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There are many different causes of syncope, some common and some rare. Most cases of syncope are due to the common faint. Fainting is caused by a short-term reduction in blood pressure to your brain.

Syncope is caused by a problem with the heart or by a problem in the regulation of blood pressure.

Click on the condition and find out further information on cause, management and treatment.

Reflex Syncope

Reflex Syncope is one of the most common forms of syncope. Sometimes called Vasovagal Syncope or Neurally Mediated Syncope, it is a transient condition resulting from intermittent dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates blood pressure and heart rate.

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Reflex Anoxic Seizures (RAS) is the term used for a particular fit which is neither epileptic nor due to cyanotic breath-holding, but which rather results from a brief stoppage of the heart through excessive activity of the vagus nerve.

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There are many causes of syncope. Many people are unaware that everyday activities can be the cause of reported fainting attacks.

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Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a condition where patients experience an increase in heart rate (tachycardia) upon standing up.

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Living with Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure recordings consist of two numbers. The top reading is systolic blood pressure and relates to the contraction of the left side of the heart. The bottom number is the diastolic recording and is the lowest pressure achieved in the circulation.

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Psychogenic Blackouts

Psychogenic blackout is a medical term for a blackout that can look like reflex syncope or an epileptic seizure but is not related to either.

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Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST) is a condition in which an individual’s resting heart rate is abnormally high – greater than 100 beats per minute or rapidly accelerating to over 100 beats per minute without an identifiable cause for the tachycardia, although small amounts of exercise, emotional or physical stress are triggering factors.

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Syncope & Pregnancy

Finding yourself pregnant when you know you have syncope and POTS can result in feeling 'alone' and 'frightened', when you should be excited and happy at the prospect of motherhood. This page is here to provide advice, support and reassurance for your journey from pregnancy to the birth and looking after your baby in the months following the birth.

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