Feeling Dizzy When Standing Up

What Causes Dizziness When Standing Up?

Dizziness when standing up can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' 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
  • Carcinoid Cancer
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • Dehydration
  • Hyponatremia / Salt Intake Need
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

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:
an average-stress lifestyle
severe vision disturbances
facial flushing
low energy/stamina
having asthma
having a CFS diagnosis
increased emotional instability
regular aspirin use
no difficulty waking up
high diastolic blood pressure
frequent bowel movement changes
eating during sleep hours
... and more than 150 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
Hyponatremia / Salt Intake Need 93% Confirm
Adrenal Fatigue 26% Unlikely
Carcinoid Cancer 12% Unlikely
Dehydration 3% Ruled out
Stomach Ulcers 0% Ruled out
Ectopic Pregnancy 0% Ruled out
Stress 0% Ruled out
Mitral Valve Prolapse 0% 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:

When the body is dehydrated it is less able to control blood pressure.  When blood pressure is too low, the brain may not receive sufficient amounts of oxygen, leading to dizziness.  If blood pressure falls further due to suddenly standing up from a lying or sitting position (this is called Orthostatic Hypotension), dizziness can worsen.

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™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)
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