Lightheadedness After Eating

"Why do I feel giddy or lightheaded after eating?" Is that your question? Well, a sudden change in blood pressure or reduced blood flow towards the head are among the common causes of lightheadedness after eating. Read this article to find other causes and the care to be taken. (Read before you eat).
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2018
Lightheadedness is a feeling of dizziness, which may be transient, may recur or even be chronic. The feeling is often accompanied by a sensation of weightlessness in the head. One who feels lightheaded, may feel as if the room is spinning and that he is about to faint. What causes lightheadedness? Especially after eating? The most common causes are vertigo, stress and low blood pressure. However, the main reason behind lightheadedness after eating is drop in the amount of blood flowing towards the head.
Lightheadedness After Eating - Causes and Care
After eating, more blood flows towards the stomach to help the process of digestion. As more blood flows towards the digestive system, there is a slight drop in blood pressure resulting in lightheadedness. The more the quantity of food consumed, higher are the chances of experiencing lightheadedness. And that's exactly why one may feel lightheaded particularly after having a large meal. Also, eating food quickly might be the cause. Eating quickly requires the digestive system to quicken the process of digestion. For this, the heart needs to pump more blood towards the stomach, resulting in relatively less blood supply towards the head, causing lightheadedness.
What You Eat
  • Some complain about experiencing lightheadedness after eating sugary and processed food items.
  • Consuming foods rich in carbohydrates can also lead to lightheadedness. In this case, it is experienced about an hour after eating. This is due to a sudden or at times abrupt change in blood sugar levels after eating high carb or starchy foods.
  • Consuming foods that do not suit you or consuming foods you are allergic to, burdens your digestive system leading to lightheadedness.
  • Consuming uncooked foods can be the reason behind feeling nauseated after eating.
Care to Take: As a preventive measure for this, one must consume foods containing protein and complex carbohydrates. It is advisable to stick to veggies and stay away from oily foods, soda and candy.
How You Eat
  • Hasty body movements after eating may cause lightheadedness. The most obvious reason could be, standing up hastily after having food.
  • It is not uncommon for an individual to feel dizzy or lightheaded on quickly standing up after having a meal. However, this lightheadedness lasts for a short period.
  • Not chewing food properly or eating hurriedly can lead to a feeling of lightheadedness.
Care to Take: A simple solution to this problem is to spend some time relaxing at the table after meals. Lying down to relax the body after having food, can help in alleviating the feeling of lightheadedness.
Are You Ill?
  • Thyroid disorders like swelling of the thyroid gland and hypothyroidism may lead to dizziness after eating.
  • Renal disorders can lead to lightheadedness, which worsens if salty and processed foods are consumed. Digestive health problems such as gastritis can lead to lightheadedness after eating. It is also be the reason why one may feel tired after eating.
  • Another cause is heart diseases as they disrupt blood supply. Lightheadedness can be an indication of some underlying medical condition.
  • Pregnancy is another common cause of lightheadedness or fatigue after eating.
Are You on Pills?
  • Those on hypertension or heart medications, diuretics, antidepressants and antianxiety medicines may experience lightheadedness after eating. Those on steroids also complain of the same. This is because these medications lead to fluctuation in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness.
  • Patients of high blood pressure and diabetes commonly experience lightheadedness on eating.
Care to Take: Avoiding overindulgence in food and taking rest after meals can help them deal with this problem.
Are You Stressed?
It's not just physical ailments that make you feel lightheaded. Even a disturbed mind can lead to a feeling of lightheadedness after eating. There are different ways in which our body reacts to anxiety and stress.
  • Stress either leads to an accelerated heart rate, making a person feel uncomfortable or leads to sudden drop in the heart rate, resulting in fainting.
  • A drop in the heart rate or fall in blood pressure makes an individual feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • On eating, blood supply to the stomach increases in order to aid digestion, which results in decreased blood supply to the head. Reduced blood supply can make the head feel light.
Care to Take: How can you prevent this? Do not let stress get into your 'head'. Don't let negative thoughts enter your mind while eating. If they do, don't let them stay for long. Eat peacefully.
If you are unable to find the cause of your lightheadedness or if it persists even after taking the required care, consult a physician. Remember, feeling lightheaded after eating might be the result of an underlying medical condition, you need to get yourself checked for. Take care.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.