ZocdocAnswersI am experiencing black-outs when I try to stand up for more than a few minutes and wonder what specialist I may need to see?

Question

I am experiencing black-outs when I try to stand up for more than a few minutes and wonder what specialist I may need to see?

I am a 60 year old retiree and not currently on any medications. I have recently (last couple of days)been experiencing black-outs unless I am lying down. I never feel bad but when I try to stand I get dizzy and fall, blacking out for a few minutes. I get up and lie down and all is fine. I blacked out once while on the toilet. I am anemic but no doctor has felt medication is necessary.

Answer

Dizziness and blacking out are very concerning symptoms in someone your age. You need to have someone take you to the emergency room immediately for evaluation. There are several possible causes of these symptoms. For example you say that you are anemic, and severe anemia can produce dizziness. Additionally, if you are bleeding somewhere, for example inside your gastrointestinal tract, this can be quite sudden and severe and lead to a life-threatening amount of blood loss. Another possibility would be a stroke, which is damage to nerves in the brain, and can present with dizziness, weakness, slurred speech, confusion, and related symptoms. Similarly a heart attack or a problem with the rhythm of the heart could produce dizziness like this, especially if you are also experience chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, or a sensation that your heart is racing or skipping beats. Although there are several benign causes of dizziness (such as an inflammation of the inner ear), the serious causes are likely enough that you absolutely must be evaluated as soon as possible by an emergency room doctor. Given the symptoms, you should not drive yourself, rather you should call an ambulance or have someone else drive you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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