NWPF

PD Community BlogRead Blog

How can I prevent dizziness?

Tuesday September 04, 2012

Dizziness can have multiple causes in Parkinson's.  Most common, is low blood pressure, specifically a drop in blood pressure with standing a condition caused orthostatic hypotension.  People of use the term dizziness to describe many different problems. The term dizziness is also used to describe a sense of imbalance when standing or walking, vertigo or sense of motion caused by inner ear or vestibular problems and a lack of mental clarity.

Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, 'passing out', fatigue, walking problems, and thinking problems.

Dizziness due to orthostatic hypotension can be treated. Most of these treatments work by increasing the volume of blood in your circulatory system, increasing blood pressure and optimizing heart function.

  • Review your medicines with your healthcare provider. Some dopaminergic medicines such as dopaminergic agonists can lower blood pressure.
  • Avoid dehydration. Dehydration reduces blood volume and blood pressure. Drink plenty of water especially when exercising and in hot climate.
  • Add salt to diet to increase the amount of fluid retained in your circulatory system. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any change in diet especially if you have heart or kidney disease.
  • Find the cause of and treat anemia(low red blood cell count) diagnosed by blood tests that measure the amount of red blood cells. Nutrition deficits, alcohol abuse, low iron levels, low vitamin B12 and bleeding are some of the common causes of anemia.
  • Take your time when getting up.  Waiting a few seconds for your circulation and blood pressure to recover when standing will reduce symptoms of dizziness when standing.
  • Avoid increases in intra-abdominal pressure as this pressure is transmitted to the circulatory system and thus reduces the return of blood flow to the heart. Abdominal pressure is increased with stooping or squatting or while 'bearing down' for instance during exercise or when having bowel movement.
  • Try elastic stockings.   These stockings extend to the knee or waist.  The pressure they place on your legs keeps fluid from leaking out of the blood vessels and into the tissue.  Some people with movement and coordination problems have trouble getting these on or off. Ask your doctor for a prescription to occupational therapy if you are having trouble getting these on.
  • Keep your feet elevated when sitting to limit leg swelling and pooling of fluid at your feet.
  • Pump your legs and ankles when sitting. This muscle activity massages the lymph vessels and veins in your legs helping your circulation return blood flow to the heart.
  • Sleep with the head  higher than your heart by placing a wedge under your mattress of elevating the head of your bed by placing a lift under the legs at the head of bed.
  • Medicines are available if needed to increase blood pressure.  These medicines must be used with caution as they can cause electrolyte problems and high blood pressure.
  • A cardiac or heart evaluation may sometimes be needed to insure heart health and optimal cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped from the heart into the circulation.)

Monique L. Giroux, MDMonique L. Giroux, MD
Medical Director, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

Recent Posts

Caregiver Burnout - Write it Down!
How Could I Be So Wrong?
Take a Hint from PD
Taking the Park out of Parkinson's
Medicine and Cognition

Archives

2014 2013 2012
Most popular posts of 2012
What are you grateful for this holiday season?
How can I tell whether medications are wearing off or Parkinson’s disease is progressing?
Can a person with Parkinson’s give blood?
When is the right time to start Levodopa?
Can acupuncture help PD symptoms?
Support the Caregiver in your Life
Power of the mind to move treatment further
Top 10 Foods for Parkinson’s (and counting!)
How can I prevent dizziness?
What can you tell me about laser light therapy and Parkinson’s
What is music therapy?
Should I take Coenzyme Q10 for my Parkinson’s?
How do I treat my cough at night?
Parkinson’s fitness programs need to be tailored to the individual to get results
Carrying the Olympic Torch for Parkinson’s today
Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s. What about other foods?
How can I find a good doctor who is knowledgeable about PD and is caring as well? My doctor does not always listen.
Facts about depression
Help for constipation
Sex, Intimacy and Parkinson’s
Does DBS affect speech?
Walking and balance can significantly impact quality of life- but is treatable.
Depression is common with Parkinson’s
Ode to Parkinson’s- Poem from Member
Music Enhances Brain Activity
How does posture change with Parkinson’s?
What is important to you?
Are hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s?
Hot Off the Press – Neupro approved by FDA
How do I find a Parkinson’s physical therapist to keep me exercising?
Does Azilect slow disease progression?
Manage nausea from medicines
Is delaying medication harmful?
Advice for newly diagnosed
Is Parkinson’s Hereditary?
Medication Timing
Is gambling a side effect of medicine?
Medication Assistance
Does stress cause Parkinson’s?
When to see a physical therapist
Coconut Oil
FDA approves DATScan
Protein’s effect on medicine
Restless Leg Syndrome