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  1. #1
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    Dizziness when standing

    I frequently get dizzy or light-heading when I stand quickly. I haven't been too concerned about it because I've heard this is a common issue with marathoners and endurance cyclists, apparently due to low blood pressure. However, I passed out briefly the other day when I got up real quickly to greet some family members who came to visit. Everyone was concerned about my health, so I figure that I'd go to the doctor since I'm due for a checkup anyway.

    Do others who cycle and/or run a lot have the same issue? I cycle about 750-800 miles a month year round, so I'm in pretty good shape otherwise with no health issues that I'm aware of and I don't take any meds.

  2. #2
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    when I was a high-mileage runner, I had a resting pulse in the high 30s - I'd do a header every now then upon standing...

    it freaked out a few friends and family, but wasn't that big of a deal.
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  3. #3
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    I get it all the time...and walls are my best friend sometimes

    Generally speaking the largest cause is a combination of low HR and low BP so when you stand up the HR and BP are low enough the blood tends to flow downward due to gravity, thus causing you to black out for a second or two. Once the HR starts beating a little faster and gets the blood pumping again, it goes away.

    One factor to help counter this is to drink a lot. It tends to happen a lot more when you are dehydrated after rides...so drink lots of water both during and after rides.
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  4. #4
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    I get this same condition, as well. I recently dropped about 10 pounds and have been increasing my training, which seems to have made it a somewhat worse. The other night, I got up off the couch for a snack and after taking about five steps, I blacked out and fell over. My wife freaked out.

    The condition is called orthostatic hypotension. It basically comes down to low blood pressure and a low resting heart rate (mine is around 42 bpm). There are several things you can do to counter the affect. Sit up and then stand up more slowly. Give your body a few seconds to adjust before you start walking. Also, flexing your 'core' muscles helps increase you blood pressure and send blood to your brain.

  5. #5
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    Othostatic hypotension.

    Not uncommon unless you have some sort of history that would suggest otherwise.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimV View Post
    I get this same condition, as well. I recently dropped about 10 pounds and have been increasing my training, which seems to have made it a somewhat worse. The other night, I got up off the couch for a snack and after taking about five steps, I blacked out and fell over. My wife freaked out.

    The condition is called orthostatic hypotension. It basically comes down to low blood pressure and a low resting heart rate (mine is around 42 bpm). There are several things you can do to counter the affect. Sit up and then stand up more slowly. Give your body a few seconds to adjust before you start walking. Also, flexing your 'core' muscles helps increase you blood pressure and send blood to your brain.
    Good to know... This happens to me all the time as well. I always attributed it to not eating enough but it happens far too often for that. Especially hours after a hard ride.

  7. #7
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    To prevent blackouts in a high G environment, pilots perform different straining maneuvers to raise blood pressure. In a nutshell, tighten your leg and abdominal muscles and keep breathing. Obviously, it is easier to do in a cockpit than trying to walk. Don't hold your breath either!.

  8. #8
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    Yeah...haven't blacked out before, but I get dizzy on occasion with a resting HR in the high 30s

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by magiclight View Post
    To prevent blackouts in a high G environment, pilots perform different straining maneuvers to raise blood pressure. In a nutshell, tighten your leg and abdominal muscles and keep breathing. Obviously, it is easier to do in a cockpit than trying to walk. Don't hold your breath either!.

    Military pilots also use 'G-Suits' that squeezes the legs helping to return blood back to the heart.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel2 View Post
    I frequently get dizzy or light-heading when I stand quickly. I haven't been too concerned about it because I've heard this is a common issue with marathoners and endurance cyclists, apparently due to low blood pressure. However, I passed out briefly the other day when I got up real quickly to greet some family members who came to visit. Everyone was concerned about my health, so I figure that I'd go to the doctor since I'm due for a checkup anyway.

    Do others who cycle and/or run a lot have the same issue? I cycle about 750-800 miles a month year round, so I'm in pretty good shape otherwise with no health issues that I'm aware of and I don't take any meds.

    Make sure you stay hydrated.
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  11. #11
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    Its probably 'postural hypotension' although if your concerned about it, it would be worth speaking to your local Dr. Like cda said, keep hydrated. Postural hypotension is simply a drop in blood pressure when you go from a sitting to standing position. Dehydration makes this worse and can lead to loss of consciousness as you experienced. Weigh yourself pre and post exercise to work out how much fluid you're losing and replace it.

  12. #12
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    Glad to know I'm not alone. The dizziness seems to have gotten worse lately, but I've also upped my mileage and lost a lot of weight over the past year. I do try to stay hydrated but the day I blacked out we did a lot of walking and I may not have had enough to drink afterwards. To be honest, I don't know my pulse or blood pressure, but the nurses always comment on how low it is when they check it.

  13. #13
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    I've got really low blood pressure and a fairly low resting heart rate. I get light-headed when standing up quickly. It's nothing to worry about. You can make it a lot worse with heat and dehydration. I was really dehydrated, stood up from sitting on the ground and came very close to passing out.

  14. #14
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    I had that problem for awhile, maybe a year, coincidentally after I started exercising regularly again. Had not really thought about it until I saw this thread. It went away as mysteriously as it started. I was giving blood regularly for a couple of years, 5 times a year, don't know if that had anything to do with it, don't even remember if the lightheadedness when I stood up was totally during the time I gave blood or if the two events even overlapped. Did not seem to be any rhyme or reason to it but it seemed counterintuitive to develop the condition after returning to regular exercise.

  15. #15
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    This is something I still struggle with, and have dealt with for better than a decade. While I haven't gotten any serious advice from a doctor (for some reason they all tell me I'm lucky to have this problem and should be happy), I have managed to develop a couple of tricks to help maintain consciousness. Slow standing up is paramount. When standing from full inversion (head below waist) it may pay off to make a pit stop and waist level, breath out and start your next inhalation before resuming standing up. One key factor for me has been consistently inhaling while standing up. Exhaling while standing can be enough to make me lose equilibrium even on a good day. On a bad day it makes the difference between getting a little dizzy and completely passing out. If you can, try supporting your weight with your arms (tucking your abdomen, like you sat on something sharp) just before standing. It will engage your core muscles, give you more points of contact with something solid should things go south, and offer you the chance to arrange your lower body (again engaging muscles) before it would normally be recruited into the standing operation.

    The three other factors I've noticed play a role with me are hydration (as mentioned above), blood sugar (don't let it get too low), and barometric pressure. I tend to be weather sensitive anyway, but knowing that gives me warning about days I need to be careful. Best of luck.

  16. #16
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    Was searching for this topic and found this older thread. I get dizzy upon standing too. My resting heart rate is 25bpm, but I'd like to get it down to single digits, just to be in better health. Ideally, getting down to zero would make it last longer since it wouldn't have to work so hard. I don't like a fast resting heart rate.
    Last edited by UniGeezer; 08-13-2015 at 03:43 PM.
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  17. #17
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    I have similar symptoms, but also a few others like tiredness and occasional dizziness. Doc had me do cortisol test and i was low. Gonna go back for a morning test to check again. Part of me likes that my bp and hr is low and "healthy"..but when is too low a problem?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniGeezer View Post
    Was searching for this topic and found this older thread. I get dizzy upon standing too. My resting heart rate is 25bpm, but I'd like to get it down to single digits, just to be in better health. Ideally, getting down to zero would make it last longer since it wouldn't have to work so hard. I don't like a fast resting heart rate.

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    stupid zombie bumps..

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniGeezer View Post
    Was searching for this topic and found this older thread. I get dizzy upon standing too. My resting heart rate is 25bpm, but I'd like to get it down to single digits, just to be in better health. Ideally, getting down to zero would make it last longer since it wouldn't have to work so hard. I don't like a fast resting heart rate.
    Holy heck! Think of the watts you'll put out when heart rate is at 200 bpm once you have a resting heart rate of zero. Forget watts. They'll have to use horsepower to measure your output!

    If I sit very still and avoid eating a bag of Doritos and guzzling a liter of Coke, I believe I can get my RHR down to about 9 bpm by watching golf on TV.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the thread dredge. I deal with this too. I've never passed out from it though. Until this weekend which included a trip to the ER.

    Word of advice... DON'T go in a hot tub after a hard ride. After my ride I was probably a little on the dehydrated side but I felt perfectly fine other than sore legs. About an hour later I went in a hot tub thinking it'd make my legs feel good. I wasn't in that long and felt fine after getting out. About 5-10min later I was standing next to my GF and told her I was feeling light headed (like standing up too fast). Next thing I know I'm laying on the ground looking up at the sky. I was totally out of it and could barely stay sitting up. The ambulance came and took my blood pressure. It was way low. So to the ER I went.
    Turns out naturally low blood pressure + dehydration (which lowers BP) + hot tubs (which lowers BP) does not equal good results.
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  22. #22
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    I had the exact same thing. I was 51 or 52 years old. Went to the doctor and they did blood work and MRI. When I went back for his diagnosis he said I was too healthy for my age. Basically a resting heart rate of 48 and lower blood pressure matched with less elastic arteries (AKA getting old) means that when you stand up quickly and your arteries try to quickly constrict to push blood to your brain they don't do it fast enough. Then your brain tells your body to hit the deck so blood goes to your brain.

    Solution. Add more salt to your diet.

  23. #23
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    Ive had it happen a couple times. Usually upon getting up out of bed to quickly.

    Totally freaked my wife out the one time...cat had accidentally scratched my eye lid, got up out of bed to check myself in the mirror, turned to ask my wife to look at my eye, and I passed out right in front of her. Came to on the cold floor, said, "It's so cold," and passed out again. She thought I'd just died.
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