Dizziness?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by cfsmtb, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm interested in what other women cyclists would know about dizziness while rapid descents on the bike. Recently I've put up with feelings of dizziness, feelings of overbalancing, loss of control of the bike etc. Unfortunately it has been getting worse.

    My GP assures me that really nothing is wrong, ie: eat well, iron supplements, ample rest and practice skills/drills. I ride mainly as a commuter (approx 60km per week), but also do road, touring and single track. It mainly occurs at speeds over 35km+ (downhill), but not while I'm sprinting on the flats. A fear is that I'll grab a handful of brake while freewheeling downhill.:(

    I've tried different saddle positions, including aero position etc, but still no respite.

    Should I consider a second opinion from another GP and further tests? Does anyone have any personal advice or links to revalent information? ta. :)
     
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  2. Spin baby

    Spin baby New Member

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    Hmmm... if it was me... I go for a second opinion. That doesn't sound like nothing to me if it's interfering with biking pleasure.. ; )

    Seriously though... if I was sharing pavement with auto's I'd want to feel top notch and competent.

    Inner ear problems can make one dizzy and feel off kilter... but eyesight can also effect one's spacial perceptions.


    Quiz?
    I pick... constructive and internet...

    don't like arguments. ; )
     
  3. david.poole

    david.poole New Member

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    I have a similar problem, also noises at a certain pitch have the same affect.

    For me it started when I had a change of hearing aid and the audiologist decided to give me sealed ear moulds rather than ones with a vent in them.

    I would therefore concur with the inner ear diagnosis. Try getting your ears syringed, wait three days and see if that helps.
     
  4. kathybeast

    kathybeast New Member

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    It could be a simple fact that you are doing what is known in the medical community as the valsalva's maneuver. Its sort of like trying to exhale with your glottis, nose and mouth closed. You do the same thing if your constipated and trying to have a BM. What happens is you increase intrathoracic pressure (in your chest), which slows your pulse, decressing blood return to the heart making you dizzy. It is worse if your eustachian tubes are not clear, like if you have sinus problems.

    On your next descent try breathing deeply and relaxing and see if the problem resolves.

    If the bike feels unstable while descending, make sure you place a knee against the top tube to provide stability.
     
  5. kathybeast

    kathybeast New Member

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    An additional thought on the dizziness matter.

    If the problem continues, go see a cardiologist who does blood pressure testing on a tilt-table. The table will put you in positions that attempt to re-create the problem. I don't think it is a serious problem unless you crash, but there is always the chance you may have a problem. Try my first solution and if that doesn't work see a specialist.
     
  6. stella

    stella New Member

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    I would get a second opinion. I am in good shape, great hr and bp. I won't go into the details-but I've been having dizziness when I stand and walk around.

    I've been seen by a cardiologist and cleared. I am being referred to an audioneurololgist for further assessment. Sounds like you would benefit from being seen by a specialist.
     
  7. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    I wonder if the descents are occuring soon after a hard climb.
    I get dizzy and see tunnel vision when I am totally exerting myself over 90% HR for any length of time.
    I have low blood pressure. I am guessing that that is what my issues are from. If the dizziness is associated with those 'fireworks' that you see with your eyes....that might be what is going on.

    maybe the other things to consider are EYEs going whacky from the descending and concentration. you dont concentrate the same way while going UP. you know? and what if its your inner ear doing whacky things. Inner ear troubles might be another thing to have checked out.

    how bad is it? maybe everyone is feeling the same way but we just ignore it because its 'normal' ??

    then again. MAYBE YOU'RE JUST BLONDE. ((sorry couldnt resist! ))
    heee. :p
     
  8. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    this is interesting and make me think that, if that were teh troubles., that the wind noise might be creating some type of affect in her inner ear.

    i want to play on a 'tilt table' that sounds fun. :)
     
  9. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    Nope, beware of small redheads. :p

    Actually it's probably a inner ear problem, a continuation of tonsil infections I've suffered from for 20+ years. Why I've still got my tonsils? um, low blood pressure makes doctors nervous...

    Onto the problem & dealing with it.
     
  10. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    OH yay. Fellow Copper penny head. ((though I admit I die mine blonde sometimes))

    Have you considered also, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? ha.

    I imagine it comes from biking 50 miles a day for a weekend then doing intervals on tuesday nite... suddenly fatigue sets in. hmmm.

    but . those folks say they get dizzy spells, low blood pressure, and a myriad of other symptoms including slow recovery. I suppose it comes from a traumatic event in their life but no one really knows how this disease coems about. THey believe it is from the adrenal glands. I wonder if its inherited? no . well. you never know.
    We are always fighting fatigue as cyclists. so of course we'd have all the symptoms!!! haha.

    just adding more into the differential diagnosis list of possible ailments.
    but teh inner ear makes sense.
    I wonder if that is treatable.

    perhaps see a physical therapist! perhaps they can help you train out of it. !
     
  11. Capt. Jack

    Capt. Jack New Member

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    I get dizzy spells when I ride asphalt when it's getting kinda cool out. My ears are pretty sensitive to wind, so I put cotton balls in my ears to keep my inner ears warm when I ride when it's below 70 degrees. This does not reduce my hearing dramatically.

    Also, you may be overdoing it on climbs, and the result is dizziness on descents, as someone else pointed out.

    Or, it could be some sort of anxiety attack that is the result of stress. I had panic attacks for the first time in my life while driving weekend before last. I freaked out when I got to curves in the highway and hit the brakes ever since. Then I went to the beach this weekend and relaxed for a few days, and the attacks went away.

    Good luck!
     
  12. charly h

    charly h New Member

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    Hello
    To me this sounds like a classic blood pressure problem. To rule this out you could try this... when you get the dizzy feelings, stop, get off your bike and sit down, or better still, lie down and raise your legs, resting them on something - the idea is that your legs need to be as level to your heart as possible. The fact is that if your BP is already low naturally, then as you bust your buns on the hill, then descend in a position that makes it your heart work against gravity (legs pointing down) your BP could be dropping lower, giving you the dizzy feelings. This is your body's way of trying to get you lying down by making you faint, then your legs are on a level with your heart and your BP will go up as your heart won't have to work against gravity. Another way of ruling this out would be to take your BP while feeling dizzy (you can get little BP monitors that attach to your wrist, but you'd probably need to be stationary to use one, they don't like vibration). Either way you'd then have evidence for the dr! As a guideline, a 'normal' BP is considered to be around 120/80. I'm a 31 yr old female, about 5"2 (small) moderately fit, though not great, and mine ranges from 110/60 to 120/80ish. If the first number of your BP is around the 100 mark, it could explain your dizziness. Low BP can mean tons of stuff from the flu to cardiac problems, so I would keep bugging my GP if I were you. You also need to make sure you eat properly before exercising - I frequently get shaky if I haven't eaten.
    Good luck, I'd be interested to know if the legs raised technique helps.
     
  13. Elissa1

    Elissa1 New Member

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    I am a nurse and have had entirely too many patients who know that something is wrong and the GP dosen't listen. Blood Pressure is very realtive to the person. I am 5'5 150lbs and very fit with lots of muscle and my pressure is normally low, I get dizzy walking up the stairs at times. My normal pressure is anywhere from 80 to 120 on the top and 40-80 on the bottom(the most important number). Which is "textbook" low but it is my "normal". If this problem persists and you feel unstable on the bike I really really encourage you to see a different MD if he/she dosen't listen to you! YOU know your body! It could be something very minor or major and the internet can be a dangerous. Seriously I have had 25 year old patients on ventilators and in heart failure! Take care of yourself!
     
  14. risiblequest

    risiblequest New Member

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    OK - here's a variation on the theme. Every time I've had my blood pressure checked it's been perfectly fine - not high, not low - but - most of my life, on & off, I've experienced dizziness immediately AFTER aerobic over-exertion if I stop moving suddenly.

    An explanation that I've read for this runs along the lines of - exercise v. hard - blood vessels dilate - stop exertion - heart pumps less hard (as it should) - blood vessels stay dilated (as they shouldn't - brain has failed to coordinate with heart) - blood pressure drops - get dizzy! I'm more susceptible just before my period starts - also happens when I get OUT of the Japanese bath (v. hot water) - which I think reinforces the explanation.

    I've also read that they can give you drugs to stop this from happening - but I find the best way for me to deal with this is simply to avoid the situation of overwork-then-stop-suddenly. Works for me - but perhaps tricky to apply in the up-big-hill-then-down-big-hill scenario.

    Mind you - doesn't stop me from from going to the Japanese bathhouse :)

    Putting on my sensible hat - see doctor, yadda-yadda.

    Curious to know if cfsmtb got an answer on this (given that original post was in October last year)?
     
  15. pilotgoddess

    pilotgoddess New Member

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    Mine is low BP and borderline anemic. If i don't eat on time, i get a 'wind rushing' sound in my ears, I get weak, and feel nauseous. I have blacked out on occasion from getting up to quickly. I hate it. It's worse when I ride.
     
  16. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    Hi! Still out here! Ok a quick update - my issue seems to be a combination of several problems - low blood pressure, ear canal problems from previous Otitis externa infections. I am also investigating improving my VO2 max to aid my overall cycling. Back on the bike after cracking ribs early in Dec, so even spinning up hills, let dealing with downhills is a bit hard. One shall persevere though! Thank you all so much for the great discussion + tips.

    cheers,

    c :)
     
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