Why Do I Experience Dizziness after Eating?

Acid reflux can cause dizziness after eating.
Resting may help relieve feelings of dizziness.
Those with postprandial hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, might experience dizziness.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Dizziness after eating can be associated with a number of medical issues, most commonly postprandial hypoglycemia, where blood sugar levels drop after eating. People who notice the development of dizziness and vertigo after meals should consult a doctor for evaluation, as it can be a sign of a serious underlying medical issue. In other cases, patients may be in treatment for a condition without being aware of the fact that feeling this way after eating is a common symptom.

In addition to postprandial hypoglycemia, dizziness after eating can be associated with kidney or thyroid disease. In both cases, disruptions in normal function can lead to an imbalance of blood chemistry, potentially contributing to dizziness. Food changes the blood chemistry as the metabolism kicks into gear to process it, and the patient may feel unwell after meals. Nausea and vomiting may also be experienced.

Gastrointestinal disease, including gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, and acid reflux, can also cause dizziness after eating. The symptoms may grow worse over time and the patient usually experiences pain in the abdomen and upper chest as well. Heart disease can include dizziness as a symptom, as can some mental illnesses. People in emotional distress may develop disordered eating habits, sometimes contributing to dizziness connected to eating. Furthermore, certain medications are linked with vertigo and dizziness, and sometimes eating may be a trigger.

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People who notice dizziness after eating may want to keep a log, noting foods eaten and how long it takes for dizziness to onset. This can sometimes provide important diagnostic clues for a doctor evaluating a patient. If dizziness is experienced at other times or patients notice issues like fainting, feeling generally fatigued, or having distorted vision, these should also be noted and discussed with a doctor. Any increase in severity of symptoms should be discussed with a doctor to see if it is necessary to come in for a visit.

Doctors can run a number of diagnostic tests to find out why a patient is feeling dizzy after eating. These can include blood sugar tests, including tests after fasting, as well as after eating. Endoscopy of the esophagus and stomach may be recommended to check for signs of inflammation and disease. Other diagnostic options can be explored as necessary. Treatments can range from simply changing a medication to eliminate side effects to providing hypoglycemia treatments to control blood sugar with diet, exercise, medication, and other measures.

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Discuss this Article

scalelegs
Post 3

But it seems I only get dizzy after eating lunch.

goldensky
Post 2

@Sierra02 - Thank you for sharing your story with us. I too feel dizzy after eating sometimes but it's usually when I've eaten a very large meal.

I figure my symptoms are just signs of indigestion since sometimes I get nauseous and feel like vomiting after eating a large meal, especially spicy foods.

Sierra02
Post 1

I started feeling symptoms of dizziness and headaches after I ate about eight months ago. When it got to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore I consulted with my primary doctor. After several specialists and numerous blood tests we finally came to the conclusion that I was experiencing symptoms from vertigo.

In case you don't know, vertigo is when the little crystals in our ears get lodged and stop flowing smoothly in the fluids in our ears. This causes us to become imbalanced and is what causes the dizziness.

Vertigo can be triggered by stress, sleep disorders, ear infections and salt intake. At this point I began seeing a nutritionist and a physical therapists who both helped tremendously.

I kept a food log and noted the specific items that made the symptoms worse. Salt was the culprit in my case. I've had to cut away most all foods that I so much love like chocolate, avacado, tuna fish and cheese.

But I do feel much better now and with the help of my physical therapist I know what head exercises to do when I feel the sudden dizziness coming on.

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