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Getting Light Headed When I Stand Up

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Ok, I know what you are all thinking...I'm not eating enough, right?  I am, I promise.  I log my calories very carefully and eat between 1280-1400 calories per day.  I am not super active for most of the day, but I do walk my dog for 30 minutes each day and spend an hour at the gym 5 days per week.  I am now 75 pounds lighter then my all time high of 230.  I am female, 24 years old, 5'4.5, and 155 pounds in very good cardiovascular shape.

Here are the possibilities I have come up with thus far:

Hypotension (low blood pressure) - not sure how/why this would occur

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) - this one is unlikely because I get light headed even right after I have had a meal.

Enlarged veins from being obese not working properly in my much smaller body - I have heard that when you are obese, your veins enlarge to circulate the blood, but they do not shrink back when you lose the weight.  Apparently this happens often with gastric bypass patients and doesn't go away!

Has anyone experienced this problem after substantial weight loss?

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My only advice is to make a doctors appointment and have your doctor do blood work. 

You could try upping your calories by one hundred, but I would see the doctor just for peace of mind.


I'm 5'4", and used to weigh something like 180(+??) pounds.  Now, I weigh like 109 pounds.  I don't really remember if it ever happened before, but it does now.  Not all the time, but enough that I consider it something that "happens to me."

My mom is the same.  She's my height, and like 135 lbs.  We usually attribute it to having low blood pressure.  I personally also have a really low resting heart rate, I don't know if that has something to do with it.

How frequent is it?  A couple of weeks ago it kept on happening, multiple times a day, for a few days in a row.  But then I'll go months without it happening.  I dunno...

rmgarcia - My experience is similar to what you are describing.  Sometimes it will happen everyday, even multiple times per day, and then it won't happen at all for a while.  It happens more often when I am already really tired or not feeling well.

I did speak with a few doctors who are friends and family.  They all said the same thing...basically, if you want to get it checked out for peace of mind, you can, but it's probably nothing.

I have low blood pressure from my ED, so that's what caused my dizziness.
However, since recovering, it's definitely happened less & less.

& I thought your first few sentences were amusing because I really DON'T think you're eating enough. Even though you promised haha.

Increase your calories, that's my suggestion.

It is suggested that you do not eat below your BMR as that is the amount of calories your body will need if you are laying in bed all day doing nothing.

I entered your information into the BMR calculator and got the following for you:

You have a BMR of 1519.6.

So, yes, you possibly could be eating too little.  On the days that you are more active, you will need to consume more calories.

Congrats on your weight loss so far but be sure to take care of yourself in the process. 


I think the reasons you listed are all possible, except for the last one which I have never heard of.

If I had to guess I would say iron-deficiency anemia. It is extremely common for women, up to 40 percent of women suffer from it to some degree. Since you have been restricting food intake it is all the more likely. It´s highly treatable and easy to diagnose with a simple blood test (some GPs even have testing equipment in their office!)

Good luck !

Hey Everyone, Thanks for all of the suggestions!

Sillybilly - I am almost positive it's not iron deficiency.  I had this before and was treated, now I take daily supplements and also eat a large spinach salad almost every night for dinner!

Undertherainbow - Thanks for the info!  I was not aware of that!  I will increase my calories to 1500 and see how that works.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to respond!

I just posted something almost like this. I have what they call a mild form of Syncope, I just don't faint. When it is hot out it is so much worse for me. I get light headed, dizzy and my vision goes black.  They (doctors) tell me that when I stand my blood pressure drops and your blood pools in your legs and takes a while to get back to your brain. They told me to increase my water and slightly increase my salt.

I have not heard about the enlarged veins though. It is interesting though. I have lost 100 pounds and this syncope only started since last summer. I might have to do some digging on that one.

p.s. I do find that i have to eat more during the summer now. I guess it is a good reason to eat more, I have to.

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do u take anything for syncopy? i have common symptoms maybe 3 times a year. my hearing and vision fade then i get sweaty and very nauseuas but never throw up. and if i sit symptoms go away in 30 sec to 3 min. once i didnt sit tho and i passed out face down and broke my jaw in 3 places- it got wired shut. drs said maybe a major vein in my neck isnt telling my brain something but after a tilt tabole test and a few others they found nothing and put me on fludrocortisone not sure if it helped i guess so- but now im breastfeeding so im off them currently. im tall and skinny maybe its low blood pressure. EVERYTIME i stand from sitting no matter the speed my vision gets sparkly black and i sometimes brace myself on furniture! its annoying!

I have naturally low blood pressure, my mom has the same. There';s nothing i can do about it except eat something really salty when it happens

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