Readers Respond


Is it syncope—or something worse?

“A nice article on vasovagal syncope. Unfortunately the author omitted an important trigger—food sensitivities. I know very well because I have this problem duly diagnosed by health care providers.”

—Joellen Hawkins, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC

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The author responds:

“Although there is not overwhelming support for food sensitivities and vasovagal syncope in the literature, there are multiple patient accounts regarding fainting and allergies/sensitivities. For example, in a patient who has a gluten allergy or intolerance, vasovagal syncope can be an indirect cause of fainting usually brought on by diarrhea, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. It addition, it is a known fact that stress contributes to syncope, and can certainly be brought on by allergens or food sensitivities, especially when an immune response is mediated. A stress response to a food is more likely the culprit causing the syncope. That being said, I do agree with the reader that it can be a potential trigger in those that are sensitive to certain foods.”

Read the article.


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