-14-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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Vagus Nerve Fainting Episode

Does anyone know much about vagus nerve stimulation and ketosis?

I fainted last night.. this has never happened to me.
My friends took me to the ER.

My Dr. was really good and talked quite a while with me.. Dr. decided vagus nerve overstimulation... thought that the fact I was in ketosis, had a big drop in blood pressure and dehydrated and the way I described it (got very dizzy and like I had a wooshing in my head then my hearing slowly went away and I saw like a gray tunnel. For a split second I wondered if maybe I was dying.. it was really very strange and It took maybe a minute.. it was not an "all of a sudden I am passed out" thing.

I fell too..which sucks but I am really ok except I am very scared now. I can't seem to get this right. Dr. totally blamed the ketosis (said low blood pressure and dehydration and being overheated from walking allot in the sun).

I was doing really well - finally starting to really lose some weight and now from the IV I am all sugared up again. Not sure how I am going to work this now.

Does ketosis naturally stimulate the vagus nerve? Is this why it helps patients with epilepsy?
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Sorry this happened to you. Glad you are doing better now.

You are the second member in recent weeks to post about a fainting episode due to Low BP and dehydration. So glad you are OK.

I don't know about the link with Ketosis and Vagus nerve stimulation. Not sure how he's making that correlation. The Low BP/dehydration totally makes sense to me though. Make sure you are getting enough fluids. Especially since you are doing a lot of walking.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tulipsandroses View Post
Sorry this happened to you. Glad you are doing better now.

You are the second member in recent weeks to post about a fainting episode due to Low BP and dehydration. So glad you are OK.

I don't know about the link with Ketosis and Vagus nerve stimulation. Not sure how he's making that correlation. The Low BP/dehydration totally makes sense to me though. Make sure you are getting enough fluids. Especially since you are doing a lot of walking.
sorry, no the Dr. didn't say that ketosis stimulated the v. nerve.. I had just remembered that many epileptic patients are helped with ketosis and wondered if it was because ketosis somehow stimulated the nerve...

It was prob. that ketosis makes me tend to be dehydrated all the time plus, I had been sweating allot and my blood pressure was low.. it all just came together...
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Hm. Wouldn't have made the ketosis vagus nerve connection, but I'm not a doctor- interesting thought. I suffer from vagus nerve injury from my spinal tumors and also suffer from post-viral vagus nerve damage- I've never fainted, but did and still sometimes do experience dizziness where I thought I was going to faint within the first one or two bites of solid food. I actually feel better on low carb, higher fat, low solids. My main symptoms of vagus nerve damage was early-satiety, nausea, heart valve and muscle dysfunction including palpitations and arythmia when laying down on my right side- they used to wake me up from deep sleep), chronic pulsitile tinnitus in my left ear only (caused by position of tumors and nerve compression), and inability to eat more than a few bites of food each meal. My worst symptoms occurred when I ate solid food. I was on a very soft foods and liquid diet for nearly 2 years because of my vagus nerve related gastroparesis.

I would have blamed it on dehydration and drop in pressure which is common when starting lc... Even atkins mentions fainting can occur due to these issues when on a ketogenic diet.

For epileptic patients, doctors often combine vagus nerve stimulation with a ketogenic diet to help control episodes. When a patient begins to feel a seizure coming on they are to press a button that controls the vagus nerve stimulator wired into their spine which starts mild pulses to stimulate the nerve and counteract the seizure. So I don't know how over-stimulation can occur without such a device via ketogenic diet alone.

But it's food for thought, definitely. Very interesting topic for me to research now. Hope you feel better soon, though.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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You need to bump up your salt intake. Since you have been losing water on your LC journey, you need more salt. Are you having any cramping?
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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As far as I know researchers are not sure the exact mechanism by which low carb helps epilepsy (I have researched a lot for a family member). I have never heard a theory that it is due to VN.

Glad you are OK!

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisyHair View Post
sorry, no the Dr. didn't say that ketosis stimulated the v. nerve.. I had just remembered that many epileptic patients are helped with ketosis and wondered if it was because ketosis somehow stimulated the nerve...

It was prob. that ketosis makes me tend to be dehydrated all the time plus, I had been sweating allot and my blood pressure was low.. it all just came together...
This is what I think too... I faint every once in a while randomly. Think it is low BP and dehydration.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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This might be TMI - but the last time I had a fainting episode, occurred during TOM. I tend to have a heavy flow and I really think that played a part. More fluid loss on top of Ketosis and exercising frequently.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #9
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Poor you! How scary! I'm sure you're okay, though - just don't get yourself dehydrated again .

This happened to me once during the last time I was on a long-term LC diet. But it was kind of my own fault; I was hungover, and I'd stayed in bed all morning without eating or drinking. I'm sure I was majorly dehydrated.

When I finally got up, I got dressed and got ready to leave with my girlfriend. I made it maybe 10 feet down the hall when I had symptoms like you describe - I was wobbly, then my legs seemed very far away, then my hearing went and my vision started to go. We turned around and went back, and in the entryway of my apartment I held up my finger and tried to say I was going to faint, but I couldn't speak and just slid down to the floor. I woke up right away, though. My GF asked me if I wanted to go to the ER, and I said no, just bring me a glass of water. Then I had her make me a Keto shake (remember Keto shakes? I miss them), and after drinking a bunch of water and the shake, I felt better. That was the first and only time I've ever fainted.

Afterwards, I just went along with my low-carbing ways, and nothing like it ever happened again.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:50 PM   #10
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Google vasovagal syncope. There are lots of things that can trigger it. Not sure about ketosis though. I know it was scary for you! Glad you are doing ok and didn't injure itself during the faint!

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Old 04-14-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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Had you just stood up prior to fainting? It could have been orthostatic hypotension, which could be caused by dehydration. Make sure you stay hydrated on a daily basis. If it is otho hypotension and it continues to occur, they do have medication to combat it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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Also, this may be TMI too, but if you had just finished going to the bathroom, not just to potty, you can stimulate a vagal response by straining which can stimulate the vagal nerve and causing your blood pressure to drop suddenly, thus leading to a fainting episode.
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #13
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My son has epilepsy and actually has a vagus nerve stimulator implant (it unfortunately hasn't worked too well) and was also on the ketogenic diet to control his seizures (which worked amazingly well, but he couldn't tolerate the diet for too long). I agree with the other posters though, I would have never guessed the two were related, interesting. I probably would have thought dehydration as well. Sorry that happened, must have been very scary! Glad you are ok!
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:55 AM   #14
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I have fainted a few times in my life, due to overheating or pain. I've also had very low blood pressure at times. Most recently, my blood pressure went very low after drinking nothing but green tea for a couple of weeks.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:12 AM   #15
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yes, I have vasovagal syncope also. The first time, I had a horrible wave of nausia, and passed out while at the computer, scraped up the side of my face on the berber carpeting and twisted my knee under the desk. The ER doctor referred me to a heart doctor who said it is all about dehydration. It happened a few more times, so now I keep a bottle of water at my bed, take a bottle of water into the yard while weeding, bottles of water in my car, a mini bottle of water in my purse. I remember to drink atleast 1/2 glass of water every 1/2 hour. I don't want to ever feel that way again. This problem has a simple cure, isn't that great!
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:23 AM   #16
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Wow I am sorry to hear of this. How scary for you!

It sure sounds like Chris said that it's more tied to dehydration than anything else!!! It's important to drink and also, if you feel or see that "greyness" coming on, sit down on the ground and tell the person you are with that it's happening.

I also don't know if this helps but sometimes putting pressure with your abdominals can help regulate the vagus nerve. Like you are having a BM with a bearing down pressure - only don't have a bm! LOL.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:00 AM   #17
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Wow ... that had to be scary!

For me, I work very hard to keep hydrated but mostly to keep leg and foot cramps under control while I sleep. I have been drinking a LOT of Powerade Zero these days. It works great for me to easily track how much I drink (count the containers ) as well as getting plenty of electrolytes into my system.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #18
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My sister fainted years ago while she was driving, actually drove into a gas station :-( Good thing I was in the car with her. The Dr's tested her for all sorts of drugs, and determined it was low BP, Ketosis and hypoglycemia. They told her to drink sports drinks for electrolytes when she was exercising, and to make sure she ate more LOL! She was on a Low Carb Diet at the time, but had also taken water pills which dehydrated her and depleted her electrolytes.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:14 PM   #19
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Another thought is that today in the store, while looking at shoes, I could smell the strong scent of leather and chemicals. I became very lightheaded. I sat down there and it became worse. I staggered over to the watch repair for a watch battery, and after about 20 minutes, I finally felt better-the light headedness went totally away. Could it be the chemicals or scents that triggered the problem? I don't know, but something to keep in mind. I had a cup of coffee about 1/2 hour before this all happened-so hydration should not have been an issue.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #20
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OMG! I am glad you didn't get hurt worse falling. I carry a bottle of water around with me all the time... a 32 oz bottle. I drink from it all day long. (I live in Phoenix...dry weather plus heat = more more water!) I don't mess around, I've had to go to ER for dehydration and if I feel like I am losing my water fight I dump a packet of propel zero in my bottle. I think it is like 1 carb and gets me rehydrated quick. I also don't worry about salt content of stuff...but I don't dump it on either! Good luck. As with any WOE I guess there is trial and error, eh?
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #21
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That happened to me in Jan. I have always had an issue with the vegas nerve. This last time happened at the beginning of the flu. This fall was by far the worst, I took a direct hit to the head with the door frame and had a pretty serious concussion.
I do believe it could be from dehydration. I fainted once while pregnant with each child and a few times as a kid.
I personally don't think it's the diet at least not for me, as I haven't had and increase either time I have been on a low carb diet. I do however notice that I can start to get a little dizzy when I haven't been drinking my normal amount of fluid.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:32 PM   #22
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I got lightheaded a few months ago in the pharmacy line at Walmart, took my blood pressure, was something like 85/50. I headed to the truck but had to pay for the bottle of pop I had started drinking. I almost went down at the check out. I gave the lady a 5, the empty bottle, after dropping it, apologized and headed to the truck. Luckily my oldest was with me in case I had passed out. I still wonder why I didnt . And I think it was from not eating and lots of running around town that day.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:25 AM   #23
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Vasovagal syncope is far and away the most common cause of fainting. It can be stimulated by dehydration (or insufficient salt intake), emotional stress, new medications, and a whole host of things. It's completely benign and usually best treated with increasing your salt and water and getting up slowly.

There are medications that can be used in more extreme cases. To my knowledge, there is no association between vasovagal syncope and ketosis.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:36 AM   #24
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My bf had this happen to him last Oct just after starting a new job. He was in the bathroom getting ready to go to work , brushed his teeth, walked out of the bathroom and passed out. He apparently was talking nonsense and his parents said if he didn't agree for them to take him to the hospital they were calling the ambulance. He finally agreed to go.
He was in the hospital over the weekend cause they wanted to do tests on him to make sure it wasn't his heart or anything. I think they said he was dehydrated because they had him on saline the entire time. Luckily it wasn't anything serious such as his heart.

Oh they said it also may have been stress related because the job entailed a midnight shift and he is a bed at 9 up at 5 kind of guy and the new sleep schedule threw his body off.
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