Fainting is a sudden and brief loss of consciousness, sometimes accompanied by sweating, anxiety, and heart palpitations. It can happen abruptly, without an apparent cause, and can progress to fainting spells over time. In the movies, fainting seems to be quite common, falling upon anyone who is shocked by sudden, surprising news. In fact, a combination of low blood sugar (or poor nutrition) and anxiety or a sudden drop in blood pressure (which can be caused by strong emotion) can cause it.
What Causes Fainting?
Fainting is usually caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. This can be a result of:
- Low blood sugar
- Arrhythmia (abnormal change in the beating of the heart)
- Heat exhaustion or dehydration
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Nutritional deficiencies, including magnesium and iron
It’s also important to rule out more serious conditions, such has slow heart rate, mild strokes (TIA’s), blockages and brain tumors.
Treatments for Fainting
The best recommendation for reducing fainting spells is to improve nutrition and body hydration. Eat whole foods with an emphasis on vegetables and high protein foods (fish, bee pollen, chicken, beans). Drink plenty of spring or filtered water. Supplement with vitamin B, pantothetic acid, iron, and magnesium. Eat small meals throughout the day.
Herbs that help regulate blood pressure include shepherds purse, unsweetened cocoa, Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw), and olive leaf extract. Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses many herbs to help stimulate circulation and blood pressure along with energy flows in the body. Homeopathic remedies include Ignatia, Aconite, and Arsenicum album.
To help gently revive someone who has fainted, try aromatherapy treatments such as rubbing an essential oil such as peppermint, neroli, basil, lavender, rosemary, or black pepper under the nose.
Acupuncture and bodywork have been found to help reduce fainting spells and increase energy and blood circulation.