Seeing the number on the scale drop quickly can be exciting, as can fitting into clothes that are a few sizes smaller than usual. However, losing weight too quickly, whether from a health condition or extreme dieting or exercise, can cause some unpleasant side effects. If you feel dizzy and nauseous and find that you're dropping weight at an alarming rate, see your doctor for a checkup.
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Causes of Dizziness
If you feel dizzy and that you may faint or fall, it's likely because your blood pressure has quickly dropped too low. Dehydration is another possible cause of dizziness, as is hypoglycemia, vertigo and other balance disorders, or low blood sugar from diabetes or simply not eating enough. However, dizziness can also signal a more serious health problem, including a stroke, heart attack or shock. Look for other symptoms of these problems in addition to your dizziness, such as chest pain, vision disturbances, difficulty speaking and changes in your heart rate.
Causes of Nausea
Feeling dizzy can also make you feel light-headed and make your stomach feel unsettled. Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, can lead to nausea and also rapid weight loss as your metabolism works overtime from too much thyroid hormone. Additionally, if you're shedding weight very quickly and feeling nauseous, you could be exercising too hard and not eating enough or even have an eating disorder if you're severely restricting calories and obsessing about food and weight.
Dehydration can cause you to lose too much water weight too quickly, making you feel dizzy and nauseous. Even if you're trying to lose weight in an effort to see the number on the scale drop, don't avoid drinking water. Replace high-calorie drinks, like juices and sodas, with water, and sip on it throughout the day. When you're exercising vigorously and sweating a lot, it's necessary that you take in extra fluids.
Safe Weight Loss
Whether your quick weight loss is happening intentionally or unintentionally, make sure that you take care of yourself and address the symptoms of dizziness and nausea with your doctor. If you're trying to lose weight, focus on safe weight loss methods; avoid fad diets and extreme exercise. Feed your body plenty of nutritious foods while scaling back on calories so as to not deprive your body of needed nutrients. Remember that a healthy weight loss goal is between 1 and 2 pounds per week. If you aren't actively trying to lose weight but find that you're quickly dropping pounds, see your doctor about possible causes, such as hyperthyroidism.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Dehydration
- MedlinePlus: Dizziness
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Nausea and Vomiting - Adults
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight
- Colorado State University Extension: Weight-Loss Products, Programs and Diets
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Diabetes - Type 1