You’re here because you want to know if anorexia causes dizziness. That’s a valid question, and we’ll get into the science of it all below.
But the short answer? Yes. Anorexia does cause dizziness.
And this makes sense, right? Even if you don’t suffer from anorexia yourself, you can probably relate and understand. Think about the last time you missed a meal. Maybe you were in meetings all day at work and just couldn’t get away to grab lunch. Or perhaps you were traveling, caring for a loved one, or simply got distracted.
When we’re short on nutrients, our bodies start to speak up, don’t they? Our bellies ache, our heads hurt and if we go on long enough, we might even experience a bit of lightheadedness.
Anorexia causes these reactions, but stronger. And while a person suffering from anorexia may have learned to mask or ignore hunger pains, the very real body responses are continuing on the inside.
So let’s look at the science. Why does anorexia cause a person to become dizzy?
First: A Reminder About Anorexia
Before we talk about anorexia-induced dizziness in greater detail, let’s take a moment to remind ourselves exactly what we mean when we talk about anorexia.
While we mentioned above that we all know what it’s like to skip a meal, we must remember that anorexia involves so much more than forgetting to eat once in a while. According to the DSM-5, a person with anorexia will:
- Restrict calories in an extreme way
- Reduce weight beyond what is healthy
- Carry a strong fear of gaining weight
- Struggle with severe body image issues
This person may skip many meals. And when they do eat, it may not be much, or they may only eat from a few categories of food—and a limited number of calories at that.
How Does Anorexia Cause Dizziness?
When a person chooses not to eat much or often, dizziness is nearly a foregone conclusion. Of course, it might look different from one person to another. Symptoms can include vertigo, feeling unbalanced, nausea and a general wooziness when they stand or try to walk. (2)
As eatingdisorders.com explains, dizziness is the body’s way of alerting a person to a problem. With anorexia, a lack of nutrients can contribute to all sorts of problems that might lead to dizziness, like low blood pressure, malnutrition, hypoglycemia, dehydration, and heart complications. (2)
The only way to stop the dizzy feeling is to begin restoring eating habits that provide adequate nutrition. Of course, that can be difficult to do when you’re struggling with an eating disorder.
We would love to help. You can give us a call today at 765.442.3551 or connect with us through our contact form. We’ll help you determine the physical root cause of your dizziness to address any urgent medical needs and work with you to develop your plan for recovery.