8 Medical Conditions That Could Be Making You Dizzy
If you’ve ever stood up quickly and wondered, “Whoa, why am I dizzy?” the answer could range from a mild issue to a serious medical condition. Here’s what could be happening in your body when the room is spinning.
Hypotension, also known as low blood pressure, is one of the causes of dizziness, particularly when going from lying down to sitting or standing. “When you get up too quickly from a sitting or lying position and your blood doesn’t travel as quickly up to your head, you can experience a ‘head rush’ feeling,” explains Sherry Ross, MD, ob-gyn and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. To prevent this type of dizziness, take your time changing body positions. Also, talk to your doctor about possible issues with your circulation.
Being even slightly dehydrated is another one of the common causes of dizziness, as it slows blood circulation. A lack of proper hydration can cause blood pressure to drop quickly which, in turn, causes dizziness. Here are 9 clear signs you’re about to faint.
Drinking more than the recommended daily amount of caffeine—which is 400 mg—can lead to dizziness. Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants restrict blood flow to the brain. Blood not flowing properly to the brain could be a cause of dizziness.
We all worry sometimes, but when anxiety is accompanied by dizziness, it could be a panic attack or an anxiety disorder. Panic and anxiety disorders can make you feel lightheaded because they often involve rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing, both of which trigger dizziness. If you are unable to calm yourself down in certain situations, contact your physician.
When you hyperventilate, you breathe too quickly or too deeply, leaving the body with low levels of carbon dioxide and an inability to properly deliver oxygen to the extremities. Hyperventilating, which we tend to do during an anxiety attack—but which can also be a sign of bleeding, a heart or lung disorder, or an infection, according to the National Institutes of Health—can cause tingling sensations as well as dizziness. Read up on these 10 simple home remedies for dizziness.
If you’ve slammed your head into something recently—even just a kitchen cabinet—dizziness is a sign that you could have a concussion. “Most concussions are mild, but they all cause some injury to the brain and must be evaluated by an expert trained in recognizing them and treating them accordingly, in a timely manner,” says Vernon Williams, MD, neurologist and director of the Kerlan-Jobe Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California. “It can take a few hours, or even up to a few weeks, to recover from a concussion.”
Middle ear infection
When you have an infection in the middle ear—when a cold, allergy, or upper respiratory infection leads to a buildup of pus and mucus behind the eardrum—you might experience vertigo, a drastic feeling of imbalance. The body’s balance system being out of whack is one of the causes of dizziness. Check out these 15 vertigo treatments that could finally cure your dizziness.
Running low on thiamin, or vitamin B1, is another cause of dizziness. This essential mineral helps to maintain the central nervous system, so deficiencies can lead to feelings of weakness (because the body isn’t properly processing fuel into energy) and irregular heartbeat, as the nervous system is depressed. Over time, a vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to cardiomyopathy, or enlarged heart, which then interferes with blood flow to the brain, causing dizziness. This is a serious condition requiring medical attention. Next, check out the 50 health symptoms you should never ignore.