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Cause of Feeling Light-Headed

Have you ever felt LIGHT-HEADED?

This could have been a mild version of


What is it?

The following is taken from a lecture by Dr. Young to the American Naprapathic Association:

Also referred to as VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE, neurocardiogenic syncope is a general feeling of discomfort and uneasiness that occurs when the part of the nervous system that controls heart rate and blood pressure malfunctions in response to various triggers. These include extreme stress, strain, or neck tension and headache. The general sensation of not feeling well is quickly followed by fainting. Although the condition is generally poorly understood by Doctors neurocardiogenic syncope is the most common cause of fainting. This condition can even result in a form of seizure in some cases.

Neurocardiogenic, or vasovagal syncope is a condition that develops due to the nervous system not working properly. Specifically, the nerve is the vagus nerve which passes close to the base of the skull on its' long journey to control most of the organs of the body. Vasovagal syncope can affect all persons but is particularly common in women.

Pressure on the base of the skull (occipital triangle) due to the upper cervical vertebrae being out of place can create an environment ripe for neurocardiogenic/vasovagal syncope. The pressure causes a drop in blood pressure and heart rate which reduces blood flow to the brain. This can lead to fainting and loss of full consciousness. Uncoordinated body movements may be present as the system attempts to recover. When this misalignment is corrected the situation is alleviated.

Neurocardiogenic/vasovagal syncope usually occurs when a person is standing. It is much less common when seated or lying down. The first signs of the condition are discomfort and uneasiness. This light-headedness may never progress further or may be followed by nausea, paleness, sweating, dizziness, and a rapid heart rate. Fainting will usually follow within minutes.

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