Fear of fainting

Hi all, new here and wonder if I can ask a strange question? Has anybody's thyroid issues made them prone to fainting? I was formally diagnosed as wildly hyper 3 years ago and given carbimazole. I've swung between hyper and hypo ever since and had RAI in April. I went hyper again and am back on carb. I feel absolutely terrible- as bad as I did before diagnosis. The main problem us that I am absolutely terrified of being out somewhere and fainting. I have no history of fainting and have never passed out so I don't know why this is causing me such anxiety. I just feel so dizzy, woolly headed and my arms and legs feel so weak that it's a constant thought at that back of my mind whenever I go out. I know logically that if I haven't fainted yet then the odds are that I'm not likely to start now but it's starting to cause problems in that if I can avoid going out then I will. Am I going mad? Any ideas how to deal with this?

9 Replies

  • Hi you are not going mad it is the anxiety that is making you feel like this.Do you need more carb? Are your bloodscstill showing you are hyper what is your endo saying?

    When I was at college I had anxiety and used to have a fear of fainting in the dining room , then anything to do with food such as eating infront of people ,.What I mean is it causes your world to get smaller as you worry when and whete it will happen.It is like a panic and you go dizzy because you are over breathing its all anxiety related.As hyper obviously causes anxiety your levels must be checked asap.

    The way I got over it was in the end I said to myself well whats the worst that can happen if I do faint? Someone will help me so bring it on!.Hopefully once your levels are doing better this anxiety will pass.Otherwise cognitive behaviour therapy is excellent in problems like this.

    Hope you soon get the help you need. Best wishes ...kim x

  • Just noticed you are new so welcome to forum x

  • My daughter has exactly this problem and she is having counselling and on a waiting list for CBT.

    The most useful thing I read in a book about anxiety - which helped her a lot - was that, when you go into a panic attack, you have so much adrenaline sloshing around your body that you actually can't physically faint.

    My daughter has also taken a lot of comfort from watching certain Youtubers who suffer from the same problem talking openly about it to their followers. Just knowing that you are not the only one makes a difference.

  • I am just wondering what your thyroid levels are like and if the fainting feeling is caused by too much or too little Carbimazole. When did you last have a blood test and did you get results with reference range? If so, post here for comments. It may be that the RAI has kicked in and you are hypo now. I often felt odd and light headed when I was on it and it usually meant my thyroid levels were wrong. If you have not had a blood test recently, ask your GP to do one and also ask for iron, Vit D, ferritin, B12 and folate. You may be low in any or all of these and low iron definitely causes faint feelings. All need to be high in range so do not accept your GP telling you they are normal but get results yourself and post here for comments.

  • Hi, for years before I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism I would feel faint on occasions - more so when I was out in public. My vision would blur and it seemed as though the ground was like water, moving up and down like a wave. I would panic and convince myself that I would faint and fall. It became so bad that for a few months one year I suffered agoraphobia. How I overcame that was by giving myself a good talking to, as daft as that may sound. I couldn't leave the house due to fear of fainting - so I took baby steps. I pointed out to myself that in all the times I had the feeling of fainting - I never actually did, and it was all in my head! If it is of comfort to you, make sure you have all necessary numbers on your phone should you require help while out and about. Take some food with you, a book or magazine, and when you have these feelings, sit down somewhere and reassure yourself that it is all in your head (assuming your blood results and blood glucose levels are normal). Take five to just sit, calm down, read something to take your mind off it until you feel better. To be honest, I felt so bored and silly with feeling that way that I forced myself outside daily and was feeling much better in no time. Definitely get your thyroid levels checked though.

  • I also have the feeling of blacking out, my thyroid is hypo and i'm under medicated at the moment and have been running a little low for a while. Have been to GP twice now as things aren't getting any better with increased dose, I would like my adrenal function looked at as this seems to coincide with stress I feel at work and lack of ability to cope. unfortunately doc won't do this test and need to wait for an endo appointment. Good luck and give your adrenalin a rest!!!

  • Hi Neontiger (brilliant name!),

    I really feel for you, but I think it helps to know that you are not alone. Feeling so continuously under-the-weather, can bring on feelings of anxiety. The anxiety manifests itself differently for different people - for some it may be fear of fainting, for others it might be meeting new people, travelling on public transport........ and the list goes on... Loads of people on this site have experienced anxiety. Now I am a bit better I can look back and recognise that when I was feeling so physically unwell it did cause me all sorts of anxieties and phobias. Jem86 suggested taking "baby steps". Excellent idea. Build up going out in stages - so short, easy trips first. Can you take a friend/family member who can support/encourage/LISTEN? I think the trick is to try and "normalise" whatever it is you are struggling with. That certainly helped me. So just keep chipping away. You set your goals. Pat yourself on the back for mini triumphs and don't be hard on yourself - accept that you are coping with a physical condition that is challenging at the moment - and if you have a bit of hiccup don't worry (some days you are bound to feel better than others). Don't be afraid to ask for help (counselling...whatever) and work on getting your thyroid issues sorted. Emotional resilience and feeling well go hand-in-hand I think.

    You will get there!!

    PS. I too heard that it is physically impossible to faint during a panic state - a counsellor told me!

  • My friend who was hypoglycaemic fainted at work a couple of times and just slid down under the desk. She had to eat highly consentrated carbs in her diet to stabilise her body if she did,nt she fainted as a result. You are suffering from anxiety and nothing else I think. If you have just started Thyroid meds ie Levothyroxine I seem to remember I sometimes felt a little bit dizzy until my body got used to them, but no where near as bad as when I used to get out of bed first thing in the morning and feel as if I was on a boat, that made me feel really sick, so I used to sit down until it passed off. You usually get a warning of nausea when you are about to faint, just don,t panic and sit down as quickly as possible until the feeling passes, which it will and if it dosen,t you won,t have very far to fall if you are sitting down will you.

  • Many thanks to everyone who replied- you've all given me some great advice. I particularly like the concept of giving myself a good talking to! Still feel rubbish but got another endo appointment tomorrow where he may or may not look up from my notes to make eye contact before hustling me out the door in 30 seconds flat. I am resolved that one day I WILL feel better!

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