What Does It Mean If You Get Shortness of Breath and Dizziness After Eating?

Dizziness and shortness of breath after eating may be caused by postprandial hypotension, a condition that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure readings following food consumption, explains Mayo Clinic. Other causes of dizziness after eating are atherosclerosis, gastritis and foods that stress the digestive system, notes FoodPyramid.com.

The majority of people who suffer from postprandial hypotension are older adults, and the condition is especially prevalent in individuals with disorders of the autonomic nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease or high blood pressure, notes Mayo Clinic. The condition results from a large amount of blood moving to the digestive tract after consuming food. Normally, the body responds to this by constricting some blood vessels and increasing the heart rate to keep blood pressure at a normal level. This self-regulating process fails in the case of postprandial hypotension, producing symptoms of low blood pressure such as shallow breathing, dizziness or nausea.

Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by hardening of the blood vessels, leading to blockages in blood flow, explains FoodPyramid.com. The lack of blood flow can cause someone to feel dizzy and lethargic following a meal. Gastritis occurs when the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed due to large amounts of stomach acid. It can be triggered by excessive alcohol consumption, eating a lot of greasy foods, overeating or eating improperly prepared foods, and feeling dizzy or lightheaded after eating is a common symptom.