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Have you or someone you know experienced unexplained blackouts?

There are many causes of syncope, some common and some rare. Reflex Syncope is the most common cause of blackouts. However, many people, including medical professionals, are unaware that some everyday activities can be the cause of many reported fainting attacks.

Here are some of the common causes of fainting:

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Hello, I came across this group from another Health Unlocked community. However I'm not sure if my experience is related. I suffer from severe heat intolerance, though frustratingly, the medical profession dont seem to take the problem seriously!! What I'd like to ask - is if what happens to me is considered fainting? I have experienced 'fainting' during my pregnancies which was a completely different feeling (just before & on the point of passing out) to what happens when I've 'passed out' if I've become over heated. The experience when 'fainting' was feeling light headed, blackness & my body 'crumpled' to the ground but when I 'passed out' due to overheating, my body is stiff and I 'pole axe' hitting the ground like a plank. I have the sensation my insides are cooking & (I know it sounds absurd) that I'm going to die! My normal temperature is generally around 35.4 - 36.2c but then I need to stay in a cold environement (around 10 - 14c is the temp feels most comfortable) so maybe thats why. When I walk into a room with what would be a normal, comfortable temp to most people, I feel very uncomfortable & HAVE to fan my face to cool down (drinking cold water helps too as does opening windows, though this is not usually an option). Once I've cooled down, (it seems to me) my body acclimatises so long as the room doesnt get warmer & I dont exert myself (oddly, my temp rises too, to a more normal reading - 36.8c ish). But if the room is too warm for me to cool by fanning my face, I HAVE to use a proper fan (full power).

I avoid being out doors in summer if the sun is out. Even when the sun isnt out, 'mild' days with high humidity also cause me to over heat. When I do overheat, I feel as if I'm cooking inside and I feel I'm going to die. If I cant cool myself down, its then I pass out. This has happened to me 7 times. The first time it happened was very scary, not just for me but also for my daughters and grandchildren (family BBQ) as they said I went down like a plank & my eyes were rolling back in my head. Witnesses (including my vet) have also said I just went over like a plank. Apart from the fact the sensations of overheating are unbareable, I have hurt myself by landing on objects or hitting something as I fall so I avoid getting into any situation where I could overheat at all cost!! Summer is hell for me, I'll keep curtains closed to stop the sun heating the room, the fan beside me in the day & my bed at night.  Winter is the best time of year for me. I have one heater on low (for the benifit of family/visitors), I wear summer clothes in minus temperatures, my bedroom window is open. The downside of winter is other peoples/shops/surgeries etc central heating!! 

The problem is - people think I'm making a fuss. An eg is back in January, I was in hospital, in a side room. When I came round from the anaesthetic it was 6 hours later & still on oxygen. My bed was being moved into another (2 bed) side room. In the previous room, I had the window open & the fan on full but the heat in the 2 bed room was unbareable, (to me at least). I became very distressed because I started overheating. I'd asked if I could have the fan back & if the heating could be turned down but the staff were busy. No one would take me seriously when I tried to explain how important it was for me to cool down. I texted my daughter & asked her to come & take me home. When I told the staff I was leaving, a nurse brought the fan from the other room. But it was so hot I couldnt cool down. When my daughter arrived I was in a terrible way, on the verge of hysteria. I was feeling very agitated & disorientated. A nurse told my daughter I needed to calm down (I kept pulling the oxygen mask off) & needed to stay. My daughter explained I really did have a problem with intolerance to heat so the nurse agreed to open the window. I tried to explain it wouldnt help if the heater was on (it was under the window). So I think, more for my daughters benifit, the nurse said she would turn the heater off. As I began to cool down, I calmed down & my daughter persuaded me to stay. But after that incedent I was treated quite badly by the nursing staff. I am due to return to the same ward for major surgery. I am absolutely dreading it. Although it shouldnt matter, I just wondered (even though I dont pass out now), if my problem had a name/diagnosis, I could ask my GP to investigate and/or put something in my notes, the hospital staff would treat me with better understanding a bit of compassion. I apologise for my longwinded enquirey. If someone can shed some light or point me in another direction, I would be so greatful.


Sorry to hear about your experience.

Please call our Patient Services team on +44 (0)1789 450 564

Once we have established all the necessary information, we will be able to advise further on your symptoms.


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