Have you ever gotten a little lightheaded after eating a meal? Surprisingly, dizziness after eating occurs more common than one would think. Most people associate wooziness with lack of eating, causing blood sugar levels to plummet. This type of dizziness is more common in women or seniors and is rarely seen in children or young adults. Often, individuals suffering from this condition faint, which causes worries. However, they should not fret as this ailment is usually not considered serious unless it happens on a frequent basis.
What Causes Dizziness After Eating?
1. Postprandial Hypotension
Postprandial hypotension is the name of a condition that causes the pooling of blood in your abdominal organs after a meal and during digestion. When your body is processing and breaking down your food, it draws a lot blood to the intestinal organs. In some people this causes distress on their system and they can experience dizziness after eating.
If you read the precautions on your medications, you will notice most of them list dizziness as a possible side effect. Common drugs causing lightheadedness include antidepressants, antihypertensive medications, high blood pressure medications, sedatives and ACE inhibitors. Also, habit forming drugs can cause dizziness after eating as a symptom of withdrawal.
Atherosclerosis occurs when your blood vessels harden, causing blood flow restrictions due to the formation of cholesterol or plaque. If you have a family history of atherosclerosis, smoke or have high cholesterol, you have a higher risk of developing this condition. When your blood flow is blocked, you feel dizzy or tired.
Gastritis occurs when the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed due to excess stomach acid. There are several reasons this can occur including overeating, eating too much greasy foods, drinking too much caffeinated beverages and/or alcoholic drinks. Dizziness after eating is a common symptom of gastritis.
5. Emotional Disorder
Emotional disorders bring with it a multitude of health issues. Stress can cause all kinds of havoc with your body. Depression hinders your immunity causing you to be more prone to health issues. A common consequence of all this emotional pressure is lightheadedness after a meal or snack.
6. Kidney Disorders
While you might not know it, your kidneys have a big role in regulating your blood pressure. When they are out of whack, your body has a hard time functioning properly and all kind of symptoms pop up. If you are unable to maintain your blood pressure, you may feel dizzy after eating.
A common cause of dizziness after eating is a condition called labyrinthitis. This ailment occurs when the labyrinth of the inner ear is inflamed. Part of the labyrinth is the vestibule and it is responsible for sending information to your brain about head movement. When it is not working properly, it can send a false message causing lightheadedness.
8. Heart Disease
Diseases of the heart such as heart rhythm problems, congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease or heart infections can cause a wide range of symptoms. Warning signs of this condition include dizziness after eating, fainting, shortness of breath and chest pain.
9. Thyroid Gland Disorder
Your thyroid affects every part of your body. It produces the thyroid hormone, which helps regulate how your body functions. Hyperthyroidism occurs when too much hormone is produced. Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid is underactive and does not produce enough hormones. In either case, common symptoms include fatigue, lightheadedness with or without eating and exhaustion.
Ways That Help to Prevent It
No matter what condition is causing your issue, dizziness after eating is often related to an ailment that affects your blood pressure. When your blood vessels and heart do not work together properly to pump your blood, your pressure drops. In turn, you feel lightheaded, nauseated, faint and ill. However, there are ways to help prevent this condition.
1. Do Not Skip Meals
When you skip a meal, your blood pressure drops. Often, your body will work itself into frenzy and when you finally eat you will have a sudden spike in sugar. This can result in a headache, falling, dizziness and fainting. Eating junk or fatty foods when hungry can also bring on these symptoms.
2. Do Not Overeat
When you eat too much, you feel lazy and tired and often sit for an extended period afterwards. This can cause you to feel bloated and dizzy. The best thing for your body is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day. This will help prevent all types of digestive conditions.
3. Incorporate Whole Grains into Your Diet
Eating starchy foods like rice and potatoes can cause postprandial hypotension because they quickly pass to your stomach. Foods made up of whole grains and protein are digested more slowly, thus keeping your body at normal blood pressure levels.
4. Don’t Add Sugary Drinks to Your Diet
Just like eating junk food, when you drink sodas or other sugary beverages you run the risk of causing your blood sugar to spike and then quickly drop. When this happens, you will experience dizziness and may even possibly faint.
5. Eat Vegetables and Fruits
When you include lots of them in your diet, you allow powerful antioxidants into your system. Along with beneficial minerals and vitamins, they help your body fight free radicals in your system and keep it working properly.
6. Avoid Vigorous Activities
Don’t push yourself too hard after a meal or you may experience dizziness after eating. When you do not allow your blood pressure to return back to normal after a meal, you can get nauseated and lightheaded. It is important to wait about an hour before doing strenuous exercises.
7. Drink Enough Water
If you keep yourself properly hydrated, you can prevent lightheadedness and dizziness brought on by dehydration. It is important to get enough liquids into your system, stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Believe it or not, sometimes if you drink too much water at once you can also get dizzy.
8. Add Herbal Tea to Your Diet
Herbs like ginger and mint have soothing properties that can calm your stomach after a meal. They can help your digestive system work better, thus thwarting off dizziness.
While the condition is not common among young people, it can still occur. So no matter your age, it is important to seek the advice of your doctor. Working together, you can uncover the root of your problem and help alleviate the symptoms or side effects.