Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

frustrated Passing out while laughing

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 40 Replies
  • Posted By: KELLYROSE70
  • March 12, 2007
  • 04:45 AM

Hello, I have been passing out when I laugh for almost 3 years now. You know how if you get laughing hard and can't breath? Well I tell myself I have to stop laughing or I will pass out. I can now feel it comming on and sometimes can stop it. Other times more often now I am not able to control it. Sometimes I pass out and shake for a minute or 2 before comming to other times more often I am sitting in a chair and lean back and a minute or 2 later I come to. When I come to I am disoriented and my whole body tingles as if it has been asleep even my tongue. I went to the emergency room a year ago. They sent me home with a heart monitor and told me to follow up with my doctor. I had recently moved and had a new doctor. I scheduled an appointment and the nurse practioner said my results of the heart monitor showed that my heart rate goes above 180 when active and occasionally goes below 40 when sleeping. I am also over weight so he said that he thinks I should lose weight and as far as the fainting goes he said I should just warn people I sit near that I may faint if laughing. I felt stupid and humiliated. So I have just been dealing with it. It seems to be getting a little worse. I remember the emergency room doctor being a little concerned and had said my regular doctor may want to set me up with a cardiologist. I don't have the nerve to go back and ask my regular doctor. So I am not sure what to do. Has anyone ever heard of passing out while laughing?? Is there a reason or a cure. It is not fun going through life trying not to laugh. I have 2 kids who are a riot and a fun loving happy funny family. I love to be the life of the party and make people laugh. But not passing out so they can laugh.. thats a little extreme..lol.. Well any suggestions would be greatly appreciated... Thanks.. Kelly

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40 Replies:

  • Check out cataplexy and see if this fits.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Dear Kelly,Start by changing doctors. Really...a doctor patient relationship where the patient is left feeling embarrassed, is not OK. Your doctor should not have treated you like that, and your insurance certainly has provisions for changing primary care physicians.Neurocardiogenic Syncope may be what you have, and if that is the case, try this: watch something funny on TV, while completely laying down flat and comfy. Have someone with you to monitor you! If you can pass out from laughing, while totally flat and comfortable, then you need to see a cardiologist. And if you can't ask your present doctor for that referral, then you need to change doctors.Regardless if you can avoid fainting when lying down, given your strange broad range of heart rate, a cardiologist might suggest a pace maker, or medication to get your heart rate under control. You really do need to look into this more. And if you can't do it with your regular doctor, please find a new one that you can trust.Best,Shula
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Before doing anything, it is worth checking out cataplexy. The symptoms fit this perfectly.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • KellyRose,First please allow me to bring a shred of hope to you. You are not alone, I also pass out whille laughing. My symptomology is an extremely intense, but rather silent in perspective, laughter causing me to "Lose my breath". Just as the syncopal episode approaches, I will have a distintive buzz ian rush in my head. If I can stop the laughter at that point to episode subsides. If not I will experience a I do not yet have an answer, but I see where a combination of vasovegal stimulation and respiratory compromise are both causative factors.Good luck and if anyone does acchieve resolution in your case, please post what you find out...as will I.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 1, 2008
    • 03:49 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi Kelly Rose,I am also suffering from the same symptoms, i have so far managed to pass out and hit a radiator and better still while at a freinds house i fell hitting a running machine and nearly smashing a crystal vase. My wife is very concerned and my family all start to panic if i begin to laugh alot. I usually laugh and then have a bit of a cough then next thing im being picked up off the floor, its not very nice not being able to enjoy life to the max and your family living in fear in case you laugh to much. So if you have managed to get some decent info on this problem i would be most appreciative. Regards Spike:o
    Spike69 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • KellyRose--Thanks for posting this. I have experienced the exact same thing twice in the last week. Glad to know I'm not alone. Now I just want to know what the heck is going on. My wife is freaked out and I'm going to the doctor this week. Hopefully, I'll get some answers. Kenn--I think you are mistaken on the cataplexy. I know someone with cataplexy which is more of a loss of muscle control (almost like paralysis). What KellyRose and I have is more of a passing out. I agree it's worth raising with the doctor and investigating, but I think it might be something else.Thanks.Chris
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 3, 2008
    • 03:02 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Kelly,Did you ever find out why you are fainting while laughing? We are looking for answers regarding this illness. jlesia@aol.com(louisiana)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 28, 2008
    • 03:12 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have suffered from this for about 9 years. I was diagnosed with cataplexy 9/12/2001. I also have narcolepsy (not an agressive case) and my docs said this is a side affect of the narcolepsy. But cataplexy is it. I have been to great neurologists in NC. It sucks when I am together with friends and I start to laugh and the harder I laugh the more faint I feel. I have passed out several times due to this. Wake up on the floor hands helping me up. Don't remember what happened to make me pass out other than laughing.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 06:11 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I'm 38 years old (female) and I just started having symptoms of almost passing out while laughing about two weeks ago. The first time this happened it totally caught me off guard...I thought I really must have had a really good belly laugh. I had to stop laughing...try to regroup as best I could to attempt to stop the light headed feeling of passing out. It seems that almost every time I get to a good laugh I have to be conscious of the risk of fainting/passing out. This is scary...I don't like the weak in the knees feeling, etc. I am on my feet nearly 16 hours a day and my job is stressful and at times brings some anxiety...I have no idea if this is related.
    Ginger A 1 Replies
    • January 27, 2009
    • 04:56 PM
    • 0
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  • You are performing a variant of a Valsalva maneuver,which is holding your breath while straining against a closed glottis,somrthing that causes a vasovagal attack and often loss of consciousness.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • January 27, 2009
    • 05:16 PM
    • 0
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  • i too it just happened today except i was driving . this is the third time it happened while driving i try to control iot somti mes i can but it happens so sudden. when i came too i was crying i didnt know where i was. my husband had the wheel trying to wake me i was out for 15 to 20 seconds./ after i had a bad headache and felt sick to me stomach, i was a bit lightheaded too. i told my doctor he year ago seemed to brush it off that its nothing. one of the times i was on a majior highway and had my 6 year old in the car that was the first time but my husband ws with me then too . i want a fix on this bad its dangerous and not normal.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Hello, I have been passing out when I laugh for almost 3 years now. You know how if you get laughing hard and can't breath? Well I tell myself I have to stop laughing or I will pass out. I can now feel it comming on and sometimes can stop it. Other times more often now I am not able to control it. Sometimes I pass out and shake for a minute or 2 before comming to other times more often I am sitting in a chair and lean back and a minute or 2 later I come to. When I come to I am disoriented and my whole body tingles as if it has been asleep even my tongue. I went to the emergency room a year ago. They sent me home with a heart monitor and told me to follow up with my doctor. I had recently moved and had a new doctor. I scheduled an appointment and the nurse practioner said my results of the heart monitor showed that my heart rate goes above 180 when active and occasionally goes below 40 when sleeping. I am also over weight so he said that he thinks I should lose weight and as far as the fainting goes he said I should just warn people I sit near that I may faint if laughing. I felt stupid and humiliated. So I have just been dealing with it. It seems to be getting a little worse. I remember the emergency room doctor being a little concerned and had said my regular doctor may want to set me up with a cardiologist. I don't have the nerve to go back and ask my regular doctor. So I am not sure what to do. Has anyone ever heard of passing out while laughing?? Is there a reason or a cure. It is not fun going through life trying not to laugh. I have 2 kids who are a riot and a fun loving happy funny family. I love to be the life of the party and make people laugh. But not passing out so they can laugh.. thats a little extreme..lol.. Well any suggestions would be greatly appreciated... Thanks.. KellyI actually have the same problem along with a few other issues... I have stroke like symptoms too and I have had ever test ran known to man with no answers. I would suggest getting a cardio workup even if it makes your family doc mad.. It's your life and you have to be your own advocate.. I go in a few weeks for my stress test. they are very important.. Good Luck.. Shannon
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 17, 2009
    • 05:07 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Check out Seinfeld Syncope. You will need to Google it because not very many doctors know about it. I know because I've been having this issue for 2 years now and I have told 5 doctors. Finally I asked my children's doc and she told me what it was. And she did recommend I have an ECHO done just to be sure it's not my heart. So I hope this helps all of you have been misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.Michelle
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 11, 2009
    • 04:16 PM
    • 0
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  • This just happened to me again reccently (yesterday) I just finished eating and was watching a funny skit on u-tube,,,,,, i started to laugh and then felt like I was going to pass oou but never did...... this has happened to me about 5 times over the last couple years and I would love some answersNice to see others with the same condition.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 3, 2010
    • 07:03 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello, I have been passing out when I laugh for almost 3 years now. You know how if you get laughing hard and can't breath? Well I tell myself I have to stop laughing or I will pass out. I can now feel it comming on and sometimes can stop it. Other times more often now I am not able to control it. Sometimes I pass out and shake for a minute or 2 before comming to other times more often I am sitting in a chair and lean back and a minute or 2 later I come to. When I come to I am disoriented and my whole body tingles as if it has been asleep even my tongue. I went to the emergency room a year ago. They sent me home with a heart monitor and told me to follow up with my doctor. I had recently moved and had a new doctor. I scheduled an appointment and the nurse practioner said my results of the heart monitor showed that my heart rate goes above 180 when active and occasionally goes below 40 when sleeping. I am also over weight so he said that he thinks I should lose weight and as far as the fainting goes he said I should just warn people I sit near that I may faint if laughing. I felt stupid and humiliated. So I have just been dealing with it. It seems to be getting a little worse. I remember the emergency room doctor being a little concerned and had said my regular doctor may want to set me up with a cardiologist. I don't have the nerve to go back and ask my regular doctor. So I am not sure what to do. Has anyone ever heard of passing out while laughing?? Is there a reason or a cure. It is not fun going through life trying not to laugh. I have 2 kids who are a riot and a fun loving happy funny family. I love to be the life of the party and make people laugh. But not passing out so they can laugh.. thats a little extreme..lol.. Well any suggestions would be greatly appreciated... Thanks.. Kellyhey kelly,my names erin and im 16 years old.. im a runner i run miles and miles lol.. im extremely in shape so dont let ur doctor tell you this is bc ur out of shape because hes wrong.. i pass out whenever i laugh and ive been treated for it for about 2 years now.. its called cataplexy.. its part of narcolepsy. I honestly dont believe thats what it really is.. my medicine that i take (Zyrem and provigil) they work most of the time but im first of all too young to have that and im the exact opposite of other patients who have this disease. I may never know what i have but its exactly the same description that i just read.. i honestly wished i saw you message sooner. I got diagnosed while i was in the 8th grade and it was so hard for my friends to underrstand because they have never seen it they didnt understand why i couldnt just stop laughing. its scarry and a terrible feeling almost like u cant control ur body like a vacum sucked all the energy out of you. like ur almost paralyzed.. u no whats happening u can hear but u cant talk u cant move nothing ur like frozen and you cant stop it.. sometimes its happening when i wake up but not all the time.. what i do to deal with it is exercise... seriously it makes you feel alot better when ur heart is pumping and watch for ur blood pressure on days your not feeling good. good luck kelly.. glad to know theres people out there like me.email me at x333vivalaglam@aim.com if u have any questions or anything.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 5, 2010
    • 01:43 AM
    • 0
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  • I have had the same problem for years now. It happens too me every 3 yrs or so. Talked to my doctor and she just told me that I must stop breathing while I am laughing. I only pass out for 15 to 20 seconds. It takes me a minute or so to figure out where I am. I looked it up tonight to see if it happens to anyone else. It does have to be a gut busting laugh tho.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 5, 2010
    • 06:20 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I see were getting quite a number of people who have this problem. So I would like to ask some other questions about this issue. Do others feel short of breathe sometimes without laughing? And I have never passed out because of this before I just feel like it. But when I laugh I can't talk for awhile after because I am out of breathe. Do others feel the same way?I am just curious because doctor cannot help us. They don't know what causes it or how to stop it. I've had and EKC and an ECHO done and thankfully both have come back normal. So hopefully someone comes to this board with some advice on how to stop it from happening.Thanks, Michelle
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 8, 2010
    • 05:55 PM
    • 0
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  • I have never got a straight answer. I guess just don't have a sense of humor.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 9, 2010
    • 02:17 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • My husband has this same thing. The first time we totalled out a suburban with the entire family in it and had no idea thats what happened. The third time really brought it out. At dinner at the inlaws house. He was laughing pretty good (he doesn't laugh out loud, just kind of snickers) and then turned beet read and out he goes. 10-20 seconds and he's back with me.. but cold sweat, kinda spacey looking.. Within a week we went to the doctor, he says lots of people do it to... for our peace of mind we went to a cardiologist. He did the echo cardiogram and everything looked fine. No meds, no real diagnosis. We're all on pins and needles when he laughs but the hardest part... You want them to be happy and laugh. i'm going to continue searching but its encouraging to know that he's not alone.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm a 57 year old male now with no symptoms. At age 45 I ha developed a simular symtoms in that whenever I would cough or laugh vigorsly I would get tunnel vision and almost pass out. I almost passed out driving on the highway at 70 mph speed from coughing.The neurologist said I had "cough syncope". He stated it was more common in adolecents. Basically, he described that there is a "check valve" in a vein or artery going to the brain. If the "check valve" doesn't hold, then overpressure (blood pressure) to the brain can make you pass out. Apparently, my over pressure was comming from laughing or coughing forcefully.After about 3 years - I no longer had any such episodes.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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