Preventing post-run dizziness

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Evelyn asks: I experienced a full-blown case of "the spins" (dizziness) the evening after I ran three miles and rode my bike nine miles. At night, the room started spinning. When I woke up the next morning, the room was still spinning. Eventually, it stopped. Is this due to dehydration? Diet? I have been keeping my calories at about 1,100 to 1,200 a day.

I am not sure of your age and weight, but the calorie restriction you mention could be an issue. A total of 1,200 calories a day does not meet the minimum requirements for most people who exercise. Unless you are overweight, your calorie restriction may do you more harm than good, especially if you are not getting your periods regularly, which would indicate your hormone balances are off and your bone density is at risk. Low bone density will put you at risk for stress fractures and hip fractures as you get older - neither of which will be good for you in the long run. I am not sure if this, combined with a low fluid intake, would cause you a night of “spins.” If your diet is low in bio-available iron, you could be anaemic and that could produce your symptoms.

What you are describing could also be benign positional vertigo. This condition occurs when “sludge” builds up in the semicircular canals of the inner ear and interferes with fluid flow in the canals. The fluid flow helps keep you oriented in space - whether you are upright, bending in a certain direction or lying down. When the fluid does not flow well, you get a signal to your brain that you are spinning. Until the canals are cleared of the sludge, you will get the spins when you change positions. This tends to come and go.

In either case, you should meet with your GP if this persists. The problem may be easily fixed with diet changes or treatment for vertigo.