Dizziness in general is a distressing symptom and when it occurs after eating, alarms bells generally sound. Dizziness is often hard for people to accurately describe. Sometimes they mean lightheadedness, sick to the stomach or a spinning sensation. The distinction is important as each has a different list of possibilities and may occur due to a medical condition or disease process.
Causes of Dizziness after Eating
1. Postprandial Hypotension
Blood pressure fluctuations after eating can cause both dizziness and extreme fatigue. Checking your blood pressure before and after meals will help clarify if this is the cause. Those with high blood pressure, diabetes and nervous system diseases such as Parkinson's are more prone to this cause of dizziness. The autonomic nervous system fails to regulate blood pressure adequately in these conditions and results in dizziness.
2. Labyrinth Disorder
The structures in the inner ear help coordinate balance and allow the perception of motion. Any disorder affecting these structures can result in dizziness. Benign positional vertigo is part of this spectrum of causes and results in an intense spinning sensation. Meniere's disease causes dizziness and ringing in the ears.
Age, high cholesterol, smoking and family history all play a role in this condition. The end result is hardening of the arteries and blockage of blood flow. People can experience dizziness and nausea after eating related to this condition. It can affect vessels in the neck, heart and digestive tract.
Inflammation of the stomach lining is called gastritis. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue and sometimes pain and nausea after eating. Smoking, excessive caffeine and alcohol intake, NSAID use and stress all contribute to developing gastritis.
5. Emotional Disorders
All of us are prone to stress. Excessive worry, stress, grief and emotional burden can result in dizziness after eating. Those with eating disorders usually experience more intense symptoms.
6. Heart Disease
Proper circulation of blood is required for digestion. Those suffering from blockage of arteries and heart failure are often left feeling dizzy, nausea and fatigue after eating. At times severe abdominal pain can develop as the intestines are starved of blood flow and cannot digest food properly. Some people develop a fear of food and eating due to the severity of their symptoms.
7. Medication Side Effects
A variety of medications can cause dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Blood pressure medications, particularly the thiazide class, are known to cause these symptoms. Many antidepressants and allergy medications are often taken with meals and result in dizziness after eating.
8. Dizziness-inducing Foods
High fat foods like meat, cheese and milk can cause light-headedness Fried food and salty dishes often have the same effect. Avoid eating excess seafood as certain toxins from shellfish cause dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Pickled vegetables and high salt sauces and condiments are notorious for producing similar symptoms.
9. Kidney or Thyroid Disease
The kidney and thyroid are intimately associated with metabolism, fluid balance, energy and the function of a variety of body systems. Disease of either can result in dizziness, fatigue and nausea. Other symptoms can include weight gain, leg swelling, headaches and feeling generally weak.
Without a medical evaluation, it is very difficult to know the underlying cause and professional help should be sought to determine the cause of your symptoms. Once a diagnosis has been firmly established, further episodes may be managed by treating the specific symptoms and avoiding triggers.
Remedies for Dizziness after Eating
- Avoid Carbonated Drinks. Minimize or eliminate carbonated drinks from your diet. These types of beverages can cause or worsen dizziness.
- Drink Water Regularly. Proper hydration can prevent dizziness. Most of us don't drink enough water. Plan for 6-8 glasses per day.
- Keep Healthy Eating Habits. Don't skip meals as this results in plummeting blood sugar levels, dizziness and nausea. Try to keep meal times consistent and don't skip breakfast.
- Add Whole Grains in Meals. These types of food are metabolized slowly and provide a more steady release of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Have Fruits and Vegetables. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides powerful anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy and keep your body systems functioning optimally.
- Relax after Eating. Relax after eating a meal and give your body time to digest the food. If you are dizzy after eating, lie down and relax until symptoms pass. Trying to "fight" through a dizzy spell can result in passing out and injuring yourself.
- Avoid These Things. Skip condiments, sauces, alcohol, tobacco, strong tea and coffee and sweets.
More Natural Remedies
- Spices. Ginger and cayenne are perfect to battle dizziness. Add a pinch to brewed tea and drink after a meal.
- Rice Gruel. The benefit here is that rice gruel insures proper production of gastric juice to aid in digestion.
- Coconut Water. Consider this nature's version of balanced water. Drink coconut water to normalize the environment inside the stomach and prevent dizziness and vertigo.
- Gooseberry Juice Extract. Relieve dizziness by taking two teaspoon a few times a day.
- Fennel Seeds. These seeds stimulate saliva production and the alkaline saliva helps soothe the stomach and prevent dizziness.
Here is a video for movements to relieve dizziness after eating: