Feeling dizzy or lightheaded when bending over may be due to a number of possible reasons. Causes can include poor circulation, low blood sugar, hypothyroidism, Meniere’s disease, and more.

A person should see a doctor if the dizziness is frequent or severe enough to interfere with daily activities. A doctor can help a person determine and treat the underlying cause.

Feeling dizzy does not always indicate a severe health condition. It becomes increasingly common after 60 years of age and is more common in females.

In this article, we look at ten possible causes of dizziness when bending over and explain when to contact a doctor.

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Circulation refers to how well the blood moves around a person’s body. Blood carries oxygen, so if blood does not circulate properly throughout the body, the brain may not get enough oxygen.

If the brain lacks oxygen, sudden movements, such as tilting the head up or down or bending over, may cause the person to feel dizzy.

Other signs of poor circulation can include cold hands or feet and numbness or swelling in the extremities.

It is important for a person to consult a doctor if poor circulation is causing dizziness, as it may indicate:

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can also lead to dizziness, as it can cause brain cells to malfunction. Low blood sugar may occur if a person has not eaten enough or in several hours.

Low blood sugar levels typically affect people with diabetes. However, other causes of low blood sugar include:

When a person has low blood pressure, sudden changes in the head’s position can cause dizziness, especially when bending over or standing up suddenly.

Low blood pressure is usually not a cause for concern unless it causes noticeable symptoms. When a person with low blood pressure bends or stands, they may experience:

Dehydration occurs when a person does not have enough fluid in their body.

The following factors can cause dehydration:

  • going for long periods without drinking
  • intense exercise
  • exposure to hot weather
  • illness
  • vomiting or diarrhea

Anything that causes a person to become dehydrated may cause dizziness when they bend over. This is because having too little fluid in the body makes it difficult for the brain to function and can cause lightheadedness.

A panic attack may result in hyperventilation, which causes the carbon dioxide levels in the blood to dip.

A lack of carbon dioxide in the blood can cause dizziness or lightheadedness.

Anemia is a lack of oxygen-rich red blood cells in the body. Without enough red blood cells, the blood flowing to the brain may not contain enough oxygen, causing frequent bouts of dizziness.

Other symptoms of anemia include:

Dizziness is a common side effect of a variety of medications. Some drugs that may cause dizziness include:

The thyroid produces important hormones and can affect many aspects of the body, including the heart.

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones, which can result in low blood pressure and a slower heartbeat.

These factors can cause dizziness when a person changes position, such as when bending over.

A person’s sense of balance regulates within the inner ear. Ear infections or injuries can cause a person to feel dizzy when standing or bending over.

Simple infections are a common cause, but a person could also have an inner ear problem called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

BPP occurs when a calcium particle from one part of the ear comes off and moves to another part of the ear. This can cause both dizziness and vertigo.

Meniere’s disease can cause prolonged periods of extreme dizziness. The dizziness can occur while standing, bending, or for no apparent reason.

A person with Meniere’s disease may also experience:

Most people who experience temporary dizziness when bending do not need medical intervention.

People can often manage common causes at home by standing or bending slowly, staying hydrated, and avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol.

However, a person should see a doctor if the dizziness is:

  • frequent
  • severe
  • getting worse

A person should also speak to a doctor if dizziness occurs with other symptoms, such as:

Even in mild cases, if the dizziness is frequent, a person may wish to speak to a doctor about how to prevent it in the future.

In most cases, dizziness when bending over goes away after a person stands up again slowly and will not require any special attention.

However, dizziness can indicate an underlying health condition, such as low blood pressure, ear infections, and anemia. In these cases, dizziness may go away when a person gets treatment.

People should contact a doctor if dizziness is severe or occurs alongside nausea, vomiting, fainting, or severe chest pain.