Do you feel dizzy after eating food? Know why this happens
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 20, 2023
Have you ever felt lightheaded and dizzy after a meal? It’s not uncommon to feel a bit dizzy when you haven’t eaten for a while due to low blood sugar levels. However, experiencing dizziness after eating can be puzzling. In some cases, certain medications, medical conditions, or sensitivities might be the cause. To shed light on this issue, we reached out to Vaishali Verma, a dietician at HCMCT Manipal Hospitals in Dwarka, New Delhi.
Understanding the Causes of Dizziness After Eating
Feeling dizzy after a meal can occur for various reasons. Even standing up quickly after sitting for an extended period can trigger dizziness. Temporary lightheadedness can also result from sudden changes in fluid levels and blood flow. Verma emphasizes that postprandial hypotension could be the culprit behind feeling dizzy or lightheaded after a meal.
Postprandial refers to the time after eating, and hypotension denotes low blood pressure. Postprandial hypotension refers to a drop in blood pressure following a meal. This condition is more prevalent among older adults and can cause sudden dizziness and falls.
According to Verma, the drop in blood pressure occurs because “the blood shifts from the brain and body to the gut to aid digestion, resulting in reduced blood flow to the brain.”
Several factors can contribute to postprandial hypotension, including aging, certain medications like diuretics and beta blockers, autonomic nervous system disorders, and illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.
Although postprandial hypotension is temporary, it can have serious consequences if blood pressure drops too low. Fainting is the most harmful side effect, and in severe cases, low blood flow to the brain can lead to a stroke.
Tips to Manage Postprandial Hypotension
While there is no specific treatment for postprandial hypotension, here are some expert-recommended ways to cope with the problem:
1. Stay Hydrated
Drink at least 200 ml of water 30 minutes before your meal. Staying hydrated may help combat dizziness after meals.
2. Watch Your Portion Sizes
Instead of consuming three large meals a day, try switching to 6-7 smaller meals. Eating smaller portions can reduce the likelihood of triggering postprandial hypotension.
3. Sit or Lie Down
If you experience frequent dizziness after eating, consider sitting or lying down for a while after your meals. This can help you manage postprandial hypotension more effectively.
4. Follow a Balanced Diet
Include foods that are rich in healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fiber in your diet. Maintaining a balanced diet is key to managing the symptoms of postprandial hypotension.
While these tips can help you keep postprandial hypotension at bay, it’s important to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and tailored advice.
Remember, understanding why you feel dizzy after eating is the first step to managing and preventing this uncomfortable issue. With a few adjustments to your lifestyle and eating habits, you can minimize the impact of postprandial hypotension and enjoy your meals without feeling dizzy.