Dizzy Episode


I was hospitalized for a day for high blood sugar/high ketones and acute dehydration/gastronenteritis last weekend. I have been taking it easy and recovering. I went to two follow ups with doctors but I haven't done repeat blood work yet.

Tonight while looking down and reading my phone I became very dizzy, my vision got very blurry too- I was scared I was going to pass out. I went downstairs to get help, tested my bg which was normal ,and it seems to be better now although I still feel off and I'm sweating on and off. I guess the sweating could just be humidity.

I've had 4 dizzy episodes like this in the past 2 years where it wasn't my blood sugar apparently. I'm just wondering if it could be vaso vagal nerve reaction from looking down? Has anyone every had that happen with these symptoms?

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41 Replies

  • I've been struggling with vertigo off and on for a few years now. Lately, this week in fact, I've had a rough time. I think I'm taking too much Thyro-gold for my hypothyroidism...it's made me hyperthyroid, and i've had the same symptoms: look down, or up, sometimes just rotate my head, and wham, the room spins, sometimes to nausea and sweating, sometimes just for a second, as if some crystals in my inner ear had moved into the wrong canal...which is also a possibility.

    I've done the maneuvers, but it feels to me like I'm dehydrated, maybe, hyperthyroid as I said, low blood pressure too which is very unusual for me. I'm 71. Healthy, athletic but not in great shape now because of the accumulated aches and pains. But only about 15 lbs. overweight, so nothing serious in that direction. Not diabetic.

    In my case, I'm guessing hyper. it's difficult to regulate the dosage of Thyro-Gold, as I just winged it - not too smart methinks - and doubled my dosage 6 weeks ago because I felt it was underperforming a bit. Think that was a mistake. I'm going to do some bloodwork in two weeks to see where I'm at as I've cut back to just one 150mg pill (it's not a direct relation to levo synthetic tho: more like 65g of dessicated thyroid.

    Good luck...suspect thyroid, but also if you're older or have had head injuries, the crystals in the inner ears (semicircular canals) could be a factor too. Read up on it, you'll be amazed...50% of vertigo in people over 65 has been discovered to be these crystals. I was amazed, I got it 10 years ago and thought my flying career was over. Nystagmus (fluttering eyeballs, extreme nausea and vomiting) too, it was horrible. did the Epley maneuver, a couple times over a few days, and it cleared up. No problems for years...now I'm off dosage, it's come up again...at least I think that's it, along with stress and dehydration.

    Sorry to ramble, it's almost 2 am and I"m tired, going to bed now. Hope this helps.

  • I have struggled with dizziness, balance issues, headaches, numb skin for about 3 months. My stress levels are way too high. My adrenals are burnt out. But for me this is pretty much daily. Conventional doctors don't recognize adrenal issues until they are very severe.

    When I tried a ketosis diet, I had a major adrenal crash and it took me about 2 weeks of pretty much being in bed to recover to my "normal", not-so-great level. So I have low cortisol levels and some other hormones as a result of having had high stress for years and I need to sleep lots and lots, which is not as easy as one would think when you're hormones are not balanced. Lots of vitamin C complex, B vitamins and avoidance of anything stressful. Stress is also not sleeping enough or doing heavy exercise.

    I spent also 4 days in the hospital and doctors just concluded it's exhaustion as they did not find anything after lots and lots of tests. However, my morning cortisol levels are a bit low (half of what they should be in the morning). I have low sodium and potassium levels, which are also a result of adrenal issues.

    Worry and stress about the symptoms make it a lot worse. These increase the symptoms. A lot of doctors then conclude that stress is the cause. It's not the cause, but as said it makes it worse. But I could only relax when my test results came mostly nice and perfect, except for the ones mentioned above. But relaxation helps a little to start with.

    One thing I was diagnosed that caused some of the numb skin and muscle issues was myofascial pain syndrome, which is caused by stress.

    I don't know if this has anything to do with your case, but I wanted to share in case it would be of any help.

  • Having been recently diagnosed with diabetes I went through several weeks beforehand with blurred vision. It was scary. I now understand that was caused by high blood sugar and it may reoccur from time to time.

  • Presumably Type 2 ? I was diagnosed last December but by March was back to where i was the December before at just the bottom of the pre diabetic range. I cut out cakes,deserts, yoghurt pots full of sugar, processed foods including shop currys,pizza etc

  • Yes, Type 2. I too have cut out all the foods you list plus I am trying to keep to a moderately low carb diet of 140-160 carbs a day. But I am also taking Metaformin and Glicaside. The diet and tablets have got my BS numbers down to within a reasonable range. Prior to diagnosis I went and spent £300 on getting new glasses thinking my eyes were the problem. They are now useless. You have done well to control it with just diet. But your vision blurring problem might show your blood sugar is spiking at times. How often do you test your numbers? I am doing mine 2/3 times a day to see what various meals do to me.

  • Getting fed up of trying to reply ,three times now and then pad goes back to in box and i have to start again!

    GP did HbA1c test ,Sep.14 was 40.Dec 15 was 58 .March 16 was 41.

    I changed to porrige from toast for breakfast and added bluberries,greek style yoghurt with very low sugar,a little hiney( know i should not) and a teaspoon of Black Gold cumin oil which claims to assist in many ailments including diabetes and immune problems. No idea if it helps but sticking with it.

  • I am now a fan of blueberries and plain low flat Greek yoghurt too.

    This site drives me crazy. Will never stay logged in. I have friends telling me type 2 diabetes is reversible through Beth Lis carb diet but must admit it doesn't feel that way at the moment. But my BS was very high when discovered. It was 19 and my Ketones were high too.

  • Well I have reversed it,but once with it we remain susceptible .I have cut down on carbs and eat more fat .Ditched the Flora for butter. I was recommended to go on the DESMOND programme but i noted a flora ad at the bottom of a sheet the nurse gave me! When i phoned to book a place on Desmond I was told I would hear in March.Still waiting.Could it be because I asked who funded the programme.Will not go now anyway.

  • My typos above may not have been translatable as 'Very low carb diet'. Apologies. I think we are on the same lines. My GP has referred me to the NHS diabetic education course of 3 x 2 hour sessions but it is of the eat 40-60% of your food as carbs and I cannot see that makes any sense. I have not heard of the DESMOND programme.

  • I suspect its the same course .There was a n article in the Mail yesterday by a doc on the benefits of low carb high fat diet ,recipies from a book in from Monday i think.

  • there is a way to get rid of type 2 naturally, thru healing inflammation and proper diet..not the standard diet we are taught though.

  • Well done for cutting out the rubbish x and for feeling the benefit of it x

  • I used to get terribly dizzy even just turning over in bed and was convinced it was my b12 issue causing it. I work for a couple of consultants and was telling one about my dizzy spells and she did the Epley manoeuvre on me. It was benign postural vertigo that was two weeks ago no a dizzy bit since. You can do the manoeuvre on yourself but it does make you feel a bit giddy after so maybe get someone to assist ........

  • Thanks Pixelula, I was tested with various vertigo tests and mine is not due to crystals which is the only kind helped by epley as far as I know. Also I have neck injuries and bulging discs so it could be dangerous for me even to try that now. I don't know what is going on with these spells.. .they aren't like my other vertigo when it started. I had nystagmus and I felt like the room was spinning etc. These are more intense and don't seem to last long. The last one was worse but they were equally frightening. I thought it might have been blood sugar that time because I had treated a low earlier but again bg was 119 then. I still drank some oj because it was so bad and bg spiked later. That time I had bad palpitations too, this time no palpitations. Actually the last one was about 3 months ago maybe while I was out shopping and again bg was normal but it passed fairly quickly.

    This one really scared me due to having been in hospital almost in dka and not feeling well still really. My phosphorus was just below normal and eosinophils were high at 18% when I left. This time I had blurry vision which I didn't have last time. I think it's time to do those mra's my ent wanted me to do probably when I had pulsatile tinnitus for a few days.

    I just wish I knew what was causing this and if it's something serious.

    I'll reply more later to everyone, thanks for your replies and ideas and sharing your stories.

  • Would someone please tell me what bg is.. I know what bp and bs is

    but have never heard of bg.

    Thank you to whoever responds.

  • .... blood glucose perhaps ? :-)

  • thanks Marz... why didn't I think of that?? Perhaps I was thinking you English have different definitions to us Aussies... have never come across it before.

  • Well, I hadn't thought of it either! Now added to Abbreviations and Acronyms:


  • haras ..... As I live in Crete I also have to read results in Greek :-) Now there's a challenge !

  • Wow! You are obviously much more clever than I and you have must have a wonderful life there in Crete.. wish I could afford to go there again. My travels have come to an end as I'm a bit long in the tooth now and no more husband to travel with.. I do miss him and the travel terribly! :(

  • Not clever at all ! I have a master copy with the translation in English which I wrote myself :-)

    Sorry to read you miss your hubby and travels. Have to say I am not a BIG traveller - just in and around Europe is fine for me - once in a while !

    When did you visit Crete ?

  • It must be at least a hundred years ago. I was in my 20's and am now in my 70's and memories are becoming dimmer.

    I blame my brain fog on thyroxine.. lol... of course it could be early dementia :} I do remember having a wonderful life so I guess that counts for something.

  • Hope you have started B12 again !

  • Hi Marz... yes, definitely back on B12. Thanks for your concern.

  • Do you know why your sugars were so high, they need to be pretty significant to get high ketones and be hospitalised. My daughter used to suffer from vasovagal syncope, and used to faint, quite often losing her hearing and speech for a few mins as well, that was all down to low blood pressure, she seems to have resolved it by drinking more and adding a bit of salt to her food. Used to scare her whit less.

  • No I don't know why- my bg wasn't that high and btw bg doesn't have to be that high for everyone to have high ketones. When I was diagnosed 4 years ago I was in early dka at 279 bg with very high ketones- and then severe dka at 363 bg 1.5 days later when I was hospitalized.

    They said it was probably from being ill and dehydrated but I don't think they know for sure. Usually high bg alone won't cause dka/ketones unless you have no insulin supplied, something else has to be going on like illness and or dehydration. I have type 1 diabetes- you can go into dka with just a moderate to severe illness like stomach flu or even dehydration when it's hot and you're exerting yourself too much, although it has never happened to me since my diagnosis when I ran out of my natural insulin supply.

    It was very frightening because I woke up with 100 bg and no ketones as far as I know and then 3 hours later I had 323 bg going up with very high ketones and violent nausea with no pump malfunction apparently. I went straight to the hospital.

    After I thought about it I thought I had already been building up ketones the night before when my bg was dropping actually, I drank some juice for the low and then ate a very low carb dinner but had trouble eating it due to nauseau although I ate all of it and felt better after. I had been eating lower carb due to my bg crashing nearly every time I eat now in order to lower insulin doses a lot. And I was eating a bit less due to the stomach bug, but I was still eating.

    I wonder if I have something like what happens with your daughter, as far as I know my bp is normal most of the time although it goes low when I have low bg. I did take losartan last night for the first time in a long time because I'm worried about kidney damage. That wouldn't explain the two spells I had since I've been off it though. I'm glad she worked that out to figure out what to do, that must have been terrifying.

  • She only had her episodes going from sitting to standing or laying to standing where there would be a natural drop in BP. She also had numerous episodes where she didn't faint but had blurred vision dizziness nausea ect so possibly, make sure you keep really hydrated especially if you have had a bug or high sugars and using the Loo a lot!!

    I have no experience with type one, but plenty with type two myself mum dad and brother are all T2. I was on insulin many years ago and found it very hard to manage, I would inject then eat then my bg would crash so I would eat again then bg would rise and insulin would be increased, that made the crashes bigger and the rises higher. It felt like a juggling act and I kept dropping my balls. My mum is on insulin and has been hospitalised with high ketones and bg a few times. Her readings sometimes go so high they go of the scale on her bg monitor! You seem to have a great deal going on health wise and I think that makes things harder to manage. So many illnesses are interconnected and there are so many co factors that can effect each thing. I'm still navigating my way through all of these problems and it seems just as I get one thing sorted something else pops up.

  • Thanks, that makes sense with her getting up and down etc. sometimes that is a factor in my vertigo but I don't think it is in these particular spells.

    I'm sorry your mom went through that. Like you said insulin is god awful to manage. I would give anything to go back to my old life. It's a nightmare now.

    I do have a lot going on, maybe too much to figure this out but I hope someone can help me at some point. I'm losing weight now too.

    I'm so terrified to have lows now I'm scared to get my Bg down the way I used to. This disease beats you into the ground.

  • 000ggg,

    Poor you, DKA is so dangerous. It is true b/g can go all over the place with colds, flu and dehydration.

    DKA occurs when the body has insufficient insulin to allow enough glucose to enter cells, and so the body switches to burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketone bodies.

    These can usually be smelt ... pear drops or sometimes nail polish remover. Do you test your ketones level ?? .. There are blood testing machines or urine strips.

    I don't know anything about vaso vagal nerve reaction.

  • As I said I'm type 1. I was in dka at diagnosis and I'm lucky I survived it. I had several serious complications. I know what causes it and I have a ketone meter. I wasn't in dka this past weekend thank god- my anion gap was ok but I was close to it. I was able to be treated in a critical care ward with iv fluids & zofran. It's still not clear to me how I went rapidly from low Bg to almost dka. They all said it was a good thing I came in right away. One thing that was clear is my Bg was much more stable on iv fluid. I have thought I have a hydration issue for a while now.

  • Low b12 can make you dizzy, has that been checked. If it's under 500 or so then you could be dizzy due to b12 deficiency.

  • Thanks- my last b12 was 2800, about 2000 points higher than the one before. I guess if I have functional b12 deficiency maybe it could be that. Someone here mentioned that. But that doesn't explain the 3 other similar spells I've had because b12 was lower then but still more than adequate at 1100 or so. Also this was a spell that passed quickly- I'm not sure if b12 or other deficiencies would cause that - it has only happened 4x in 1-2 years

  • I don't know if it helps, but it could be worth exploring your breathing? I was feeling terribly dizzy for over a year (among other health problems), it was getting worse and worse, and had reached the point that it was confusing and terrifying me. It turns out that the dizziness and numbness in my fingers linked into anxiety and was directly attributed to breathing shallowly: I wasn't getting enough oxygen! I immediately started to control my breathing (using you tube meditation videos, and remembering to breath deep especially in moments of stress). Once I knew this it was very simple to rectify. It seems so simple and obvious now, and of course makes sense as I was very ill and worried about everything that was going on which directly affected how I was breathing and made me even worse. I'm posting this in case it can help you as it was a quite quick simple fix for the dizziness once I knew what was wrong.

  • Thanks,

    I don't think this is caused by anxiety because I wasn't anxious when the spells happened. They are sudden short lived events which seem to pass rapidly and I sometimes have bad palpitations during them too. This one definitely seemed to get better when I changed my head position.

    my other vertigo had clinical signs of nystagmus and changes in eye movements- the ent thinks it is vestibular migraines caused by Bg changes. But he wanted me to get 2 mra after the pulsatile tinnitus event a year later. In one event, not one of the spells, I had a bright light shine at me which caused sudden nausea and the more consistent room spinning on a boat feeling.

    I'm going to try the deep breathing because it may help me with the fear etc. too. I'm glad that helped you. It's hard to remember to breath deeply all the time though.

    Before my health fell apart I used to do ohms and deep breathing. It is really terrifying because I never know when this stuff will come on. These spells feel like something is seriously wrong.

  • I'm so sorry to hear that things are so difficult for you. I have no experience other than what I explained to know whether anxiety could be a cause of your dizziness, but I didn't think I was anxious either at the time, even though I was having palpitations and attacks that I couldn't explain but turned out to be panic attacks. When you're ill with un-diagnosed issues it is hardly surprising that you/one might be anxious. A friend of mine who also suffered from a serious illness has since told me that her breathing was also affected and meditation helped her. Even if it is not the root cause perhaps an element of deep breathing and meditation can help you anyway? I've used this one a bit, its short but really helped me rethink how I breath.

    All the best.

  • thanks, I don't think this is anxiety but I think trying this will help me anyway hopefully.I agree that being ill can make you anxious for sure, but I've had longterm anxiety and I don't have those symptoms with it such as blurry vision or any of this. I clearly do have a lot going on with multiple endocrine issues so I'm assuming it has something to do with that or a combo of them and migraines/ vestibular issues etc. I hope it is just my neck because then maybe I can just avoid looking down like that. One of my friends said just go to er if it happens again before Tuesday and then go to my doctor or one of them to ask about it.

    btw, I tried the breathing but it actually made me dizzy which I was worried it might. I think I will wait till whatever is going on passes and then try again.

  • I'm really sorry for you, it's an awful feeling - I've had episodes like this too and for a while felt dizzy most of the time, I've also had nystagmus, weird eyesight and sometimes the room spinning round me and occasionally palpitations when this happened. I've wondered about vagal nerve problems too, but most of my dizziness turned out to be from tight muscles due to a neck injury and car accident, and an unstable pelvis due to a fall. So, as you mention in one post here that you've also had neck injuries and bulging discs I wonder if this could be from your neck muscles too.

    I didn't find chiropractors much help, in fact often they made it worse, osteopaths were quite good as long as they didn't manipulate anything but their treatments didn't last. The best I found was gentle but ongoing massage and cranio-sacral work, which lasted longer. In the end I was sent to a private physio for my back problems and, having examined my entire spine, legs, feet, shoulders and neck, she's teaching me 'muscle energy technique' to relax all the muscles myself. If that doesn't work I'm going to try Hanna Somatics next.

    This may not be the cause of your dizziness but it might be worth investigating. I found the room started spinning when my right sternocleidomastoid muscle went into spasm (those muscles don't hurt when they go into spasm so it took a while to work it out) and the general dizziness when I moved my head was from the muscles at the top of my neck.

    Here's are two links about the SCM:



  • Thanks,

    I'm going to investigate this. I think mine has to do with my Bg too because I get dizzy when my Bg goes up or down. Again these spells seem to be something else altogether. Maybe it is my neck and vasovagal reaction etc. the first time it happened I was reading my laptop but didn't have that more extreme phone position. It was very severe with bad palpitations after and at first my head was shaking back and forth internally not in reality. It was sort of similar to when I passed out from a head injury but not exactly the same. That time my head was accidentally hit- I heard the sound and I remember my vision going into a narrow little dot. The next thing I remembered was getting up off the ground and running into the house.

  • Gosh that sounds truly scary - I do hope you work out what it is and find a way to stop it happening again!

  • thanks, I'll let you know if I figure it out.

  • yes..you need to find out what is triggering your hashimotos..if you have benn diagnosed with it. Food is often the culprit and of course, this is symptoms of immune system issues.

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