Dizziness, vomiting and unresponsiveness

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Submitted by Dr T on January 30, 2013 – 2:05pm

Question: 
Hi Dr. T!  Four months ago I had an “episode” that warranted me following up with my PCP who ordered a ECG in his office.  He said “it is abnormal, but normal for you” and left it at that.  When I asked what that meant, he told me that it was a normal ECG but could be interpreted by another doc as abnormal and just wanted me to know that.  Three weeks ago I had another ‘episode’, more severe then the 1st and again went to my PCP – he referred me to a neurologist thinking CNS Disease.  Today, on the advice of a friend, I went to get a copy of my med. records and for the 1st time saw my ECG.  It has line breaks in it every 12 squares (as if it measures nothing) and says “sinus arrhythmia” at the top. Is this the”normal abnormal” that he spoke of?  (Episodes included dizziness, vomiting and this final time, unresposivness for 15 minutes)  I wish I could attach a pic for you, I have scanned my ECG into the computer.  My question is, should I be seeing a cardiologist rather then a neurologist? My husband and I both  thought I was having a heart attack during the ‘episodes”
 

A sinus arrhythmia would not account for your symptoms, but that doesn’t mean you had an arrhythmia during those episodes (thus not recorded). Fainting certainly can be caused by an arrhythmia, either too slow or too fast that may decrease the blood flow to your brain.

I cannot tell from here whether this is a cardiac vs. neurological issue, or whether you have a GI problem with dehydration. Frankly, this is the kind of thing your PCP should sort out, so that he can refer you to a specialist with a specific question. For starters, I’d look into your cardiac risks for a heart attack, while for an arrhythmia I’d consider a Holter monitor, a echocardiogram and/or a stress test. You can check your risks yourself here.

Any recommendations would be a result of answers to these considerations

Hope this helps,

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