Feeling Dizzy When Standing Up

What Causes Dizziness When Standing Up?

Dizziness when standing up can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose dizziness when standing up, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "dizziness when standing up" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Stress
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Carcinoid Cancer
  • Hypotension
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Dehydration
  • PMS C

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
increased emotional instability
paying great attention to detail
high platelet count
regular postprandial somnolence
difficulty losing weight
recent job/career changes
moderate alcohol consumption
dark urine color
having trouble concentrating
swollen cervical nodes
caffeinated soft drink consumption
metallic taste in mouth
... and more than 130 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of dizziness when standing up:
Cause Probability Status
Carcinoid Cancer 92% Confirm
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 16% Unlikely
Hypoglycemia 12% Unlikely
Hypotension 4% Ruled out
Mitral Valve Prolapse 4% Ruled out
Dehydration 1% Ruled out
Stress 1% Ruled out
PMS C 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the General Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about feeling dizzy when standing up:
Do you ever feel dizzy / faint / lightheaded when standing up or sitting up suddenly?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Never / very rarely
→ Occasionally - several times per year
→ Often - several times per month
→ Always or almost always
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either no dizziness when standing up or dizziness when standing up, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Ectopic Pregnancy

If the ectopic pregnancy has ruptured, profuse bleeding will occur.  This may lead to excess blood loss and symptoms of hypovolemic shock (hemorrhagic shock), including dizziness upon standing.

Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers

Patients with a bleeding ulcer may report a sense of passing out upon standing called orthostatic syncope.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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