What Are the Most Common Causes of Dizziness when Standing Up?

Dehydration and anemia are two possible causes of dizziness upon standing.
If a patient does not receive treatment for dizziness, they are danger of serious falls.
Someone who is dehydrated might experience dizziness when standing up.
The causes of dizziness vary from trivial to life-threatening.
Article Details
  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

The most common causes of dizziness when standing up are orthostatic hypotension, anemia, and dehydration. Orthostatic hypotension refers to a drop in blood pressure when standing. This condition is usually temporary; however, when it becomes chronic, medications to increase blood pressure are available. In addition, anemia can commonly cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and heart palpitations when a person stands up. This is especially common in women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding and in those recovering from surgery where large amounts of blood was lost.

Typically, when a person becomes dizzy after standing up, he or she feels faint and lightheaded. Sometimes, this is related to an inner ear infection, which causes vertigo. This sensation causes a spinning sensation and is sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

An inner ear infection is usually treated with antibiotics if it is bacterial, and anti-nausea and antihistamine medications. It should be noted that antihistamines can also cause dizziness, but the sensation of vertigo is usually relieved. Before treatment begins, people need to discuss this treatment option with a medical professional to discuss side effects and adverse reactions.

Ad

It is important for a healthcare provider to determine the cause of any dizziness. The treatment will hinge on the diagnosis, but if prompt treatment does not begin, the patient risks falling and sustaining an injury. Elderly people are especially vulnerable to becoming dizzy when standing up. They are also prone to low blood pressure, anemia, and balance deficits. The combination of these medical conditions coupled with dizziness sets the stage for a potentially hazardous situation. In these patients, it crucial that adequate fluids be consumed during the day to prevent dehydration and lightheadedness.

When anemia is found to be the cause of dizziness when standing up, treatment might include consuming more iron-rich foods and taking iron supplements. After iron levels normalize, dizziness and other symptoms of anemia generally improve. Iron supplements should never be taken unless under the direction of the healthcare provider, as too much iron can cause liver problems.

Iron supplementation can cause stomach upset, constipation, and black stools. Drinking water regularly can help prevent these side effects. Typically, before iron supplementation begins, the medical professional will run a blood test to determine serum iron levels. If the blood test determines that the iron level is normal, supplementation therapy should not begin.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon958257
Post 4

I have Crohn's Disease and get B12 shots and work in a library. Sometimes when I get a book off of the bottom shelf and straighten back up I get really dizzy.

SteamLouis
Post 3

I didn't know so many different things could be responsible for dizziness while standing. I have anemia, so I always thought that this was the main culprit.

I wish taking iron supplements would be enough to treat my anemia and the dizziness it causes. My anemia is related to Crohn's disease and the supplements haven't helped much so far. My blood count and iron levels just won't go up. I'm considering getting iron and vitamin B12 infusions. I'm hoping that will help. Otherwise, I will be stuck with dizziness for a while to come.

Anyone else here have dizzy spells when standing up because of anemia?

burcidi
Post 2

@ysmina-- That happens to me too. But mine is not because of hypotension, it's because of BPPV. It stands for "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo." I don't understand everything about it, it's kind of confusing.

But according to my doctor, it has to do with my inner ear. He said something about there being calcium crystals in the ears and when they get dislodged, they cause vertigo symptoms.

I have the same exact symptoms you do though. I get dizzy when I kneel down and stand up. Cleaning my cat's litter is so difficult because of it. After I stand up, I get so dizzy. Sometimes I also feel a shot of pain through my head. It's so annoying.

ysmina
Post 1

Temporary dizzy spells with sudden movements is not really dangerous. It happens to many people while rolling out of bed too quickly in the morning or if they bend over and straighten up too fast. But when it becomes constant and dizziness lasts longer, there is probably something else going on.

I have orthostatic hypotension. This happens when someone stands up or changes position too quickly and blood accumulates in the lower part of the body. It causes a sudden fall in blood pressure which creates dizziness. Sometimes I get lightheartedness and develop a headache from this too.

I have been checked out by my doctor. He took my blood pressure after changing positions several times and told me that I have this condition. But he said my blood pressure doesn't fall enough to warrant the use of medication. I just have to move more slowly. When I slow down my movements and don't get up very quickly, I don't get dizzy.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email