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Medical Problem has me scared sh*tless!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by I wanna be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. I wanna be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon

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    For the past two days I have been having a problem. Whenever I get up from a laying or sitting position, I get extremely dizzy for about 2 seconds, then it fades off. Is it likely this is orthostatic hypotension, a brain tumor, or what?? Please help!! Thanks a ton, it's really appreciated!

    Romanella
     
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  3. omores

    omores sleep deprived

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    First of all, relax! The experience can be frightening, but most dizziness is entirely benign. But please clarify a few things: What exactly do you mean by dizzy? Do you feel that the room is spinning around you, or is it a lightheaded about-to-pass-out kind of feeling?

    Does this happen only when you get up quickly, or do you notice it when you're lying down and you turn your head?
     
  4. AceUF78

    AceUF78 Membaaa....

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    How tall are you ?
    And does it only happen if you get up too fast ?
     
  5. I wanna be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon

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    Thank you for the quick replies!

    I feel dizzy like the whole room is spinning really fast, up and down and side to side.

    This only happens when I get up from a position, and doesn't happen when I move my head, body position, etc.

    I am 6 feet tall, and even when I get up slowly, it still happens.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. KU Brendan

    KU Brendan FM/EM Attending, PC Gamer
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    It does sound a great deal like orthostatic hypotension since it only happens when going from a sitting to upright position and only lasts a few seconds before it goes away. Try hydrating yourself some more and seeing if that helps (and I mean water, not alcohol) :) If you have a BP cuff, you might do orthostatics on yourself just for kicks (always a fun activity for a Friday night with friends). Now if your HR is increasing a great deal when standing, you're having any ringing in your ears, or you have a tremor, this would be another issue. But based on what you said, I think you correctly diagnosed yourself.

    --Brendan--
    <"}}}}}><
     
  7. I wanna be a Cardiothoracic Surgeon

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    Thank you all so much.

    I have a history of heart problems. When I was born, I had cyanosis so I had a procedure called transposition of the great vessels. I havn't had any heart problems since (I'm 17) and my cardiologist says everything is magnificant. I guess I need another checkup if this doesn't clear away soon.

    I totally appreciate all your help, you people are the best!
     
  8. omores

    omores sleep deprived

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    A few more questions:

    Any other symptoms (hearing loss, tinnitus, nausea)?

    Anything happen recently that you think might be connected (sinus infection, fall or accident)?

    How old are you?
     
  9. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    I wouldn't normally ask stuff like this in a forum but since you guys were nice enough to reply to the original poster....

    I went to the lab that drew my blood the other day for a follow-up on a TB test, and while I was there I happened to see my blood test results. My RBC count was abnormal (it was low-I don't remember the exact number). Could this abnormality explain why my feet are always so cold (I don't remember a time when they weren't cold!)? Also I had a dizzy spell last week that kept me home all day because I felt really off (I would not get into a car because I really didn't trust myself due to the way I was feeling). I am going to see my doctor early next week and I will find out what is going on, but in the meantime I was curious if my RBC count is tied to this dizzy spell and my feet being cold.
     
  10. jimdo

    jimdo Senior Member

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    Ill respond as a 4th year student so dont take my word as gospel...definitely ask your doctor. Anemia as evidenced by the low RBC count can lead to the feelings of coldness and can theoretically cause feelings of dizziness. However, there is another condition I would like you to ask you doctor about. It is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and is caused by a condition in your inner ear. Basically the ear has the function of equillibrium in addition to hearing, and if a little bone called an otolith comes free in there, it can cause dizziness when rising from the seated or lying (supine) positions. RELAX!! It is a very common and benign condition. More of a nuissance than anything else. Dont take my word, ask your doctor about it. Theres a screening test that involves no blood draws or needles and it takes about 2 minutes to do.
     
  11. squeek

    squeek Senior Member

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    If you have a history of heart problems (and transposition of the great vessels is a pretty big one), then you need to get yourself to the doctor pronto. Don't listen to anything we say on this board, because we are NOT doctors yet (at least, most of us aren't, and those that are are mostly interns with very little experience).

    If you're dizzy when you stand up, with a history of heart problems, there's a chance it could be inadequate pumping of the heart, or problems in your blood vessels. Anyway, if it were me, I'd be calling my MD this afternoon.
     
  12. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    Thanks for the responses. I made a Dr.'s appointment for Monday. I don't have a history of heart problems. However, my sister has cardiogenic syncope/vasovagal syndrome. Does anyone know if this disorder is genetic? I will, *of course*, speak to my Dr. about this stuff on Monday.
     
  13. omores

    omores sleep deprived

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    Yikes, this is getting awfully confusing. Let me do a little sorting and summarizing here.

    Cardiothoracic = history of heart problems, now experiencing intermittent positionally-related dizziness...

    Daisygirl = no history of heart problems, but low RBC count + cold feet + recent dizzy spell.

    Cardiothoracic: Wow! transposition of the great vessels -- cool! No wonder you want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon. I agree that with your history of heart problems, it's wise to get this checked out. However, your symptoms sound less like orthostatic hypertension to me than benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which comes from your ears rather than your circulatory system. To compare the two:

    Most of us have experienced an orthostatic response at one time or another: you stand up too fast, and your brain is briefly starved for blood. When this happens to me, I feel lightheaded, hear a rushing noise, and my vision goes all spotty. The room never feels like it's spinning, though. In other words, it's dizziness rather than true vertigo. I'll have mornings when this happens every time I stand up too fast. Drinking lots of water (increases blood volume) and having a cup of coffee (raises blood pressure) takes care of the problem.

    COnversely, BPPV, which is caused by wee dislodged otoliths in the semicircular canals of your ears, gives you true vertigo: the room twirls around you, and if you tried to walk in a straight line, you'd crash into a wall. With BPPV, the vertigo lasts only for a minute or two and is always related to specific head motions -- usually rolls (e.g., turning over in bed), but sometimes vertical motions like standing up. The motion will provoke the vertigo almost every time you make it (though you can temporarily "wear it out" by doing it over and over again). Moreover, if someone looks into your eyes when you're experiencing the vertigo, they'll see nystagmus (little involuntary jerks). This is the screening test jimdo was referring to. BBPV is not usually found in the under-35 set unless you've had a recent infection or a bump on the head, but it's not impossible.

    There are numerous other causes of vertigo, but the intermittent, positionally-related nature of what you've been experiencing leads me to believe it's one of the two conditions described above.

    Daisygirl: let me think about yours for awhile and I'll post here soon.
     
  14. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Moving to the Everyone Forum...
     

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