Dizzy when I turn my head/move too quickly

So, on Saturday night, I went out and had some celebratory drinks with my wife and some friends of hers… which was a bad idea, being it was only one day after I had broken my 14-day fast. Over the course of about 4.5 hours (8pm to 12:30am), I had 3 drinks (Crown and Water) separated by glasses of water. After which, I felt absolutely fine, but my wife wanted to stay out longer than I was really ready to, so I went home, took a shower, and then returned to the bar at closing time (2:00am) to pick her up and bring her home.

On walking into the bar, I began to feel nauseated. I told my wife I didn’t feel so good, then went into the bathroom, leaned on the sink… and then was being tipped onto my side on the floor, where I vomited a small amount, then felt absolutely okay. My wife had already called for EMTs, though, so I got to just lie there and wait. When the EMTs arrived, they had me get up and move to a barstool where they could check my blood pressure (low) and O2/pulse (good/little fast). Moving to the stool made me REALLY dizzy.

Long story short (too late!), I wound up in the ER for the next 5 hours or so, where they tested the hell out of me. I was somewhat dehydrated, electrolytes somewhat on the low side (unsurprising), they determined it was just a result of not being off my fast long enough, basically I didn’t have a buffer for my body to work with (or something to that effect). Essentially, keep eating, hydrate, stay healthy, etc.

Well, since that day, I get dizzy now when I turn my head too fast… or if I look up… or if I stand up from a chair or my bed too quickly. This morning, when my alarm went off, I was facing away from it, so turned over in bed to shut it off and got REALLY light-headed and dizzy, just for a few seconds. I’m beginning to wonder if I maybe hit my head during my little fainting spell on Saturday and I am having some after-effects from that. Probing my head with my fingers, I do find a sore spot on the back-right side of my head.

So, would this intermittent, triggerable dizziness be a possible sign of concussion?

(FYI, I have called and scheduled an appointment with my primary doc, she’s just not available until Wednesday, which is pretty typical around here.)

It could be a sign of an inner ear problem/infection, too.

Concussion? Did you hit your head? I don’t note any mention of head trauma in your narrative.

Sounds likely to be benign labyrinthitis to me; assuming your workup included a head scan to rule out 8th nerve tumors and other brain pathology. The balance mechanism in the inner ear (aka ‘the labyrinth’) oft gets a bit twitchy, sometimes due to viral infections which also cause colds, sometimes due to drug/medication effects (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine are common culprits), sometimes just for the hell of it.

I tell my patients who are dizzy to avoid the FACTS (Fatigue, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, salt) as those can also aggravate the symptoms. Medications for dizziness rarely will fix the actual dizziness, they just reduce the nausea associated with it.

However, check it out with your primary, who will have far more data on you than I do.

If the head trauma occurred, it was when I was no longer conscious. I was not very clear on the fainting bit- I was leaning over the sink one second (from my perspective) and being rolled onto my side on the ground the next… no recollection of anything in between. My wife said I was on the floor, and I was verbal when she first went into the bathroom, but was unable to recognize her, then my eyes glazed over (she legitimately thought she just watched me die, by her account), then I began to retch, she turned me over, and I vomited a small amount of clear fluid, then (from my perspective) a switch turned on and I was just fine.

They did not do any sort of head scan in the ER, just blood/urine samples, and lots of questions. One question was “Did you hit your head?”, and my wife and I just relayed the account above in answer to that.

If you move your head from one axis to another (like from right ear down to head straight up), does it trigger the dizziness?
If so, you may have Meniere’s disease, which is an annoying and unpleasant condition, but often resolves itself. I have had it twice - they act time a few months ago. It took around 3 weeks to go away.

See an ENT surgeon. They’ll be able to rule out the common problems that require surgery. Having the early diagnostic work done by a surgeon can dramatically speed up the process of finding an appropriate doctor and treatment plan.

I say this as someone who’s had major problems with her inner ear.

Alcohol can lower blood sugar when fasting since it inhibits gluconeogenesis. But I’m not sure if that would be an issue if you had been eating again.

I’d guess inner ear plays a role in what happened. I once listened to music on noise canceling headphones and really fucked my inner ear. It took a week before I could drive again.

Yeah, Labyrinthitis. I also got it after a night of drinking, or maybe that is when it became apparent. Next morning I felt sick, nauseas getting out of bed. I do not get hangovers. And then had little balance. Tried walking to the mailbox and that was a no go. Thought I had a stroke.

But no, inner ear infection. The effects of the vertigo took about 4 weeks to go away. See your doctor. Might be something as harmless as this or something else.

I am normally very healthy but I got my insurance money’s worth on that. CT scan, then they came out and asked what my insurance deductible was and I said $1000. “Oh, we already spent that! Let’s do and MRI.”

No stroke, no brain tumor, here is some antibiotics and you will gradually get better. Took a long time and then one day it was all gone.

Vertigo is something I hope to never experience again.

Out of curiosity, how old are you? Apparently age can play a part in vertigo as well. I’ve had that issue twice over the past two years and I’m 43 - sometimes I"ll be laying in bed and will turn my head real fast and it feels like the room is spinning. When I talked to my doctor about it, she said that it was pretty common. My mom had it for years and years as well.

The big concern I think would be the change in consciousness. I’m glad your wife called an EMT one way or the other - you can’t be too careful when it comes to your head.

I am 38, and this is definitely a first-time-ever type of thing.

I’ve had intermittent dizziness of varying severity since June, accompanied by increased tinnitus (what was occasional has become constant) and sometimes a feeling that my ears are blocked. Both a primary care doc and an ENT basically shrugged their shoulders and said, “I dunno.” (Of course, I wasn’t feeling dizzy the day I saw the ENT…sigh) To err on the side of caution, the ENT wrote an order for an MRI and told me to make an appointment the next time I had a “bad” day. I didn’t have another one for a month.

Since the dizziness returned it has been super sporadic and sometimes accompanied by congestion (there had never been any congestion before), and sometimes Sudafed helps so I haven’t felt bad enough for long enough to schedule the MRI yet. Plus, now the order is two months old. The last bad day was a week ago: my ears felt super blocked and the tinnitus – which apparently is permanent now – was extra loud, and I felt dizzy every time I moved. It only lasted a day, though. If I get a run of bad days that lasts long enough, I’ll start over with the ENT. But I can’t shake the feeling that there’s nothing modern medicine can do for me…which, frankly, is depressing at times.

(FWIW, I’m 47 and female.)

Perhaps when he fell to the bathroom floor?

That might do it.

Regardless, the OP’s best course is to follow up with his primary care provider, who ought to have access to these latest test results along with past medical info.

There’s a really simple, not at all bad, way this can happen. The ear stones just got out of alignment. Do the Epley maneuver.

This is a common problem after falls with an easy, do-it-yourself fix.

If this doesn’t work, then you can start worrying about the more serious stuff.

At first I thought “That sounds almost wooish!” but… I did try it, and it kicked my dizziness into high gear while doing it, but I do seem to be quite improved since then!

ftg wins the thread! The Epley maneuver is a totally legit medical maneuver that I’ve done on some patients, and shown them and others how to do it, though my success rate is more in the range of 50%. It’s never really inappropriate to try tho it works better with certain subsets of patients.

Yeah, if it strongly triggers the dizziness then that increases the odds that this is the exercise for you.

Just keep doing a few times a day until you’re fixed.