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  1. #1
    Rail Trailer Kittydew's Avatar
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    OK, so I'm Dizzy

    So I'm a dizzy chick!

    Seriously, I have always had low blood pressure and suffered often from dizzy spells. I noticed in the last year and a half or so, it's been getting worse... I have weeks where EVERY time I get up, WHOO! gotta put my head down and wait for a min. before I can get going. I never made the connection that my dizziness got worse around the time I got serious about my cycling. So over a week recently I was benched from my riding due to a very minor surgery for a week and a half. I was a raving lunatic without my rides, but hey, surprise, surprise... no dizziness all that time! So finally, oh joy, I can go back to biking this weekend... I do 2 24 minute rides, and been dizzy ever since. I've also noticed in the past when I did my harder/longer rides, I'd REALLY have bad dizziness every day... even after eating big meals.

    No, it's not a blood sugar thing... at least, I don't think so. I eat or drink carbs before and after my rides, I stay hydrated... and it's not like I only suffer after a ride and it stops when I eat... I stay dizzy all darn day/evening. My Nurse practitioner kind of blows it off, and though the dizzy spells can be bad... I've never passed out.

    Sooo... just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or has been through anything similar. I usually go on 24-30 mile rides, but I'm starting to train for a 100k at the end of this month, I don't need to be passing out if I take things up a notch.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I had this problem when I was playing soccer. Doc told me to take electrolyte drinks to replenish the salts and minerals I sweated away.

    Biking's even more severe in the amounts of electrolytes you sweat away. Typically a bike that rides 200-miles/week will need to eat about 600-800% more salt than the daily allowance.

    So when you ride, make sure you take an electrolyte drink with you.

  3. #3
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    My blood pressure is 80/40. My doc says there's no such thing as low blood pressure unless you're experiencing fainting spells or severe chronic dizzyness. He says that it's a sign of excellent aerobic fitness.

    I get a little dizzy once in a while, and there have been one or two times I got so dizzy I felt like hurling. But the severe times are extremely rare and the more frequent episodes are very minor. My doc says nothing is wrong and not to worry, but of course keep him informed of anything new.

    I don't think mine is blood sugar related either since I eat like a horse all day long. If I do happen to miss a meal, it doesn't seem to have any effect on the dizzyness.

    I would make sure you clear yourself with your doc though.

    Az

  4. #4
    Videre non videri
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    I've had the same problem on and off since I entered my teens.
    For the past month, it's been worse than usual. I have to walk bent over for a while after I get out of bed. Just sitting down for half an hour produces the same effect.

    It's not related to blood sugar or electrolytes, as I consume these more than enough, and I am rarely even slightly dehydrated.

    Curiously, though, this problem got worse now, during 5-6 weeks without cycling.
    So it would seem it's a reversed situation compared to Kittydew's.

    I haven't had my blood pressure checked in years, so I can't tell you what it is.
    In the past, I've been within 100-110/50-60. Not that low.

  5. #5
    lillypad
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    Especially when you have low blood pressure to begin with, as many serious athletes do, you can develop what is known as postural hypotension. It takes a few seconds for your bp to reach your head and you feel dizzy when you first stand up. I have the same problem. My resting bp is usually somewhere around 90/50. Last summer my doc prescribed me some sodium chloride pills. These help your body to retain fluids and help to increase your bp. This is why many people with high bp are asked to try to avoid sodium. But if it is low to begin with, it can help.

  6. #6
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    i have that too... i had low blood pressure for most of my life, except when i was taking a medication that made me dizzy...for a while my BP went up due to that and stress, but now it's back to normal. I get dizzy when i stand up or look up too fast... just be careful, especially when exercising.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  7. #7
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittydew
    So I'm a dizzy chick!
    sounds like orthostatic hypotension...you should have a cardiac evaluation from a cardiologist to be safe. get a referal from your NP. you don't need to be old to see a cardiologist...and your NP is NOT a replacement for such a visit. it's your body, decision is up to you. probably benign, but i wouldn't be taking advice on here or a medical forum.

    good luck
    Last edited by mx_599; 02-07-06 at 12:32 PM.

  8. #8
    I'll ride for free MudSplattered's Avatar
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    Same thing happens to me. Doctor blew me off totally, suggesting Prozac of all things. I blew a gasket, asked if prozac is recommended for dizzy/weak spells. Will NEVER go back to him. He also said I'm "just a laid-back person" which keeps my BP low. I started eating bananas every day. I don't really like bananas but it seems to help a little. I also eat plenty of carbs and do the sports drinks. I MADE him do a blood test for anemia. It came out within normal ranges, but on the low side. Still hoping to find a dr to take me seriously. Good luck

  9. #9
    Senior Member Itsjustb's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I've been suffering from similar symptoms to Kittydew's and it's been scaring the heck outta me. I'll look into some of the causes mentioned here and see my doctor.

    Beej

  10. #10
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    generally it is not a concern and your body adjusts in 15-20 seconds or so to the pooling of blood in the lower body

  11. #11
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I'm not certain I understand how something that is obviously abnormal can be ignored or passed off as just dizzyness.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  12. #12
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    I've been getting dizzy lately, too but it's only after I have worked out especially hard and it passes quickly. This is a new phenomenon.

    I've been training hard the last two months: weight training, cycling at tempo for an hour at a time, and lots of miles and hills.

    I notice it when I've been sitting in a chair after a hard workout and then get up to walk somewhere. After a few steps I get a brief spell of lightheadedness which passes quickly, 5 seconds max, but is strong enough I need to stop and grab on to something and put my head down a little. I'm fine after that--at least until I sit down and then get up again. It continues for a couple of hours after a hard workout but then doesn't present again until after my next hard workout.

    I trained hard last year at this time and have trained hard at other times and didn't have this happen.

    I saw my Dr. last week for an annual physical and told him about it. He's an internist. He took my BP while I was lying down and then had me stand up and took it again--it changed from 120/80 to 115/80. Not a big change. He thought it might be because of a lack of hydration and suggested I take in more fluids. But it's winter here and though it's been a mild winter--it's 62 and sunny right now, I know I lose a lot less fluid on a day like today than I do in July and August when the low is 62 and the high is 95. Although I try to have my rides completed before the very hottest part of the day, I'm often still on the bike in the summer when it's in the high 80's and low 90's. If I don't drink enough then I can get symptoms of heat exhaustion--tired, weak, and slightly nauseous. I know then I need to stop and cool off quickly--pouring water over my head and upper body helps. Just water isn't enough--I need to cool myself down.

    But I didn't get dizzy in the summer like I have lately and you'd think that riding in conditions like that would dehydrate me much more than even hard training rides on days when it's 30 something when I start and 60 something when I stop.

  13. #13
    Videre non videri
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    I only get it when I've been inactive. After exercise, my BP is always "normal", and I don't really get the dizziness.

  14. #14
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webist
    I'm not certain I understand how something that is obviously abnormal can be ignored or passed off as just dizzyness.
    who said it's abnormal look at all the people on here who said it happens to them. it happens to me sometimes as well. it is just a lack of blood to the head when there is a drastic change in posture. sometimes the body cannot compensate instantaneously.

    however, it shouldn't be taken for granted and that is why i suggested the OP have a Cardiac eval to rule out a serious problem.

  15. #15
    lillypad
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    sounds like orthostatic hypotension...you should have a cardiac evaluation from a cardiologist to be safe. get a referal from your NP. you don't need to be old to see a cardiologist...and your NP is NOT a replacement for such a visit. it's your body, decision is up to you. probably benign, but i wouldn't be taking advice on here or a medical forum.

    good luck
    postural hypotension and orthostatic hypotension are two different terms for the same condition, feeling faint or dizzy upon rapid change in posture due to momentary lack of oxygen to the brain.

  16. #16
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lillypad
    postural hypotension and orthostatic hypotension are two different terms for the same condition, feeling faint or dizzy upon rapid change in posture due to momentary lack of oxygen to the brain.
    coolio, i didn't read any of the replies before writing myself...oops

  17. #17
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    your thyroid can also cause dizziness... get it checked out.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  18. #18
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Try dying your hair a different color, that might solve the dizziness...

  19. #19
    Rail Trailer Kittydew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Try dying your hair a different color, that might solve the dizziness...
    Dang it Danno, I'm a BRUNETTE not a blond!

    And re: MX 599's comments... "however, it shouldn't be taken for granted and that is why i suggested the OP have a Cardiac eval to rule out a serious problem."
    I actually had an echo-cardiagram a year ago (long story, briefly took Phen-fen, and yes, i know DUMB) anywho the ticker seems to be in good shape, but I will talk in more detail to my GP and express my concerns more strongly. I am only 36, but I hear you about never being to young.

    I was actually pretty sure it was othostatic hypo... my Mother-in-law is an ER nurse and told me a while back that was probably it. But I've read up on a a bit, the general info seems to just say, as long as there is no serious heart problem, just to take it easy, so to speak. (sigh, big help) I am going to start using fitness drinks and see if that helps. Maybe talk to my GP about how I'm training up now and want to offset this as much as possible. Find out if I have any options. I don't want this turning me off my cycling!

    it does make me feel a bit better just to know I'm not the only one suffering, and that there are other athletes here with similar problems. Glad I posted about it, seems to be a good subject for
    quite a few people. :-) Thanks for all; the good suggestions/commiserating folks!
    Kitty

  20. #20
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Hey as long as you know what's going on, no big deal. Just hope that no situations come "up" where you forget about your "condition" until it's too late.

    Getting up from a rest during a bike ride, in an open area, with nothing to steady yourself or break your fall comes to mind.........

  21. #21
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    Vertigo?, Orthostatic hypotension (a decrease in blood pressure upon standing)? Bypass the NP and see the MD.

  22. #22
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittydew
    So finally, oh joy, I can go back to biking this weekend... I do 2 24 minute rides, and been dizzy ever since.
    I usually go on 24-30 mile rides
    To be honest, this just does not sound like the kind of workout intensity that would trigger postural hypotension this badly. The only person I know who has it this bad, mostly gets it during the season when he's doing hard 400 mile weeks.

    He's fainted twice. Once after a whirlwind trip to New York that apparently left him dehydrated and undernourished. And once in the OR, scrubbed in and standing to observe a surgery with little to no breakfast.

    I'm restricting calories right now, and when I'm successful I stay lightheaded a lot of the time and get bad headrushes occasionally -- even after a meal. How many calories are you eating daily?

  23. #23
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    My wife went to see her doctor about her dizzyness. Her doctor told her to stop standing up quickly. Something tells me that's bad medical advice, but I don't have the 8 years of school to back up my opinion.
    My Bike Journal Profile

    Oh, you hate your job? There's a support group for that, it's called EVERYONE and they meet at the PUB!

  24. #24
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    Why are you asking here? Please go see a doctor.

    Koffee

  25. #25
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacemaker
    Bypass the NP and see the MD.
    ...or D.O.

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