Light-headed when standing up?

Posted , 3 users are following.

So for the past year or so, I've been getting light-headed when standing up suddenly. It used to be dizzy (I used to have to put my hands on something for a few minutes to stop the dizziness) but now it's light headedness instead (my mind will feel 'dizzy' but nothing is spinning around, and my ears will be whooshing and I find it hard to control it when it happens).

I was anaemic for a year up until July last year. I was supposed to have a blood test in January but I didn't have the main symptoms of my anaemia so I saw no point in having a blood test at a doctors surgery that we no longer live really close to (used to be a 5 min walk but now a few miles to walk).

I have been underweight for most my life but more recently I just made it onto the range for healthy weight (5'3 and 7.1 stone).

It's getting frustrating as it's only happening more and more often, and I've given up fighting against it sometimes. For example, just now my cat was making these weird noises (he's fine btw) and I was sitting down on the sofa and I rushed up and up the stairs and halfway up I couldn't fight against the light-headedness and fell down from standing up and fell down some of the stairs. However, I normally am able to fight against it.

On here for some other dizzy moments (much worse and less common, see my other post for better explanation) it's been suggested I have Ménière's disease but with how short these and the other events last, I don't think it's that.

1 like, 26 replies

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26 Replies

  • Posted

    You really need to have that blood test!
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  • Posted

    Hello Evamore !!!!

    Same thing happens to me and this last year I had to have three blood transfusions... it was my blood count ... went to hospital after an episode and I feel outside on bricks to get to my great nephew because he was crying , well I had to have 18 staples on my leg.. when I was there they did a blood test and my red blood cells were low and white high.... so every episode I have since is because my red blood cells are low ...maybe you should get it checked out !! You might need a transfusion like I did.... good luck !!!

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  • Posted

    This sounds to me like it could also be a blood pressure issue. Have you checked that?
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    • Posted

      Not sure. I'm skinny as heck around my arms so I still have to have a child cuff (though at 17 I suppose I still technically am a child) so the doctor I used to see about my weight gave up with doing blood pressure tests every time I had an appointment. I think when they were done, they were low but not very low and probably were also almost normal as they were never concerned.

      Do I go to the doctors just for a blood test or book an appointment? I have some time off college now (and work is only 2 hours a day) which means I can do either of the two.

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    • Posted

      You need to call your doctor's surgery to ask what the procedure is for a blood test. It can vary from one practice to another. If, as you say, you were already booked for a blood test some months back but didn't get it done, it may be that they still have the request form. If not, they may want to see you again before ordering it.

      Your weight may be having something to do with this. I actually worked out your BMI from the data you gave and it's only 17.6. This still falls short some way short of the normal range, which starts at 18.5.

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    • Posted

      According to NHS website I'm still under the child one (because I was born in April 2000) which I'm healthy weight for smile (I just double checked my weight that I had written down and it was 45.3kg. My exact height is 160cm which is 5.299 feet so I round it up to 5'3 smile

      Always been underweight because I have a high metabolism (I eat more than my higher weight counterparts, yet still maintain my weight so that's the only reason I can think of). However after two significant weight losses (caused by stress of GCSE's last year, as I stress a lot) I've been gaining weight smile went from 41.3 kg just under a year ago to 45.3kg this year, and gained a whole stone in two years. All the times where I was the most underweight, I didn't tend to feel really dizzy (if at all, but this was years ago so rolleyes).

      I unfortunately wasn't booked for a blood test sad I was just told to have one 6 months after being told I was no longer anaemic to make sure it was still the case smile general procedure is I just have to call them up and then I can walk in and get one done at any time (had so many now!). Hopefully they'll still let me have one as it's been 6 months longer than supposed to. If not then it'll be an appointment I suppose sad

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    • Posted

      Are you in the United States or somewhere else ? In the US you usually can just call your doctor and they will fax the form to the labs to go get it done . And they will call if they are concerned and make an appointment...I usually call first and have them send me a copy of results ...I like to keep it on file to look back at in future just in case! But a simple blood test and pressure reading should take no time at all.

      And you really should get it done before you do faint or fall and seriously get hurt.. your so young to have to worry about this.. maybe you should get your mom or guardian to help you ... what did your mom say it might be ? Good luck 😉Coral 🏝

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    • Posted

      Whenever I've told her she said for me to eat more or to stop getting up so quickly. As you said, I'm young, so of course I'm gonna get up quickly because I have the energy to do so :D

      I have collapsed once, but this wasn't related to standing up quickly (other post explains), and when I've collapsed other times recently because of standing up quickly, it's because I gave up fighting against the dizziness and nobody was at home (gets over the dizziness much quicker, but I don't like for people to get concerned over me so I always fight through it when anybody else is with me).

      I'm in the UK. If there's any problems with the blood test they call me (or when i found out I was anaemic, I had to go in myself to ask, if I remember rightly, because I had meds for it that I then had to ask if it meant I could stop taking them too as they hadn't told me anything).

      The time they told me I had a problem with the blood test, I was seeing a person about my weight and health that had referred me for a blood test so they just left it to them to sort out the prescription etc. I don't know what they would do this time if anything proved to be wrong.

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    • Posted

      Wow, Evamore - you're very lucky to be able to eat so much and still lose weight! I manage to keep mine between 24 and 24.5 (that way I can tell myself I'm not overweight!) but I only have to look at food to pile on the kilos.

      I can't help with details about medical practice in the UK - which is where I'm guessing you might be as you use the word "surgery" for your doctor's office and you originally quoted your weight in stones. I worked as a nurse in the NHS for 10 years but have lived abroad, in a country with an entirely different (and better!) health system for more than 40 years now.

      Even if the order for a blood test is still standing, it might be a good idea to take another appointment anyway, once there's been time for the blood results to come back. I wonder what tests were ordered. I'm still in touch with some of my old UK nursing colleagues who only recently retired from the NHS, and I'm shocked by how few elements they test for in routine bloods. Still, there's nothing you can do about that...

      I'm also wondering whether you were one of those teens who had a relatively late growth spurt. I was, although I'm still not as tall as you are (1m58/5'2). This can cause postural hypotension (drops in BP when you stand up suddenly) for a couple of years after the growth spurt, while the circulatory system catches up with itself. I can remember having these attacks into my early 20s.

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    • Posted

      I have a doctor that is put as the family doctor for forms, but I never see them and always see different doctors (minus one time I think, and this was by chance). I see a doctor about my weight and mental health about once every 3 months or so, but have not had an appointment letter for the next one yet.
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    • Posted

      Hi Coral,

      I'm afraid they don't do things that way under the UK's Third World system. I should know - I worked in it for 10 years before moving to somewhere with a better health service!

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    • Posted

      Yeah NHS healthcare isn't always the best but I blame it on the government. They can only push cuts on a health service so far before it breaks down. Last winter alone proved the damages done. I really feel sorry for all the doctors and nurses working for the NHS- 1% pay rise cap and often working more hours than supposed to be and stressed out.

      If I have a blood test all they will test for is anemia, I am sure. This is because it's the only reason why I'm supposed to have one. Maybe I am anaemic again, but I doubt it. When I was anaemic (TMI APPROACHING). I used to get really bad periods but now not as bad (some months it is some months it isn't, it's life) and don't last as long (about a day or so less but still). Tbh that was the only reason why I ever did get a blood test suggested.

      I couldn't say I had a late growth spurt but I did grow for longer than most people. Only stopped growing when I was 16 (my mum was 13 when she stopped growing!). I did grow a ton but this wasn't really in spurts much and just was over time. Used to be shortest in my year group all the time, and still am at college sometimes, but it's not so noticeable as it used to be because it's nearer to normal height now.

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    • Posted

      Bit of an update: had a blood test done. Had to wait almost an hour but wasn't too bad. Had my blood pressure taken too- 107 SYS and 72 DIA with 92 bpm. Not sure what those numbers mean to me though.

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    • Posted

      Your systolic is on the low side, but then that's probably down to your low weight. And in any case, you're better off starting out with a low BP when you're young, as it will almost inevitably rise as you go through life. I had a similar BP at your age but now, at 73, it's usually around 140/90 when the doctor takes it and occasionally goes higher than that!

      Your pulse rate of 92 is a bit fast, but that's probably because you were nervous. There's no one ideal figure for either pulse rate or BP, as the body is a dynamic system and adjusts these values to its needs throughout the day.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply- only just seen now.

      My pulse rate is generally around 75-90 bpm (according to my Apple Watch, which obviously isn't the most accurate thing in the world). It'll go higher when I'm doing exercise of some sort. I just blame the heart rate on the lack of exercise.

      Bit of an update too- got sent home from work today. Stupid me thought it would be a good idea to do dusting (which requires a lot of looking up as ceilings are high) so of course the dizziness came and I collapsed because I didn't sit down when I know that reduces it.

      This was half an hour ago and still feeling shaky from it. I'll be eating in 5 mins so hopefully will go.

      Also when I got home I received a letter about my blood test (or at least presumably so) that requested I phone up to get a telephone consultation with my doctor. Last time they called me without asking, but of course we moved and I don't have the new home number so I couldn't give it to them when we were there.

      All of this is rather annoying but I hope that maybe it's the anaemia back again and is the reason for all this? I'd much like it to stop interfering with my job as this isn't the first time (just the worst time, out of many times it has happened).

      I know I need to put weight on but I'm struggling. I lost weight on my holiday as the food at the hostel was stuff I didn't like (basically pasta etc) so I lived on rolls for dinner and breakfast (we ate out at lunch, and that was when I made up for what I was missing ). Any ideas (other than eating 24/7 :D)?

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    • Posted

      Another update. Got the call from the doctor and its low folate levels. Iron levels have gone up. She said she didn't know why they tested me for the folate levels (I didn't know either, but I assume it was because my grandmother was with me and at the time had told them I was feeling dizzy).

      Going to have meds for 2 months then another blood test (yay). Going to try and make more of an active effort to eat fruit and veg too (I'm a fussy eater and apparently most the fruit and veg I eat isn't on the list for what boosts the levels).

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    • Posted

      I think this is good news ..just look up the list of foods you can eat and get your grub on..... I'm sure there will be something on the list you like or something you can add to a dish ......Good Luck and keep eating, it sounds like you will be fine.... thank god it was something you can fix and do on your own.....Keep us updated on your progress and the foods that you are trying....you got this!!!! Coral 😊🏝🇺🇸

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    • Posted

      Hi Evamore, I'm disgusted there's any question about them testing you for folate levels. This should automatically be done in every blood test. I really don't know what's wrong with the NHS! Folate deficiency is one of the main causes of anaemia so it's just as important as iron.

      Didn't they suggest you take a vitamin B12 supplement? This will help to bring up folate levels.

      You're right about eating more folate-containing foods, and yes, unfortunately it's green leafy vegetables that are the best source. But there are other options. Citrus fruits are a fairly good source. Another one is to buy flax seeds, grind them up and add them to, well, just about anything really. You don't really taste them. But you do need to grind them up, otherwise they'll go straight through you undigested. I use an old coffee grinder that I don't use for anything else as the oil from the seeds messes it up. But you can use a pestle and mortar to grind up small quantities. I grind up a whole packet at a time then keep them in a glass jar in the fridge. They last a couple of months without going rancid (the oil again) as long as you keep them cool. Also important to keep them out of the light, so the fridge works well for that too.

      Another alternative is to cultivate a taste for green veg! It can be done, you know. I was like you at your age - never put anything green in my mouth! I stayed that way till I joined the army at age 26. In those days (1970) they were still very strict about not allowing fussy eaters. Unless you were genuinely allergic to something, you were obliged to eat a little of everything. It turned me around completely. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are now my favourite foods - no kidding! But only when they're fresh and very lightly cooked. I can't stand the frozen ones - they smell terrible and taste even worse.

      You should also look up foods which are rich in vitamin B12. This isn't quite the same as folates, but promotes their production in the body.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily ,

      Great information for everyone!!!! I love all your suggestions...I'm going to use some of the info I did not know with my little family (my daughter and I) thank god she loves veggies (especially Brussel sprouts, I gag just looking at them)and fruit. I am going to use your ideal on the flaxseed..... always heard about but never tried it!!!! Thanks again , you always have great information to share ! Coral 🏝🇺🇸😊👍🏻

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    • Posted

      Late reply but was waiting till I got the meds to reply and then forgot to (I got them just under a week ago).

      I got some supplements tablets, which again they did not really want to give to me . Folic acid/vitamin B9 supplements.

      The dizziness isn't so bad recently but it will still happen so I guess it's just a matter of waiting. I've been having broccoli pretty much every day (which isn't much fun).

      Right now I'm just feeling really weak which is also something that happens about once every other week and I suppose was another symptom. Or I'm just getting lazy because its the summer holidays and I have had more sleep than I used to so when I wake up early I'm not used to it :'wink not tired though

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    • Posted

      It sounds as if you're on the road to recovery now. Try and keep up the healthy eating, it really pays dividends in the long term. I know from experience how difficult it can be when you first start eating properly, but it's surprising how easily you can adapt.

      It has knock-on effects for your future too. I expect you'll have children one day, and a healthy diet in pregnancy gives the baby the best possible start in life. Going on from there, eating properly throughout your life reduces your chances of getting various kinds of cancers in middle age, as well as Alzheimer's in old age. I know all that seems a long way off right now but believe me, it catches up with all of us!sad

      Enjoy the holidays, get plenty of rest, but try not to sleep more than you really need. Paradoxically, getting too much sleep can make you feel just as weak and washed-out as not getting enough. You'll need to give it time, but I'm sure you'll be feeling fine again in another six months or so.

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    • Posted

      Got another update smile

      The dizziness went away shortly after starting the supplements but then these past few days it has come back. With this though, I have been told it looks like I have an ear infection (I went to the doctor after becoming half deaf in my perforated ear along with other stuff) so this may have been causing it, even though there's not much wax according to her when she looked.

      Today though it's been crazy, especially after I got super angry (I normally am quite a quiet and calm person but after days of putting up with my autistic ADHD brother having constant meltdowns and hyper-ness and having to look after him, I just had enough). The times when I have been angry before though, I haven't had this happen.

      I just have been dizzy all day, even walking down the street or lying my head to one side or lying down, staying still, sitting down, moving suddenly etc, pretty much doing anything has been filled with dizziness. Collapsed twice today, which even one time is normally a very rare occurance. Even as I am typing this now, my head is spinning and it's just so frustrating. This is the worst it has ever been.

      Right now I'm just lying down trying to get better for work in an hour, but I can't even get down the stairs safely (I feel like I'm just gonna lose to the dizziness and I'll fall down a few steps when I don't try to fight against it).

      Of course my mum is trying to tell me to take a day off, but I can't because we've had so many people off and I don't want to be another that's off as this makes my grandma more stressed with more work to do (she's the boss there). 

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    • Posted

      Oh, that's a shame - just when you were doing so well. Still, I don't think you should worry about it too much. A few ups and downs are to be expected when you're recovering from something like this. And at least you're under medical supervision.

      I suspect that some of your symptoms may be down to hyperventilation. We all tend to do this if we get agitated about something, and I'm sure your autistic brother would be quite enough to wind you up. Hyperventilation causes feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness (though not the spinning of actual vertigo), nausea, altered sensation in lips and fingertips and sometimes stiffening of fingers.

      I understand that you don't want to let your grandma down, but don't forget to look after yourself too!

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    • Posted

      Yeah I think it also may be partially psychological too if that makes any sense? After that day it wasn't so bad and it didn't come back until I thought about it- but I may have just thought about it because I started feeling dizzy? I'm not sure.

      Been practically non-existent after that day. A little moment today but it's been absolutely fine thank goodness :D

      I did end up going to work that day (which was thank goodness, as the cleaner still wasn't back. Ironically, they were off for some ear pain too, but not an actual ear infection. I'll admit it bugged me a bit).

      About an hour into my shift I ended up breaking down though. I was feeling awful with the constant leaking and the dizziness making it hard for me to do my job properly. I had started early too, so the fact that there was practically everyone there made it worse. Still, I survived.

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