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iluak's avatar

Why is it that every time I get up, I feel dizzy?

Asked by iluak (46 points ) 2 months ago

So this has been happening for as long as I can remember. When I get out of bed in the morning I get dizzy and my vision goes black for a few seconds and I have to sit down. Usually if I look at the light my vision comes back quicker. Now it’s happening more often, like when I get up off a chair or the couch. I don’t know if this is normal or what, but I need help. Please don’t tell me to go to the doctor cause my parents won’t take me. They are the kind who only takes you to the doctor if your leg has been cut off or something. Also we won’t be able to afford it seeing as how my dad just had a heart attack and we are spending the last of our money on medical stuff for him.

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You may have low blood pressure. When you get up you don’t have enough pressure to get the blood up to your brain and it wants to get back down. So sit up for a minute or two before you start to stand.

snowberry's avatar

Whenever my body fails to operate as it’s supposed to, I always take stock: Am I well hydrated (am I drinking enough water)? I tend to forget that little detail. Any medical condition can be aggravated by not drinking enough.

I used to black out if I stood up right after waking. Then I started stretching my arms and legs before getting up, and it stopped my blacking out. Maybe these suggestions will help you too.

dina_didi's avatar

I think it is called orthostatic hypotension. Many people have it. Don’t you worry!

Pachy's avatar

I strongly suggest you ignore @dina_didi‘s Web link and the non-professional diagnosis to “not worry” and talk to an accredited and professionally trained medical person, starting with your school doctor or nurse.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with reaching out to the Fluther community for input on a medical issue but please don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by taking the advice of a stranger online. This may well be something very minor, but you simply can’t know until you see a doctor.

hearkat's avatar

Yes, it sounds like orthostatic hypotension to me, as well. This occurs when the blood pressure isn’t able to make the adjustment from supine or sitting to standing. There are a few things that can cause it, like low blood pressure in general, but also anemia and dehydration can make it worse. Try to pay attention to when it happens – how long had you been in the sit tying or laying position before you stood up? How long before your vision goes back to normal and the lightheaded ness has resolved?

As noted above, only a medical professional who sees you for an examination can verify this. But since you say the going to the doctor’s is not an option right now, pay extra close attention to your hydration (drink more caffeine-free, all-natural beverages), and nutrition (also try to focus on minimally processed foods and make sure you’re getting proteins – especially if you don’t eat much meat).

Try to get some exercise – even if it’s just walking around the blocks a few times at a pace that elevates your heart rate and breathing to a point where you can talk, but not sing. Also try to sleep on a regular schedule, since summer vacation can throw that all out of whack. And as suggested above, ease yourself into the process of standing by moving your legs and stretching a bit to start the blood flowing, and then get up slowly.

If these changes don’t improve the lightheadedness when getting up within a couple of weeks, then it is definitely time to see the doctor. At the very least, if there’s a pharmacy you can go to, they often have nurses there who can do some basic assessments. If they are concerned that you need to see a physician, that might help convince your parents.

I hope you feel better soon, and that you’ll come back to keep us posted on what happens!

dina_didi's avatar

@Pachy I told I think it is orthostatic hypotension. I am not a doctor and I think @iluak knows that he/she has to consult someone. This question was made to get some ideas. Otherwise there is no reason to post a question like this in a non-medical site!

janbb's avatar

If your parents can’t afford to take you to the doctor, please talk to your school nurse about it when school resumes.

Pachy's avatar

Sorry to have offended you, @dina_didi, but I felt your wording came off as an amateur diagnosis followed by possibly dangerous advice not to worry about it. That doesn’t seem an especially good thing to tell a youngster who’s obviously concerned about a medical issue. Basically all I did in my comment was to emphasize the need for him/her see a doctor, which your comment did not.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Isn’t there a free clinic in your area? I agree that it is likely BP too, but a medical professional needs to tell you, not us. I worry for you dear. I had parents like that too. I lived years with problems I did not even know could be treated.

dina_didi's avatar

@Pachy no problem. After your comment I felt the need to emphasize that I was not sure but I told my opinion. You were right that we should state those things but at first I thought that everybody should know that when we have health problems we can’t trust anybody but visit a doctor and if we can’t we go to a hospital or a pharmacy we trust.

Seaofclouds's avatar

This is not “normal”. You say it has been happening as long as you can remember, but is getting more frequent now. Has anything else changed? Do you have a history of any ear problems? How is your balance at other times? While this could be orthostatic hypotension, there are many other things it could be as well, some of which can be pretty serious. I understand that your parents don’t go to doctors unless it is something major, but you really should talk to them again about this. I am a nurse and a nurse practitioner student and I also don’t take my children to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. If my child said what you said here, we would be going to the doctor. Please try to talk to your parents again. If that does not work, reach out to your school nurse or school counselor. They may be able to help and might even be around for summer school.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Info about orthostatic hypotension from MayoClinic.com:

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Occasional dizziness or lightheadedness may be relatively minor — the result of mild dehydration, low blood sugar, or too much time in the sun or a hot tub, for example. Dizziness or lightheadedness may also happen when you stand after sitting for a long time, such as in a lecture, concert or church. If these symptoms happen only occasionally, it’s usually not cause for concern.

It’s important to see your doctor if you experience frequent symptoms of orthostatic hypotension because they sometimes can point to more-serious problems. It can be helpful to keep a record of your symptoms, when they occurred, how long they lasted and what you were doing at the time. If these occur at times that may endanger you or others, discuss this with your doctor.

CAUSES

Dehydration. Fever, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, severe diarrhea and strenuous exercise with excessive sweating can all lead to dehydration. When you become dehydrated, your body loses blood volume. Mild dehydration can cause symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, such as weakness, dizziness and fatigue.

Heart problems. Some heart conditions that can lead to low blood pressure include extremely low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, heart attack and heart failure. These conditions may cause orthostatic hypotension because they prevent your body from being able to respond rapidly enough to pump more blood when needed, such as when standing up.

Endocrine problems. Thyroid conditions, adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and, in some cases, diabetes can trigger low blood pressure. Diabetes can also damage the nerves that help send signals regulating blood pressure.

Nervous system disorders. Some nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, Lewy body dementia, pure autonomic failure and amyloidosis, can disrupt your body’s normal blood pressure regulation system.

After eating meals. Some people experience low blood pressure after eating meals (postprandial hypotension). This condition is more common in older adults.

hearkat's avatar

I should have mentioned in my comment that I am an Audiologist – which is the profession that specializes in the function of the ears: hearing and balance. The description of symptoms offered by the OP is not what typically describes an inner ear or labyrinthine disequilibrium; those symptoms do fit the typical description of low blood pressure. However, there is tremendous variability of symptoms for all these disorders, and not all cases fit the ‘textbook’ description.

As the Mayo Clinic article pasted above mentions, there are many potential contributors to the low blood pressure. By living the healthiest lifestyle you can, as I suggested, you reduce the influence of many of those factors. If that doesn’t improve your symptoms, than you know there is something else beyond your control that is causing what you feel.

I agree that the ideal would be for you to see a health care professional sooner rather than later. So you should inform your parents of your symptoms right away, and ask for them to take you to a Doctor. Since you seem certain that they will refuse your initial request, do those things you can control as noted above. If your parents see that you’re very serious about your concerns and your health but that you’re still having symptoms, they will hopefully take your concerns more seriously.

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