Varied Causes of Feeling Light Headed and Nauseous After Eating

Food is meant to strengthen and revitalize an individual, but it is quite worrisome when it has the exact opposite effect. Feeling dizzy, light headed and nauseous after eating a meal is not a common phenomenon; however, it is not completely unheard of. If you are experiencing these troubling symptoms after a meal; then you are sure to be confused and looking for answers as to what is causing these symptoms? This article aims to enlighten you on the various factors that could be causing sensations of nausea and lightheadedness after a meal. Read further to know more.

Varied Causes of Feeling Light Headed and Nauseous After Eating

Varied Causes of Feeling Light Headed and Nauseous After Eating

There are varied causes behind feeling dizzy or lightheaded after a meal. This problem is best seen to by a doctor and may even require additional tests for an accurate diagnosis, but there are few common issues that may produce the same or similar effects. Read further to know about these common issues so that you have a better idea about the factors behind your troubling symptoms or you can go ahead and talk to a doctor to get to the root cause which may or may not be related to your gastrointestinal system.

Marine Toxins

There is a good chance that you haven’t thought about the possibility of marine toxins getting into your food source and causing poisoning, but this is definitely a possibility. More and more reports of seafood poisoning caused by harmful marine toxins are being reported everyday and recent tests on marine fish and shellfish samples show adequate evidence of contamination by marine toxins. Generally food including fishes and shellfish should be cooked for an adequate period of time at appropriate temperatures to destroy any kind of bacteria and fungi in them; however, the chemical composition of marine toxins are largely unaffected by cooking and remain just as toxic. If you live in certain parts of the world and consume seafood caught off the coast of Hawaii and the South Pacific Island or the New England waters; there is a greater chance of marine toxins being present in your seafood and these toxins are possibly responsible for your sensations of nausea and lightheadedness after eating meals composed of seafood.

Headaches and Migraines

Food is one of many triggers for migraines and while this may not apply for every individual that is afflicted by migraines; your sensations of lightheadedness and nausea after eating meals could be explained by vulnerability to chronic migraines and headaches. This may not apply to all foods or may not be regular occurrence when you have your meals on time; however, oily and rich foods or delayed meals can bring on nausea and lightheadedness after eating them for those that are prone to migraines. Food accompanied by wine or alcohol, even in small quantities could have the same effect of feelings of lightheadedness and nausea.

Postprandial Hypotension

Postprandial hypotension effectively explains nausea and lightheadedness after eating for many adults. During the process of digestion; there are well documented changes in levels of blood pressure. Often as in the case of many adults; the body fails to adapt to these sudden blood pressure changes and postprandial hypotension characterized by dizziness and nausea after eating occurs. Certain foods such as potatoes, white rice and white bread could increase your chances of postprandial hypotension and if your diet is mainly composed of these foods; it’s easier to explain episodes of nausea and dizziness after meals. Nausea and dizziness may often be accompanied by chest pain, problems with your vision and the loss of balance as the arteries are unable to adapt their response to changes in blood pressure levels after eating. Simple hypertension increases your chances of postprandial hypotension hence a highly stressful life can easily explain your dizziness and nausea after meals.

Inappropriate Diet

Certain diets can increase your chances of postprandial hypotension or migraines that can cause dizziness and nausea as mentioned before. Discussing your current diet with your doctor may help you find the triggers that cause nausea and lightheadedness after eating meals. Individuals who suffer from low pressure are also more likely to suffer from nausea and dizziness after eating certain foods with high-carb content. These foods are processed rather quickly by the digestive system, bringing down your blood pressure and bringing on the symptoms of low blood pressure, which are dizziness and nausea among others. It is hence easy to see how an inappropriate diet could trigger dizziness and nausea after meals.


In conclusion; there are multiple explanations for dizziness and nausea after eating meals and your present health conditions including your vulnerability to low blood pressure or migraines could serve as an explanation. These symptoms of dizziness and nausea after meals can also be sudden and unexplainable without the help of a doctor and diagnostic testing. One way or the other; your doctor is the best person to help you get to the root of your problem. Listed above are just the common reasons for lightheadedness and nausea after meals that may or may not apply to you.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 4, 2019

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