Many of us have experienced what it’s like to feel dizzy when bending over. You lean over to pick something up or pet the dog, and you come back up feeling off-balance or dizzy.
It can be alarming, especially if it happens frequently. For the most part, it’s simply the effect of blood rushing to your head too quickly and nothing more, but sometimes it can be a sign of low blood pressure or an inner ear imbalance.
If it happens frequently enough, make an appointment to see your doctor and discuss your concerns with them. If you’ve passed out as opposed to simply getting lightheaded when bending over, then seek medical attention right away.
Why You Feel Dizzy When Bending Over
There are a number of perfectly good explanations for getting dizzy when bending over and standing up or for feeling dizzy when bending over or looking up.
1. Inner Ear Problems
The inner ear is what controls our sense of balance and when things aren’t completely right within, they can set things off without. Even something as minor as a fluid build-up can affect your sense of balance. Visit your doctor if you suspect an inner problem.
Many people fail to understand that stress can have a direct impact on your health. When you’re stressed, you tend to take in less oxygen because your breaths are shorter and become more rapid. If you catch yourself doing this, try to calm yourself and take in deep, long, purposeful breaths.
3. Thyroid Disease
Hypothyroidism can cause an imbalance in the inner ear. It can also result in low blood pressure, which often makes people feel dizzy.
4. Reactions to Medications
Certain medications might not sit well with you, and a side effect can be dizziness. Often it will pass after a week or two, but if the dizziness is too intense or interfering with daily life, then talk to your doctor, as you may need a lower dose or a different medication entirely. Dizziness when bending the head down is often exacerbated by taking medications.
5. Anemia (Low Iron)
Twenty percent of non-menopausal women have anemia because of the loss of blood from menstruation each month, which can result in lightheadedness. Taking iron supplements can help with this issue.
6. Hormonal Imbalances/Changes
Hormonal changes seem to have an effect on the inner ear. It mostly happens to women who are premenopausal, menstruating, or pregnant. These hormonal changes are the main causes of getting dizzy when bending over when pregnant.
7. Lack of Food
Your blood sugar level can drop and even crash if you haven’t eaten enough. Some people more than others have to be mindful of when they eat to keep their blood sugar level consistent.
8. Problems with Circulation
Circulation issues can lead you to experience being dizzy when bending over or lying down. When your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen—and poor circulation can certainly be a culprit in this—then you could very well feel dizzy.
A sudden drop in blood pressure can also make you feel lightheaded, so avoid bending over if this happens, and rise from bed with care; no sudden movements.
Dizziness is a sign of severe dehydration, especially if, say, you’ve been in the hot sun all day. Water alone might not resolve the issue, so seek out a beverage with electrolytes in it (like a sports drink) and start drinking right away.
When Your Dizziness Is Serious
Sometimes dizziness is a sign of a more urgent health concern and requires immediate medical attention, especially if you have a seizure, sudden headache, or start vomiting uncontrollably. If you feel any of the symptoms listed below, get help as soon as possible.
- Vomiting uncontrollably
- A severe or sudden headache
- Shortness of breath
- High fever (over 104 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Changes in vision, hearing, or speech
- Difficulty walking
- Head injury
- A stiff neck
- Weakness or numbness of any kind
Ways to Stop Dizziness When Bending Over
Feeling dizzy can be a disturbing phenomenon, especially when you aren’t sure what’s causing it. It can interrupt a day’s activities and interfere with work. Below are a few suggestions for how to possibly stop the room from spinning.
1. Lie Down
Dizziness is made worse by standing, so sitting or lying down can ease the sensation. It’s also safer in case you fall.
Often dizziness is because of dehydration, so when you feel dizzy drink a glass of water or a sports drink, then sit down and see if that helps.
3. Eat Something
Sometimes when dizziness strikes, it’s because we haven’t eaten much or at all, so have a small snack, like a banana or something else that is high in sugar and carbohydrates.
Focusing on a particular spot can often help shift your attention toward something other than the sensation of dizziness. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, take a deep breath, and train your eyes on a spot ahead of you. Keep breathing and sit like this for a few minutes.
5. Breathe Deeply
As above, sit on the floor or on a comfortable surface and take in a deep breath and then let it out slowly through your mouth. Do this for a few minutes.
6. Avoid Bright Lights
Bright lights, especially fluorescent lights, can trigger migraines and dizziness in some people. Where possible, avoid spending too much time in such lighting, and if you feel dizzy, leave and find a place with more natural lighting.
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Sources for Today’s Article:
“Dizzy when Bending Over,” New Health Guide web site; http://www.newhealthguide.org/Dizzy-When-Bending-Over.html, last accessed April 6, 2016.
“What Causes Dizziness? 84 Possible Conditions,” Healthline web site; http://www.healthline.com/symptom/dizziness , last accessed April 6, 2016.
“How to Stop Dizziness,” WikiHow web site; http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Dizziness, last accessed April 6, 2016.