Fainting can be quite an alarming and worrying situation, especially for the person witnessing it. However, although we usually imagine that fainting occurs from fatal causes, in most cases, they are benign episodes.
Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness due to decreased blood flow in the brain. In general, it usually lasts very little, less than two minutes, and after it occurs, the person reacts and recovers quickly. If you’ve had an episode like this and wondered why am I fainting? In this FastlyHealarticle we tell you the possible reasons.
Fainting spells, whose medical term is syncope, are more frequent in adolescents and are considered in some cases as a defense mechanism of the body. When a person faints and loses consciousness, they also lose muscle tone and skin color. Fainting can be predicted because seconds before it happens, the body manifests weakness, nausea, tunnel vision, and fainting sounds; for this reason, most people know that they will pass out before fainting occurs.
Why does fainting occur?
If you’re wondering why I’m fainting and still can’t find the answer, you need first to understand what happens in the body when fainting occurs. The brain needs oxygen to function correctly, and this oxygen is received through red blood cells found in the blood.
For the brain to get all the oxygen it needs, the nervous system and blood pressure need to be working correctly to transport blood successfully. When an adverse event interferes with the functioning of these two systems, blood pressure and flow decrease, causing the body to break down due to a lack of oxygen in the brain.
Why am I fainting?
Fainting can be a body’s defense mechanism or a response to different situations. Among the leading causes of fainting are the following:
- Anemia . Anemia is a condition that affects the production of red blood cells, responsible for transporting oxygen to the brain and throughout the body. Anemic people have fewer red blood cells, which reduces the amount of oxygen the brain receives, thus increasing the risk of fainting. Specifically, people with iron deficiency anemia, due to lack of iron, are more likely to faint.
- Emotional stress . Many people wonder: why am I fainting? They are not aware of the level of emotional stress they are experiencing. Emotions consume us so that it can be hard to believe that fear, anxiety, or worry can affect the functioning of the nervous system causing a drop in blood pressure and triggering a faint.
- Hyperventilation. This condition occurs when respiration is accelerated to the point that it causes a considerable decrease in CO2 in the body, which can lead to fainting.
- Hypoglycemia . Perhaps one of the most common causes of fainting. The whole body, including the brain, needs the help of sugar to function properly and have energy. People with diabetes or insulin resistance, who take medications to regulate blood sugar levels daily, may experience an isolated episode of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels) and thus pass out.
- Pregnancy . During pregnancy, hormonal changes are not the only ones; circulatory alterations can also occur that intervene in blood flow and cause fainting. Another cause of fainting in pregnancy is not getting enough fluids. Also, the growth of the uterus can compress some veins and interfere with blood flow.
- Eating disorders . People with anorexia or bulimia can develop dehydration, hypoglycemia, and changes in blood pressure due to vomiting, starvation, or excessive physical activity.
- Cardiovascular diseases. Heart rate problems can lead to fainting because they directly affect blood flow. If you pass out while doing some physical activity, this might cause fainting.
- Physical causes . Subjecting the body to high temperatures, dehydration, too much exercise, hunger, and fatigue can all be causes of fainting.
- Drug . Some drugs and illegal substances such as cocaine and methamphetamines can cause you to pass out.
What to do when someone passes out
- Check the person’s breathing and airways. If necessary, call 911 and ask for instructions on giving artificial respiration.
- Loosen any clothing that is tight at the neckline.
- Raise the person’s feet above the level of the heart.
- If the person begins to vomit, it will be necessary to turn them to the side to prevent them from choking or swallowing vomit.
- Lay the person down for 15 minutes to recover and make sure they get fresh air.
When to see a doctor in case of fainting
- If the person fell from a significant height and is injured or bleeding.
- When the person did not regain consciousness after two minutes.
- If it is a pregnant woman or an adult over 50 years of age.
- If the person has diabetes.
- If there is pain or pressure in the chest.
- When the heartbeat is solid or irregular.
- If the person cannot speak, they see blurry and cannot move their limbs.
- If the person has a seizure.
If a person has had a faint, visit a doctor or emergency center after syncope, they will likely have a blood test, EKG, heart rhythm monitoring, EEG, and chest X-ray. Treatment for fainting will depend on the cause of the fainting spell.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why am I fainting? We recommend that you enter our category of Brain and nerves .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.