Dizziness after eating can be associated with a number of medical issues, most commonly postprandial hypoglycemia, where blood sugar levels drop after eating. People who notice the development of dizziness and vertigo after meals should consult a doctor for evaluation, as it can be a sign of a serious underlying medical issue. In other cases, patients may be in treatment for a condition without being aware of the fact that feeling this way after eating is a common symptom.
In addition to postprandial hypoglycemia, dizziness after eating can be associated with kidney or thyroid disease. In both cases, disruptions in normal function can lead to an imbalance of blood chemistry, potentially contributing to dizziness. Food changes the blood chemistry as the metabolism kicks into gear to process it, and the patient may feel unwell after meals. Nausea and vomiting may also be experienced.
Gastrointestinal disease, including gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, and acid reflux, can also cause dizziness after eating. The symptoms may grow worse over time and the patient usually experiences pain in the abdomen and upper chest as well. Heart disease can include dizziness as a symptom, as can some mental illnesses. People in emotional distress may develop disordered eating habits, sometimes contributing to dizziness connected to eating. Furthermore, certain medications are linked with vertigo and dizziness, and sometimes eating may be a trigger.
People who notice dizziness after eating may want to keep a log, noting foods eaten and how long it takes for dizziness to onset. This can sometimes provide important diagnostic clues for a doctor evaluating a patient. If dizziness is experienced at other times or patients notice issues like fainting, feeling generally fatigued, or having distorted vision, these should also be noted and discussed with a doctor. Any increase in severity of symptoms should be discussed with a doctor to see if it is necessary to come in for a visit.
Doctors can run a number of diagnostic tests to find out why a patient is feeling dizzy after eating. These can include blood sugar tests, including tests after fasting, as well as after eating. Endoscopy of the esophagus and stomach may be recommended to check for signs of inflammation and disease. Other diagnostic options can be explored as necessary. Treatments can range from simply changing a medication to eliminate side effects to providing hypoglycemia treatments to control blood sugar with diet, exercise, medication, and other measures.