What is Syncope?

Syncope (pronounced “sin ko pea”) is the medical term for fainting or passing out. It is caused by a temporary drop in the amount of blood that flows to the brain.

Syncope can happen if you have a sudden drop in blood pressure, a drop in heart rate, or changes in the amount of blood in areas of your body. If you pass out, you will likely become conscious and alert right away, but you may be feel confused for a bit.

Medically, fainting means the same as syncope.

Many different conditions can cause fainting. These include heart problems such as irregular heart beats, seizures, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), anemia (a deficiency in healthy oxygen carrying cells), and problems with how the nervous system (the body’s system of nerves) regulates blood pressure. Some types of fainting seem to run in families.

So, if you have an episode of syncope, you should be evaluated by your doctor to determine its cause.

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