Do you feel dizzy after eating food? Usually, people feel dizzy when they don’t eat food for long due to low blood glucose levels. So, when you start experiencing light-headedness after eating a meal or a snack, it can be a little confusing to make sense of the situation. Certain medications are taken for conditions such as low blood sugar, low blood pressure and diabetes. In some cases, it could happen due to certain medical problems or sensitivities.
HealthShots got in touch with Vaishali Verma, Dietician, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, New Delhi, to know what causes dizziness after eating a meal.
Why do you feel dizzy after eating meals?
Dizziness after a meal might happen due to several reasons. Even standing up too fast after sitting for too long can make you feel dizzy. Temporary light-headedness may even occur due to abrupt changes in fluid levels and blood flow. Verma highlights that you might feel dizzy or lightheaded after a meal due to a condition called postprandial hypotension.
Postprandial is a medical term for the time after eating a meal, and hypotension means low blood pressure. Postprandial hypotension is a condition that refers to a drop in blood pressure after eating a meal. This condition is more common in older adults and causes sudden light-headedness and falls.
Verma explains that a drop in blood pressure happens “when there is a shift of blood from the brain and body to the gut to aid digestion, leading to a decrease in the blood flow to the brain”.
There are several factors that can contribute to postprandial hypotension, including aging, certain medications (such as diuretics and beta blockers), autonomic nervous system disorders, and illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, she added.
Postprandial hypotension is a temporary condition, but it might have catastrophic consequences if the blood pressure gets too low. The most harmful side effect of postprandial hypotension is fainting. In severe cases, low blood flow to the brain may lead to stroke.
How to deal with postprandial hypotension?
There is no treatment for postprandial hypotension, but here are some ways you can deal with the problem, as suggested by the expert.
1. Drink water before meals
Drink water before meals. You should drink at least 200 ml of water 30 minutes before your meal.
2. Mind the portion size
Eat meals in smaller portions. Eating large meals can trigger postprandial hypotension more than smaller ones. Try switching from three large meals a day to 6-7 smaller meals to avoid such complications.
3. Sit or lie down
If you feel dizzy too frequently after eating meals, try sitting or lying down for some time after eating to cope with postprandial hypotension.
4. A balanced diet is key
Eat a balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients. You should include foods high in healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.
While you can try these expert-recommended tips to keep this problem at bay, you should check with your doctor to know for sure.