Check Up: Why is she getting dizzy?

November 05, 2018

Jen is a university student who has been suffering with chronic anaemia for a long time which the doctor told her is due to her heavy blood loss during her monthly periods.

She has been taking iron and other vitamin supplements but recently she has experienced lightheadedness and has blacked out a couple times when walking in the sun.

The doctor told her it was because she had missed her lunch. Is this it? Jen is worried that something more sinister could be going on. Last time she fell she cut her lip!

Well Jen, your doctor could be correct. If you’re already anaemic with a low blood count and not enough red cells are circulating to provide energy and nutrition for your body’s needs during regular times, try also depriving the body of its daily expected source of energy and combining anaemia with low blood sugar! You just might faint!

You need to discipline yourself to eat regular meals, no matter how busy you are with your classes.

You also need to sort out the monthly bleeding problem. Perhaps you could be referred to see a gynaecologist.
However, dizziness and lightheadedness are terms used to describe a number of sensations.

The symptom is rarely life threatening. These feelings are sometimes worsened by sudden movements such as standing up quickly or turning your head and might be accompanied by nausea.

Under certain conditions a doctor’s help and assessment should be sought without delay, such as when there are other associated signs like:
·         Sudden onset of severe headache
·         Persistent vomiting
·         Stumbling when walking
·         Changes in vision
·         Slurred speech
·         Fainting
·         Weakness
·         Numbness
·         Seizures
·         Chest pains
·         Neck stiffness

Dizziness has very many causes and some occur commonly such as anaemia, ear infection, sinus congestion, dehydration, and migraine headache!

Some medications can also cause dizziness such as those taken for regulating high blood sugar and high blood pressure and these people should see their physician without delay!

Just as seriously, in mostly older people, a heart attack or irregular pulse (arrhythmia) can also cause dizziness.

Less common causes of dizziness would include brain tumours where dizziness might be associated with blurred vision and change in speech.

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