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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

Dizziness and blackouts

For the past few years now I get dizzy and have blackouts no matter how careful I am.

But, recently my blackouts have been staying longer and it concerns me.

Diet: Lots of water. Regular foods

Average heart rate: 75

Average blood pressure: 98/67

Highest: 105/67

Lowest: 90/67

Please keep in mind it mostly happens at my manual labor job. These results are conducted at my job as well.

Is it cause I'm fat?

* please do not suggest seeing a doctor, I have no insurance *
  • Female | 22 years old
  • Complaint duration: 90 days
  • Height: 5'1
  • Weight: 173lbs
  • Medications: Zoloft
  • Conditions: MDD, Bipolar, socialphobia, pd, adhd, bpd

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No its not because you are fat. Being overweight is not healthy but is not causing your symptoms. There is another reason. Your blood pressure is low .It is hard to know if this is the cause without further testing. Get a regular doctor and work out a payment plan. Going to the ER is unlikely to get you an answer and is much more expensive. Good Luck...By the way... If you have no insurance how are you getting the Zoloft?
There are many causes for syncope or blackout. Most are benign in nature and can be related to vasovagal syncope which is a sudden drop in blood pressure due to emotional upset or pain. Anxiety with hyperventilation can also cause this. Certain medications can also cause these symptoms, but they usually belong to a class of medications used to treat hypertension. Concerning causes of passing out include cardiac and neurologic. Cardiac arrhythmias or structural defects can cause this. In addition, neurologic causes including certain types of seizures can cause you to also pass out.

If these episodes are increasing in frequency or severity, you should get it checked out. Most university hospitals have associated clinic as well as allocation for charity care. In addition, if there is a problem it may be wise to get it checked out sooner rather than later to prevent more harm or costs in the future.

If it occurs again, you should go to the emergency department as sometimes cardiac arrhythmias are difficult to diagnosis because they can resolved spontaneously
Asking a doctor for medical advise but not wanting to go see one for what clearly needs to be worked up seems unwise. Unfortunately, you need to see a doctor and get some basic bloodwork to start the initial process of evaluation for your dizzy spells.
Your symptoms can be related to low blood pressure or an irregular heart rate. To refuse to see a doctor is not wise and if this continues you will end up in the ER without insurance, like most people who are not insured.
This could be a medication side effect, but - despite your request to not be told to see a doctor - that is what you need to do. There are many causes of "blackouts," "fainting," and "lightheadedness" ("passing out" would be medically considered as "syncope") ranging from low blood sugar, "orthostatic hypotension," dehydration, to more serious possibilities of a heart arrhythmia, blood clots, and TIAs. Given your age, it is unlikely that one of these more serious causes is to blame, but you really do need to be seen to rule out the causes that could kill you. Regardless, if these symptoms persist or worsen, you'll eventually wake up riding the ambulance to the ER because a bystander was concerned - and that bill will be ASTRONOMICAL compared to a preventive visit.