Medically reviewed by A Ras, MD. Last updated on Aug  5, 2022.

What is dizziness?

Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms that prompt people to seek medical attention.

Dizziness can be difficult to define because it signifies different things to different people.

It is critical that the doctor understands the person’s complaint, as this is the first step toward determining a diagnosis and commencing treatment.

Causes of dizziness?

Heart conditions that cause dizziness

Low blood pressure

Low blood pressure patients frequently complain of dizziness, lightheadedness, and the sensation of passing out. When blood pressure is too low, not enough oxygen-rich blood is supplied to the brain, and its function can suffer. If the blood supply to the brain is significantly reduced, the person may pass out (syncope).

Symptoms may intensify when shifting positions from lying down or sitting to standing up.

Along with dizziness, the following symptoms may occur:

Low blood pressure could be from multiple causes that includes underlying illness, medications, or some normal physiological condition.

Some common causes of low blood pressure includes

Heart electrical issues

Sinus Bradycardia • LITFL • ECG Library Diagnosis

Postural hypotension cause of dizziness

Blood pressure readings in dehydrated or anemic persons may be acceptable when resting flat; nevertheless, the lack of fluid is shown when they rise up fast. Dizziness and lightheadedness may result from a shortage of blood in the brain. This sensation may pass in a matter of seconds as the body adjusts. However, if dehydration or drugs (such as beta-blockers) prevent the body from reacting by constricting blood vessels and boosting heart rate, the dizziness may last until the patient passes out (faints or experiences syncope).

Some disorders are linked to a failure to adapt to changes in body posture (autonomic dysfunction). When a person stands, blood vessels contract slightly to raise blood pressure, and the heart rate rises slightly to pump blood uphill to the brain against gravity. When a person with autonomic dysfunction moves from a sleeping posture to a sitting or standing position, they may feel dizzy. Diabetes, Addison’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease are examples of disorders associated with this syndrome.

Diabetic Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness is a common complaint in any person who is diabetes mellitus.  This could be related to low blood sugar, high blood sugar, autonomic dysfunction, heart issues, and multiple other factors

Endocrine diseases causing dizziness

Hyperventilation causing dizziness

While hyperventilation or rapid breathing may be used by the body to help with acid-base balance, it may also occur as a response to an emotionally distressing circumstance. Rapid breathing eliminates some of the body’s carbon dioxide, causing tingling sensations in the hands and feet, as well as around the mouth, in hyperventilation syndrome. Dizziness and lightheadedness are symptoms that go hand in hand. The symptoms may heighten the perception of emotional stress and lead to even more hyperventilation. Carbon dioxide levels fall low enough in extreme hyperventilation to elicit carpopedal spasm, in which the hands and feet become claw-like and difficult to move. When the breathing rate returns to normal, the symptoms of hyperventilation resolve quite rapidly.

Hyperventilation is not usually the result of an emotional response. People with asthma, COPD exacerbations, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia may also breathe fast to assist maintain blood oxygen levels. When the body gets acidotic (for example, diabetic ketoacidosis), hyperventilation occurs; fast breathing is one corrective strategy that the body attempts to manage its acid-base balance.

Vertigo and Dizziness

Vertigo is frequently described as feeling dizzy or spinning. A person may expressly state that the room appears to be whirling around them. Sometimes the complaint is about a lack of balance or equilibrium. This is frequently caused by discomfort in the inner ear (the part of the ear that involves balance, not hearing).


The semicircular canals and the vestibule are two elements of the inner ear that assist the body identify its position in space relative to gravity.

Three semicircular canals are at right angles to one another. These canals are filled with fluid and lined by a nerve-rich, crystal-encrusted membrane that sends data to the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination). Every time one portion of the body moves, the cerebellum collects information from the eyes (visual stimuli) and nerve endings in muscles related with proprioception (the perception of movement) to assist the brain in determining where the body is in relation to gravity.

When the head moves, the fluid in the semicircular canals shifts, and this information is transmitted to the brain. When the head stops moving, the fluid also stops, and this information is conveyed to the brain.

There may be a little delay in the delivery of this information to the brain in some circumstances. When a person rides a merry-go-round or spins quickly in circles, the fluid in the canals gains speed, and even when the body stops spinning, the fluid in the semicircular canals may continue to move. This generates vertigo, or a spinning sensation, and may cause the individual to fall or stumble. It may also be linked to vomiting.

What signs and symptoms may happen with dizziness?

How is the cause of dizziness diagnosed?

The diagnosis of dizziness starts with the health care practitioner determining whether the complaint is lightheadedness or vertigo. Once this differentiation is made, further diagnosis can begin.

A detailed history and physical examination are essential in the diagnosis of dizziness. Listening to the patient’s story often leads to a diagnosis. The health care provider may inquire about the factors that cause and treat dizzy symptoms.

A system review is a set of questions that go over the patient’s body functions. The doctor may inquire about symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or unusual bleeding.

The doctor may go through the patient’s medical history, including the medications he or she is now taking.

How is dizziness treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause of your dizziness. Your healthcare provider may give you oxygen or medicines to decrease your dizziness and nausea. He may also refer you to a specialist. You may need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

For additional information, always call your health care provider