Fainting is a brief episode of unconsciousness, usually lasting a few seconds, which can be brought on by psychological triggers such as the sight of blood, the prospect of a needle or hearing distressing news. So it’s not always possible to avoid the triggers that bring about fainting. However, some triggers can be avoided. The two most common triggers for fainting are low blood sugar levels and low blood pressure.


Low blood sugar occurs when glucose is not properly maintained in our blood. Severe hypoglycaemia can produce the feeling of faintness. Foods rich in protein, such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, keep our blood sugar levels stable for longer. On the other hand, refined sugary foods can aggravate blood sugar lows and so should be avoided. Eating regular meals or snacks can help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Further, a number of nutrients such as chromium, magnesium and B vitamins can also help to stabilise sugar levels. Supplements that contain these nutrients include Blackmores Sugar Balance, Ethical Nutrients Chromium Sugar Balance and Vitascience Glucoplex.


A fainting spell can also be triggered by anything that causes a drop in blood pressure. Low blood pressure is quite common. Prolonged standing (so that blood pools in the legs), dehydration, oppressive heat (as the body shunts blood into the skin to cool it down), being exhausted, unwell or pregnant, some medications or having recently undergone prolonged bed rest may all cause low blood pressure and make one prone to fainting. Another common cause of low blood pressure is anaemia, so get your blood levels checked and increase food sources of iron and B vitamins. Supplementation of iron should only be taken following blood tests and recommendation from a health professional. Iron supplements include Swisse Ultiboost Iron, Fab Iron Liquid and Nature’s Own Liquid Iron.


If you do begin to feel faint, there are a few measures that can be followed to prevent you from actually fainting. As soon as you feel faint, immediately lie down in a safe place so that you don't fall. Lie down and raise your legs, if you can, to restore circulation to the head.  If you cannot lie down, at least sit down and let those around you know you feel faint. Loosen or remove any tight clothes, ties or belts. If the fainting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as irregular pulse, chest pain, difficulty breathing or speaking, seek urgent medical attention as it could be a serious medical condition. If your fainting is recurrent you should also seek medical attention.