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Feeling Lightheadedness or Dizzy when Standing: What are Symptoms of a Heart Condition?

Updated on April 18, 2015
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy? It could be a symptom of a heart condition.
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy? It could be a symptom of a heart condition. | Source

Dizziness upon standing: Symptoms of a heart condition

Do you ever feel dizzy or lightheaded? Perhaps you are experiencing a bit of vertigo? It could just be due to fatigue, bad footing or sinus pressure. Dizziness upon standing could also be alerting you to something more serious. You may have a condition known as orthostatic hypotension.

Orthostatic hypotension: If you get dizzy after you stand up it is usually due to a drop in your blood pressure. Dizziness and lightheadedness upon standing may be a symptom of orthostatic hypotension.

What does this have to do with my heart? According to a recent study, patients with orthostatic hypotension are 54% more likely to develop heart failure.

What is heart failure? The function of the heart is to pump blood to the body. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to effectively pump blood to all of the body.

5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure, and about 300,000 people die from it each year, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

How are you tested for orthostatic hypotension? Your physician will measure your normal blood pressure. This is taken from the normal sitting position. Your doctor will also measure your blood pressure while you are lying down and again immediately after standing. If your systolic or diastolic pressure drops significantly after standing you may be affected by orthostatic hypotension.

Arteriosclerosis: Orthostatic hypotension may also be an indicator of arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is caused by high blood pressure and the build up of plaque in the arteries. The plaque build up narrows the passageway for the blood in the arteries. The arterias also become stiffer. Arteriosclerosis is sometimes called, atherosclerosis.

Why is arteriosclerosis dangerous? The plaque that builds up in the arteries may break off and cause a blockage. This blockage may eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack.

Other common causes of dizziness can be due to:

  • sinus issues
  • a flu or cold
  • low blood sugar

Serious causes of dizziness may be caused by:

  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • abnormal heartbeat

Factors that can increase risk of heart failure:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • coronary heart disease
  • orthostatic hypotension

Reference Links and Quotes

Orthostatic Hypotension as a Risk Factor for Incident Heart Failure, March 2012.

We identified orthostatic hypotension as a predictor of incident heart failure among middle-aged individuals, particularly those 45 to 55 years of age. This association may be partially mediated through hypertension.

Health Benefits of Fish Oil: What Does Fish Oil Do?

Eating oily fish or taking fish oil supplements will provide you with omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil is rich in EPA and DHA, which help maintain healthy function of our brain, retinal and cardiac cells and tissues.

What is Flax Seed Oil For? Flaxseed Health Benefits

Flax seed oil may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke. Flax seed oil may also improve mood, clarity and awareness in children. Includes references and clinical studies.

What can you do?

First, don't dismiss potential warnng flags. If you are dizzy or lightheaded when you stand it would be best practice to be evaluated by your physician.

The bottom line here is to live a healthy lifestyle and have routine medical checkups. A proper diet and exercise can keep heart ailments at bay.


A diet rich in essential fatty acids have been shown to improve heart and brain function. Essential fatty acids are found in omega-3 and omega-6 supplements. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will also help support healthy body functions. Avoid artery clogging fats that may hinder your body's natural functions.

Supplements to consider:

Both of these supplements are a rich source of essential fatty acids.

Disclaimer: Information in this hub is research based. The author is not a physician and does not diagnose or treat health issues. The information provided in this hub should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction.

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares


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    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks for the information. This article provides me with alternative symptoms for the dizzy spells. Thanks again!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      nat difanzo, interesting. well, I would highly suggest for you to contact your health care provider for any medical advice pertaining to your personal health question. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      nat difanzo 5 years ago

      i ve had afib for about 10 years i also have dizzy spells upon standing or getting out of a car. can afib and dizzy spells be related ? and if so can an ablation on my heart be of any use!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      izettl, I've heard of this being common during pregnancy - I think it is because our blood pressure drops. I'm glad it was not a negative issue for you. Please take care of yourself. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      moonlake, I can't imagine all the dizziness and cold sweats. You said, heart attacks? Plural? Please take care of yourself too.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Before I had heart attacks I never had dizzyness but I did have cold sweats from the minute I would get up in the morning or just taking a nap as soon as I stood the cold sweats would start.

      Now I get dizzy but I think it comes from the drugs I have to take.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

      I had this too...during pregnancy. got my heart checked out a few times, but nothing bad. It went away but has come back again after having a baby a few months ago. I know I have a history of anemia and these symptoms also sound like that too.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Efficient Admin, heart palpitations sure are a scary feeling. I experienced them about 12 years ago and the doc ran several tests and in the end said it was stress. I'm glad to hear these issues have been cleared up for you. Wishing you the best in your health, family and writing.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I had the light-headedness and heart palpitations at one time and it turned out I had very severe anemia due to another health issue. Once the anemia and the other issue were taken care of, the light-headedness and heart palpitations went away.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Peggy, thank you very much - I appreciate it

      2patricias, thank you for sharing your personal experience. Yes, knowing our own bodies is truly important.

      prasetio30, I'm glad to share what I've researched with you. Be sure to check on your dizziness. I fully understand the pressures of teaching. Long deep breaths work wonders when I feel the stress in my classroom. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Sometimes I felt dizzy a little bit, maybe it caused with my activity in teaching or facing the student exams. But now, I know the trigger of dizziness. I learn many things from this hub. Thanks for share with us. Rated up and useful. Take care!


    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This is an interesting hub.

      Both of us Patricias have low blood pressure, caused by an unusual heart condition (a strange coincidence). The condition that we have means that we must avoid getting cold (causes circulation problems), and of course we have to live with the low blood pressure. Also, we both have to watch our weight. However, as we both have been aware of the health issues for a very long time, we have managed them.

      Knowing about your body is important.

      I've voted this hub up.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi missolive,

      You are sharing valuable information with others that could help to possibly even save a life. As you said...check with your doctor if these symptoms present themselves. Good work. Up, useful and SHARED.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      sholland10, you are absolutely right. We do have a tendency to adapt to how our body reacts but we may be missing warning signs. Keeping up with research and health alerts has always been a pastime of mine. Awareness is key in helping us communicate with our doctors. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      billybuc, ah the author is also the yardman. :) Do be careful and get that checked out. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information especially since it's been happening to me lately whenever I work in the yard. Thanks for a great hub!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      I have low blood pressure. I have worried about it because I am so tired all the time. Your information has given me a checklist to take to my doctor.

      Sometimes we get used to what our bodies do and do not ask the right questions. It would be wonderful if the doctor could identify things without us having to ask, but that is not realistic, especially since they do not know what is "common" to us if we do not mention it. Reading research that fits symptoms is extremely helpful. Very useful information. Votes and Shares! :-)

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      mollymeadows, Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the votes but most importantly - please make sure to let your doctor know. :)

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      Miss Olive, I have this now and again. Thanks for the information, I'll mention it to my doc. Up and buttons!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Just Ask Susan, Hi Susan! It sounds like you may have had low blood pressure as a child. I hope the dizziness has subsided in adulthood. It might not be a bad idea to let your doc know. I'm glad this hub may have raised awareness about dizziness for you.

      emilybee, I'm sure it has been difficult living with dizziness and headaches. I'm thrilled omega-3 has provided positive results for you. What a wonderful testament! :)

      RTaloni, I'm glad to have shared my research and information with you. I simply had to share the study with others. It is important for us to remain aware of our own symptoms. Thank you for reading.

      ThePracticalMommy - Hi Marissa! You are quite welcome. Heart conditions run in my family too. Please let your doc know about your dizziness. Your kiddos need you and so do we. :)

      Vinaya Ghimire, Your father is a lucky man to have you as his son. Thank you for sharing this important information with him. May all of you be blessed with great health. :)

      Austinstar, believe mw, I know. Stay healthy!

      RealHousewife, Hi Kelly! You silly girl! Your energy makes me dizzy! I'm glad to hear your uncle is still with us. You need to take care of yourself too! We need you! :)

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      teachers12345, it is a wonderful testament to hear that your doctor suggested omega-3. The health benefits of the essential fatty acids found in omega-3 are incredible. I'm glad you experienced positive results. Thank you for sharing your story as well as your readership and votes.

      onthegrind, when I came across this study I just knew I had to write a hub about it. I think it is important to get the word out and possibly prevent serious health issues. I appreciate your comment and votes. Thanks for sharing too! :)

      cclitgirl - Hi Cyndi! Thank you so much. I'm glad you came by.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Mo! Uh oh...I get dizzy all the time - lol. I don't think it's a health issue:) hahaha

      My uncle had a heart attack - sounds like you described it and they had to put like a half dozen stents in but he survived. Excellent info!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      This one scares me. I'm afraid to even read it!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      My father is a heart patient. I'm always looking for articles so that I can know about my father's condition better.

      This hub will surely help my father.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Thank you for sharing this! I didn't know dizziness could be the sign of a heart condition. Heaven knows heart conditions run rampant in my family. Yikes! I better mention the dizziness to my doctor at my next visit.

      Voted up and useful!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for posting this info on lightheadedness possibly being a symptom of a heart condition with a concluding bottom line that we really can't hear too often!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      Great info- I, too, experience dizziness (and headaches) often but have changed my diet and am taking more vitamins (and omega 3's) and have noticed a positive difference. Great hub:)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      When I was a child quite frequently I would get dizzy when I would get up from a lying down position but that hasn't happened in many years. Very interesting hub. I have become dizzy while standing still and that does have me a bit concerned after reading your hub. The next time I go to the doctor I will mention this to him.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Great information - you definitely got my attention. Well-presented and fabulous information. :)

    • onthegrind profile image

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Interesting hub, missolive. I didn't know there were so many different causes of lightheadedness. Definitely good information to know - especially if you suffer from this or know someone who does. I didn't know it could be related to heart problems. Voted up, useful, and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I had some dizzy spells awhile back which were results of diet. The doctor suggested omega3's (along with other healthy food choices) and it has helped tremendously. Thanks for writing this hub. I know it will be of great interest to many others and so helpful. Voted up.