The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - The Gp & The Naturopath -

can trig­ger a faint­ing spell. Pro­longed stand­ing ( so that blood pools in the legs), de­hy­dra­tion, miss­ing meals, op­pres­sive heat ( as the body shunts blood into the skin to cool it down), be­ing ex­hausted, un­well or preg­nant, cer­tain med­i­ca­tions or hav­ing re­cently un­der­gone pro­longed bed rest may all make one prone to faint­ing. Psy­cho­log­i­cal trig­gers, such as the sight of blood, the prospect of a nee­dle, or dis­tress­ing news, may also cause faint­ing. It is not al­ways pos­si­ble to avoid faint­ing, but you can de­crease the risk by keep­ing well hy­drated and avoid­ing over­heat­ing. Try to stand up slowly af­ter ly­ing down or sit­ting and eat reg­u­lar meals or snacks. As soon as you feel faint, im­me­di­ately lie down in a safe place so that you don’t fall. If you can­not lie down, at least sit down and let those around you know you feel faint. Loosen or re­move any tight clothes, ties or belts. Lie down and raise your legs if you can to re­store cir­cu­la­tion to the head. If the faint­ing is ac­com­pa­nied by other symp­toms, such as ir­reg­u­lar pulse, chest pain, dif­fi­culty breath­ing or speak­ing, seek ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion as there could be a se­ri­ous heart com­plaint or other un­der­ly­ing con­di­tion. If your faint­ing is re­cur­rent you should also seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

THE DOC­TOR Dr Cindy Pan

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