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Dizziness After Standing Up or Exercise

by
author image Solomon Branch
Solomon Branch specializes in nutrition, health, acupuncture, herbal medicine and integrative medicine. He has a B.A. in English from George Mason University, as well as a master's degree in traditional Chinese medicine.
Dizziness After Standing Up or Exercise
Woman dizzy coming out of bathroom. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Feeling dizzy after standing up or after exercise can be both frightening and debilitating but is not always the result of a serious condition. Dizziness caused by standing up is known as orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension. It is usually caused by an underlying problem -- such as dehydration -- a common cause of dizziness after exercising. Mild dizziness does not require treatment, but if you get dizzy consistently or the dizziness is severe, consult a doctor.

Orthostatic Hypotension Symptoms

Although usually mild, orthostatic hypotension can lead to fainting, if severe. You may also experience other symptoms, including chest pain, nausea, fatigue, weakness or blurry vision. All these symptoms occur because your blood pressure is not high enough to furnish your brain with enough blood and oxygen for proper functioning. When you stand up or stop exercising too quickly, your body should adjust by increasing your blood pressure to pump blood throughout your entire body, particularly your brain. If you have orthostatic hypotension, this adjustment mechanism is not functioning, which leads to dizziness.

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Conditions That Cause Dizziness

If you experience dizziness after exercising, dehydration is a likely cause, particularly if you have been sweating a lot. Sweating can cause dehydration, which lowers your blood volume, which in turn lowers your blood pressure. Not eating enough can have similar results. Other possible causes include prescription medication, aging, pregnancy, low red blood cell count, heart conditions and diseases that affect your endocrine system -- such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Parkinson's disease, a nervous system disorder that affects the brain, often results in orthostatic hypotension and dizziness.

Take Care of Yourself

To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid drinking alcohol because it can lead to dehydration. Ensure you are eating enough throughout the day, and avoid skipping meals. If you are prone to dizziness, breathe deeply before standing up, and move slowly, giving your body a chance to adjust to a standing position. Include a cooling-down period after exercise to give your body time to adjust your blood pressure. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

How to Deal With Dizziness

As soon as you start to feel dizzy, sit or lie down for several minutes. Drink water if you are dehydrated, and eat a small snack if you are hungry. The symptoms should go away after a few minutes of rest. Seek medical attention if they do not. If you are on medications, your doctor might lower the dosage or prescribe an alternative medication. In some cases, he may prescribe a medication to increase the amount of fluid in your blood or constrict your blood vessels, both of which raise your blood pressure. If you have an underlying medical condition that is causing your dizziness, such as a heart problem, other medications may also be prescribed.

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