Is It Possible To Faint From Stress?

Is it possible to faint from stress?

When we talk about fainting, we are talking about temporarily losing consciousness of oneself. Fainting normally occurs when not enough blood reaches the brain due to a drop in blood pressure. This is also known as lipothymia, which can occur isolated or suddenly for weeks or months, eventually disappearing.

In most cases, people who experience these continuous episodes of lipothymia or fainting are people who, due to their jobs or daily activities, tend to spend too much time in places with high temperatures, full of other people or where they must be. standing for many hours. For this reason, health professionals highlight the influence of stressful or exhausting situations as triggers for fainting or lipothymia.

Stress has a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of having physical problems such as heart attacks or sleeping problems. Fainting continuously can be a disabling situation, and those who suffer from it can also experience dangerous situations, as there is the possibility of experiencing them in unknown environments or environments that involve risks.

In this article we are going to talk about the possibility of fainting due to stress exploring the causes they have and the existence of strategies or ways to prevent their appearance.

What are lipothymias?

The clinical name for lipothymias is vasovagal syncope or neurocardiogenic syncope. Vasovagal syncope can occur due to different factors, such as stress or disproportionate reactions to stimulation that can generate a lot of distress, fear or surprise. Vasovagal syncope triggers cause a sudden decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, cerebral blood flow decreases and loss of consciousness occurs.

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In general, these episodes are harmless and do not require specific treatment ; When continued exposure to the triggering stimuli ends, it is normal for these episodes to stop appearing. The danger of lipothymia is to hurt yourself as a result of the episode, either by being in a dangerous situation when it happens or finding yourself in unfamiliar social situations.

Among the most common symptoms before fainting due to vasovagal syncope, you may experience: pale skin, lightheadedness, narrowed tunnel vision, nausea, a feeling of heat, cold, clammy sweat, and blurred vision. During a faint like this you may experience sudden and abnormal movements, a slow and weak pulse and dilated pupils. Typically, these fainting spells last no more than a few minutes.

What triggers could there be?

Some of the most common triggers are:

1. Physical triggers

As we have commented previously, find yourself in situations or environments with very high temperatures, very crowded or poorly ventilated, can be causes of fainting. Also standing for a long time or getting up too quickly.

2. Emotional stress

Emotions such as fear or surprise, and emotional experiences such as anxiety or pain, can generate a drop in tension that triggers a faint like these.

3. Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation occurs when a person breathes too quickly. This decreases the concentration of CO2 in the blood and the blood vessels narrow. Blood flow to the brain decreases and fainting may occur.

4. Medical problems

Some heart problems, anemia, or low blood sugar can cause fainting more easily than in the general population.

5. Pregnancies

During pregnancy, changes occur in the circulatory system compressing large blood vessels and partially obstructing blood flow, potentially reducing blood flow to the brain.

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What happens in the body?

When a person is exposed to the triggering stimuli or stressors mentioned above, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, which acts in situations of fear or fright, producing palpitations, rapid heartbeat, sweating and increased blood pressure. To counteract these sudden increases, the parasympathetic system suddenly comes into action, which is responsible for attenuating or reducing this agitation. This causes blood vessels to dilate and generates a sudden drop in blood pressure, producing a decrease in heart rate.

In these processes, the vagus nerve is very important, since it is the one that is stimulated through the triggers of fainting, and it is, in turn, the nerve that activates the parasympathetic system. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the human body and has a considerable number of branches that run from the brain stem to the lowest part of the intestines. Throughout its entire journey, it has contact with most of the main organs of the human body.

Whenever we inhale and exhale air, our vagus nerve secretes acetylcholine to our heart. This substance works as a tranquilizer, stimulating the relaxation response and causing the intervals between heartbeats to slow down and improve heart rate variability.

Basically, we could say that fainting is generated by a sudden and continuous action of both the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system, activating a series of physiological changes that cause the body to enter a state of temporary deactivation.

How to prevent fainting?

To conclude the article, we can clarify that yes; Yes, it is possible to faint due to stress or continued exposure to stressful stimuli. However, There are ways to identify these situations and try to prevent fainting from occurring. Below, we propose a series of ways to prevent or avoid fainting due to stress:

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1. Lie down if you can

Lying down helps prevent fainting because it facilitates blood flow to the brain, especially by slightly elevating your feet. When you feel better, be careful when getting up and do it very slowly and leaning on something or someone if you can.

2. Put your head between your knees

Like the previous one, this position also facilitates the arrival of blood to the brain. Likewise, it’s important to be careful when getting back up.

3. Hydrate

In general, consume enough fluids throughout the day It is important for health, especially after physical activity or at times when it is very hot.

4. Activate your blood circulation

To improve blood circulation, it is positive to avoid sitting for long periods of time, taking walks, and stretching your legs and muscles.

5. Avoid hot, crowded or poorly ventilated environments

Continued exposure to heat can cause a drop in blood pressure more easily than in well-ventilated and cool environments.