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Blackouts and dizziness

Q: I get frequent blackouts and dizziness. I have taken normal blood tests and ECG and everything is normal. I am a student of computer engineering. I suspect that this is linked to the pressure of my studies. Could you explain to me in medical terms what could be the effect of stress and whether it is associated with such blackouts and also how I should prevent / cure this? Thanks!

A:The body often reacts to stress through the sympathetic or parasympathetic parts of the autonomic nervous system. Each individual is liable to develop a specific pattern of reactions, and one organ system may become the victim, e.g., the bowel may develop diarrhoea, the heart may palpitate, blood pressure may go into the hypertensive range, and diseases such as asthma, muscle pains or fatigue, or sexual dysfunction may become chronic problems. Simpler reactions to stress include a labile circulation, with excessive blushing or sweating, or feeling faint. Thus fainting spells and tremors can be an individuals reaction to stress, particularly if ones overall condition is sub-optimal, perhaps as an outcome of inappropriate diet or inadequate sleep; yoga exercises and meditation may help rebalance the autonomic nervous system. These approaches may be all that is needed, provided any serious underlying disease (such as a brain lesion) has been ruled out by an adequate medical evaluation.

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