Q: I recently started lifting weights at the gym and sometimes find myself dizzy when I am done. What is that about?
A: The causes of dizziness are many, and without further detail, it would be hard to determine what might be the cause of the symptoms you are having. If you said that you got dizzy with all types of exercise or strenuous exertion, I would be worried about a potential problem with your heart.
Since it seems to only be related to weight lifting, the first thing that comes to mind is orthostatic hypotension—a sudden and temporary drop in blood pressure as the body changes position (usually when going from a recumbent or squatting position to sitting upright or standing). This is a normal occurrence as the body adapts the cardiovascular system to changes in position.
Make sure that you are well-hydrated prior to and during your workouts. Consider a sports drink that will help replace electrolytes.
If the symptoms continues, consult with your physician. A “tilt-table” test may be warranted. In this test, you are put on a tilting table that tries to reproduce the dizziness while monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
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