Meet Dr. Donnica Video Introduction TV Appearances

Diseases & Conditions Today on DrDonnica.com Clinical Trials Decisionnaires FAQs Top Tips Fast Facts Debunking Myths News Alerts Celebrity Speak Out Guest Experts Women's Health Champions Books Women's Health Resources

Mission Privacy Policy Sponsors Press Room What's New? Contact Us

This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.


Hope Award

Send to a Friend

Frequent Dizzy Spells

Q: Recently I've been experiencing pretty frequent dizzy spells, sometimes as often as once a day. They hit just after I stand up from a chair, and usually it's after a full day of running errands and feeling fine. I don't understand: I eat well and exercise regularly. What could be wrong?

Dr. Donnica:
Dizzy spells are fairly common and have many different causes, but they always require medical evaluation. When dizziness is specifically associated with getting up from a seated or supine (lying down) position, they are probably related to orthostatic hypotension. This is defined as a drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) of more than 20 "points" (mm Mercury) when you go from a supine position to standing. Making the diagnosis is easy and painless: Your doctor will take your blood pressure in standing, sitting and lying down positions in both arms and compare them. If there are significant differences, you will need a complete physical exam and several other tests to determine the specific cause.

Orthostatic hypotension can be caused by numerous factors ranging from side effects of certain medications (including antihypertensives, diuretics, nitrates, hydralazine, barbiturates, opiates, tricyclic antidepressants, and phenothiazines) to various cardiac or nervous system problems, as well as systemic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and alcoholism. This condition is also much more common in the elderly, and symptoms are often worse after eating a large meal.

Created: 1/24/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

All the content contained herein is copyrighted pursuant to federal law. Duplication or use without
the express written permission of DrDonnica.com subjects the violator to both civil & criminal penalties.
Copyright © 2006 DrDonnica.com. All rights reserved.

Home | Today on DrDonnica.com | Meet Dr. Donnica | TV Appearances | Clinical Trials
Diseases & Conditions | Decisionnaires | Celebrity Speak Out | Guest Experts | Women's Health Champions
FAQs | Women’s Health Resources | Archive | Books & Tapes | Site Certification | Advanced Search
Mission | What’s New? | Press Room | Privacy Policy | Sponsors | Partners | Contact Us