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WLS Patients Report Frequent Dizziness: What Causes It?

Many gastric bypass patients report frequent spells of dizziness. In general they are using the word dizzy to describe everything from feeling faint or lightheaded to feeling weak or unsteady.

Research indicates a state of chemical imbalance can lead to temporary bouts of dizziness. When a bariatric patient feels dizzy it could very well be related to the restricted diet. Most commonly going too long between meals or not drinking enough water causes bariatric patients to become dizzy or have a mild electrolyte imbalance. Many patients self-treat dizziness by drinking water or little sips of a sports drink such as Gatorade.

Dizziness may occur when too much time passes between meals, or as an early warning sign of dehydration. Lack of food or loss of bodily fluid interrupts the body's physiological process; the electrolytes get out of balance.

Potassium, sodium and chlorine are the three dominant electrolytes in the human body. Beneath our conscious awareness the electrolytes are very busy jumping in and out of cells making it possible for nerve impulses to travel from one nerve cell to the next. When we are eating correctly, staying hydrated and pursuing a healthy lifestyle it is likely the electrolytes will stay balanced and we can enjoy a dizzy-free existence.

It is extremely dangerous when electrolytes become severely imbalanced. Infants suffering from dehydration have died from electrolyte imbalance. So have sufferers of anorexia.

If flu symptoms cause dehydration to the point of extreme dizziness and disorientation one must seek medical help. Dehydration will force a greater loss of potassium, which raises the sodium level in all muscle tissues. At greatest risk is the heart muscle where an increase of sodium may cause arrhythmia and death.

The sports and nutrition industry's guideline for water consumption is one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. Carefully monitoring fluid intake will help weight loss surgery patients avoid chronic dizziness.

2005 Kaye Bailey - All Rights Reserved

Kaye Bailey is a weight loss surgery success story having maintained her health and goal weight for 5+ years. An award winning journalist, she is the author and webmaster of and

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