September 23, 2009

Dizziness During Pregnancy

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Pregnancy is that time in a female human’s life when the woman carries a fetus in her womb. This is the natural outcome of a normal sexual intercourse where the sperm fertilizes an ovum making it an egg. The next 40 weeks of the female’s life are centered on the growth of the fetus. During this phase, there are a number of hormonal, musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic changes that occur in the female. Some of these changes as well as a lack of proper care taken can cause odd conditions like dizziness to occur.

The main cause of dizziness is the increased pressure on the cardiovascular systems. Though the volume of blood that is circulating in the system increases, this does not prevent a sudden decrease in blood pressure. Standing up too fast can cause a lightheaded feeling in most normal people even they are not pregnant. When you are pregnant, the heart has to work that much harder to push blood out of the extremities to higher portions of the body. In the split second that the heart and body takes to correct this imbalance one can experience giddiness. Improper nutrition during the period of pregnancy is also a cause of dizziness and is comparable to starving. This is because the fetus is using up most of the pregnant mother’s food resources and carbohydrate stores. During pregnancy, the pregnant mother’s body switches to the use of fat as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates, which are shifted to the fetus for use. This causes a mild case of diabetes during pregnancy as well; however, more importantly, the pregnant mother’s brain still requires the use of carbohydrates unless the brain is being fed by ketones – a fat derived glucose substitute. In either case, low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia will also cause dizziness. During a dizzy spell when pregnant, one has to increase the amount of sugar in the system by having a sugar rich drink. Iron deficiency is also a common problem that can cause dizziness. Iron is the main component of hemoglobin in the blood. This is what allows the blood to carry oxygen to various parts of the body. Iron deficiency can therefore cause dizziness due to an oxygen-starved brain.

There is also a more sinister possibility of dizziness as one of the possible symptoms of preeclampsia. This is a condition in which the pregnant mother’s body suddenly identifies the fetus as a foreign body and attempts to destroy the fetus. This is manifested with inflammatory responses and signs of high blood pressure. This can only be solved by prematurely delivering the fetus.