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seeing spots and white flashes

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I have lost about 45 pounds since the beginning of April and have basically felt great the entire time. I work out about a hour a day 5 days a week. I go trekking one day a week for 3.5 hours. I probably eat too few calories for my size 200 lbs, 6'1 about 1500 cal a day, sometimes less. I have been trying to drink more water and it has been in the 90s for about the entire summer here. I started to run on an inclined treadmill last week and I have been doing allot of physical work (i.e. moving desks, boxes and file cabinets at work.

A few days ago I started to see floating black spots every few hours during the day. I thought I was not eating enough so I upped my calories to about 2000 with no improvement.

I have now started to see white flashes at night as well. Often it happens after some movement on my part such as standing, but the black dots and the flashes also happen in my peripheral vision when not moving.

Has anyone experienced this? Does it sound as though my body is just telling me to eat more, drink more or something I should see a doctor about.
Edited Aug 20 2008 22:37 by spoiled_candy
Reason: moved to H&S from WL
21 Replies (last)

i would get blood work done...check iron levels.


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1500 calories a day is way, way too low for your size. Given your height, weight, and age, you should not be eating any LESS than 2329 calories every day. This number is based on your BMR (calculated using the Harris-Benedict formula), and an activity level of "moderately active."

At the very least, you should be eating lots more than you already do. Just be sure the more that you eat comes from as many "A" and "B" foods as possible. You have been depriving your body of energy it needs to survive.

I'm not a doctor, however I recommend eating 2329 calories for two weeks. If after then you still have spots, go see a doctor right away.

However, if your spots continue to worsen over the next few days, or if you feel very dizzy and/or light-headed, have someone drive you to the doctor right away.

Good luck

How old are you?  Different ages have different concerns.  If you are older it could be the start of an eye disease.

And get to a doctor or an eye doctor ASAP.

Please go and see the eye doctor ASAP. The occasional black 'floater' in your vision is nothing to worry about - everyone gets them occasionally - but the flashes and white spots shouldn't be there. Flashes in your peripheral vision are nothing to mess around with - they might be a sign that you're getting a detached retina or some other eye problem. The doc will take a look into your eyes and make sure there's nothing sinister going on...

Pituitary tumors also can cause those symptoms. Seriously. Doctor.

this happened to me when i was pregnant with my daughter.. the white flashes and the spots.. my obgyn told me to go and see a eye doc.. never did though.. once i had her they went away.. maybe it has something to be with high blood?  go make a eye appointment!!

I would see a doctor.  As everyone says, you've been eating too little for your size and exercise level so you've put your body under a lot of stress.  It could be low blood-sugars, low iron levels, a blood pressure problem, fatigue... all kinds of things.  Only a doctor could confirm it for definite.  In the meantime I'd carry on eating a lot more than you have been and also make sure that you eat/snack regularly.

Thank you all. I am 53 years old. I will bring up the level of food intake and will get a blood test right away. I started taking iron supplements in case that is the problem.

The reason I asked here on the forum instead of going directly to a doctor is, I live in Italy where the health care is free. You get what you pay for. I am not sure my doctor will have any idea what the problem is. They keep no records of patients visits, don't weigh you, take blood pressure or even take your pulse, listen to your heart or lungs, so basically there is no track record.

I recently discovered that I had a thyroid problem by seeing a fox news special on cable. I had to tell the doctor what test to order. Each time I go for a refill of medicine, I have to bring the old prescription to the doctor so he knows what to prescribe. If I don't see an improvement quickly, I will find an eye doctor, perhaps in the UK.

Keep us posted on the results of your doc visit.  I have had some flashes and white star like spots when standing up too quickly.  I just assumend it was related to a fall in blood pressure.   Congrats on your weight loss and the new family members!

Give your age and the eye problems you've been having it's VERY IMPORTANT to see an eye doctor! Don't wait. You need somebody to look closely into your eyes and make sure that you're not having a problem with your eye pressure or your optic nerve or your retina. I'm not trying to scare you, but eye damage is permanent if it's not fixed quickly.

My eye doctor once talked to me about white flashes/black spots. He said it could mean that the retina is getting detached, or that the optic nerve is damaged. You really need to get it checked out!

Annie is correct.  I used to work for an Ophthalmologist.  I would see one to make sure everything is ok.

I have glaucoma in my right eye and get floaters that sometimes block out 3/4 of my vision for a time.  My husband has the start of Macular degeneration - we figure with him being blind in the center vision and me peripherally in a few years we might have one good eye between the 2 of us LOL...

Seriously go to an eye dr and at least have them check for glaucoma and any other eye problems. 

almost sounds like what i have, i have a low blood pressure, and when ever i do cardio, once i stop i get floating things and sometimes get dizzy. but never when im weight lifting... do u know if you have low blood pressure?


Well I have good news, I went to the doctor today (took forever to get and apointment) and my eyes are fine. I just have a bad case of the stupids... I was so proud of my rapid weight loss, and I did to listen to all the good advice I got here at cc. I kept saying, I feel great, I feel fine, not hungry and so on. It seems that my body was eating itself to get the food it needed and there are not much vitamins in muscle! I have been to two doctors in the last two weeks, this eye doctor and a tyhroid specialest. Both told me I was on road to a big crash with myself if I did not change my eating habits. A few days ago I found a online book called Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto. After one day of reading this book, not finished yet, I have already changed my eating habits because now I understand what was really happining to my body. I started eating 6 meals a day and double the food and I was shocked today at the gym, I lost weight... I have a lot to learn, but I would like to warn anyone who is loosing weight as fast as I was, beware, you can really mess up your body.

Glad to hear the news was good.  I'll check out the book too. 

I have not finished the book, but I have started doing what I have read about so far and I have started loosing weight again so I am a happy camper.

I'm glad there wasn't anything serious wrong with your vision... eyesight is vital!

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Original Post by michaelinitaly:

I have not finished the book, but I have started doing what I have read about so far and I have started loosing weight again so I am a happy camper.

Yes! Good to hear Michael. I got the BFFM program myself last year, and it WORKS like charm. I've never realized how much you can actually eat and still shed FAT - not just "weight." I think that book is the greatest and wish that anyone and everyone who is serious about fat loss buy a copy. Guaranteed, it will be the best $40 you've ever spent.

FYI - Tom's coming out with a similar, but different book called The Body Fat Solution. It comes out on January 8th, but you can pre-order it on the major bookstore websites (I already did).

This is kind of funny. I didn't even realize the two were related. I used to get flashes and see weird objects out of my prefereal vision, and that WAS when I was under eating. I'm pretty sure the two are related.

Do you ever get dizzy when getting up fast? That's when the white flashes would happen most often, and the black dots wouldn't just "be" there, they would move and I'd think someone was in the house with me.

Similar? Or am I just crazy? Anyway, since eating the proper amount of calories that went away. I never noticed, but now that you mention it :) the two just might be related.

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