Losing Weight & Dizziness

Woman weighed on floor scales
A young woman in a towel crouched down on a bathroom floor looking at her weight on a scale. (Image: targovcom/iStock/Getty Images)

Intentional weight loss accompanied by dizziness may indicate that you are losing weight in an unhealthy manner, such as following a fad diet or a diet with severely restricted calories. Unintentional weight loss with dizziness may be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you have weight loss and dizziness, make sure you are getting adequate nutrition and enough total calories. If the symptoms persist, see a medical professional to determine the cause.

Dizziness and Dieting

If your weight-loss efforts are accompanied by feelings of dizziness or weakness, it's likely that you are not losing weight in a healthy way. Diets with severely reduced calories, or so-called detox or fasting diets which eliminate certain nutrients entirely can cause you to feel dizzy from dehydration or malnutrition. Experiencing dizziness when using diuretics and laxatives to lose weight may also indicate dehydration or a nutritional deficiency. A healthy diet for weight loss contains balanced nutrition and no less than 1,200 calories per day for women and 1,500 calories for men.

Eating Disorders

In extreme cases, unhealthy dieting that causes weight loss and dizziness may indicate an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Symptoms of eating disorders include self-starvation, excessive exercising, abnormal body image, low blood pressure, flat mood, irregular heartbeat and dehydration. If you or a loved one are losing weight rapidly as a result of a self-imposed diet or have an unhealthy preoccupation with weight, it is important to seek medical treatment.

Hypoglycemia

If you have diabetes and are trying to lose weight, it is important that you do so carefully to avoid hypoglycemia, a condition characterized by low blood sugar that can result in dizziness and even loss of consciousness. Skipping meals or overexercising to lose weight while taking diabetes medication can upset your glucose balance, potentially causing hypoglycemia. If you want to lose weight while taking insulin, talk to your doctor about healthy ways to do this so as to avoid getting hypoglycemia.

Unintentional Weight Loss

Unintentional weight loss accompanied by dizziness may indicate a serious medical condition such as cancer or AIDS. Contact your health provider immediately if you have unintentional weight loss accompanied by dizziness or other symptoms, or if you have lost more than 5 percent of your body weight over 12 months or less and are not sure why.

Healthy Weight Loss

If you don't have any serious health problems, losing weight in a healthy, safe manner should not cause dizziness. A combination of a nutritious, reduced-calorie diet and an increase in physical activity is the best way to bring about healthy weight loss with no serious side effects. Healthy weight loss can be achieved by cutting calories from fat, sugar and alcohol and exercising at least three days per week for at least 30 minutes at a time.

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