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Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
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Avatar universal

Dizziness when eating

Whenever I start to chew the first one or two bites of food, I experience a sense of dizziness.  The room around me doesn't spin, but it kind of feels like I'm spinning inside my head.  It goes away after 2-5 seconds, and usually happens only once during the meal, with the first bite or two.  I can be eating soft or hard foods, doesn't matter.  I can hold my head still or look down at my plate and it doesn't matter.  I don't feel it any other time at all, only when I chew something.  I don't have any other symptoms.  I'm not on any type of medications.  I had a stapedectomy 2 years ago to correct hearing in my right ear.  I just had a balance testing done because I am planning on having a stapedectomy in my left ear now to correct that hearing, and the balance testing came back perfectly normal.  I can't find anything on the web about this, other people that experience it, or what might be causing it.  Any suggestions?

-JAH
214 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm wondering if you could have a food allergy like Celiac Disease? Does it occur when you eat wheat or gluten? Or it could be TMJ...do you have problems with your jaw? I've heard of that causing dizziness before. It might also be caused by your ears.
Avatar universal
In my opinion, vascular abnormality could be a reason for your symptoms. Subclavian steal syndrome is a example. A patient may feel dizziness( decreased blood flow of vertebral artery) while he moving his arm( need more blood).
Maybe similar mechanism occurs while chewing foods.
Avatar universal
dreemilyn-
As far as I know, I have no known allergies of any kind.  This occurs when I eat foods from any of the food groups (including chocolate!)  ;) so I don't think it's related to a particular type of food or ingredient.  I don't have any pain in my jaw so my ear doctor said he didn't think it was TMJ.  He also didn't think it was caused by loose crystals or stones in my ears either, since it doesn't happen every time I tip my head down or to the side, and I can be holding my head perfectly still and still have it happen.  Thank you for your suggestions tho!

1286K-
Thanks for this idea too.  I will mention it to my doctor and see what kind of testing can be done to check for it.

-JAH
Avatar universal
does it happen when you chew gum?
Avatar universal
I really don't know as I rarely chew gum.  I'll test it out tho and get back to you!  :)
Avatar universal
Nope, it doesn't seem to happen while I'm chewing gum... wierd......
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Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms.  It just happend a few minutes ago and I googled the web and your blog came up.  The dizziness just began within the past 4 months.  I do not get dizzy at the beginning of every meal; but I would guess over 75% of them lately.  I'll start trying to track when it happens.  It only happens when I take the first few bites too.
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms......Only on the first bite of food and happens about 90% of the time. Happens at all meals/snacks and is very frustrating. I havent gone to the doctor because I figure he will not be able to tell me anything seeing as this is a wierd problem. I will make an appointment, but I dont expect answers. Either way it is good to see others with this problem.
Avatar universal
Just to add to above.....I am 26 years old. Figured we could get a reference to ages this is afflicting.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your input and sorry I've forgotten to check back in until now.  This is wierd, but I haven't had any dizziness since I posted back in July now.  I did become pg in July, so I'm wondering if I changed habits or something due to that, maybe?  I'm glad I haven't had anymore dizziness, of course, but I really wish I could figure out what was causing it, especially since now I know I'm not the only one it affects.  Hopefully it'll stay gone...?  I'm 41, for the age reference, too.  Feel free to keep this post going - hopefully someone will come up with an answer for all of us!  I'll check back later.....
Avatar universal
Weird.  This happens to me too.  But it only happens after a night of drinking.  My first few bites of food, I get really dizzy for a few seconds.
Avatar universal
I have the same issue. I'm a 23 year old female. No significant health issues, not on any meds, average health. And it is only in the first few bites of food. And happens almost instantaneously when the food touches my mouth in the first bite. Sometimes, but pretty rarely, I have vertigo, a few times so severe it knocks me right out of my chair if I'm sitting (completely still) or to the ground if I'm standing or walking. But its rare enough it certainly hasn't been a concern of mine. This issue just started about 6 months ago for me though. And I have not found any answers either, it's frustrating.
Avatar universal
I am a 29 yr old female and have been experiencing the same symptoms as the above. Mine started about three days ago and it has gotten to be very bothersome. I feel general weakness and tiredness. Any noise is bothersome and irritating. I had an ear infection about 2 months ago, and took the antibiotics for it. The dizziness is usually constant but is worse as soon as I start eating. I went to the doctor yesterday but she doesn't seem to find a problem. If anyone has any kind of information please let me know.
Avatar universal
I have exactly the same, started in the last few months. I am 37. My doctor ran blood tests and there was nothing abnormal. The only thing she could suggest was stress, as work is busy and we are about to move house and country. Seems to be getting worse though, Happens with the first sip of alcoholic drink too sometimes.
Avatar universal
I'm a 25 yr old female and the same thing has been happening to me for over a year now. It started only after I would work out and then eat but now it happens even if I haven't just worked out. Its only the first few bites as well. I have never asked the dr about it and I just started looking on the internet to try to figure it ou.
Avatar universal
I can't believe that I found this blog!  I am a 51 year old female and I have had the same exact syptoms for about 8 months now.  And, as the others have posted, I only have this slight dizziness or lightheadedness when I eat the first few bites...it goes away before I finish swallowing maybe the second bite.  It is the weirdest thing!  I am going to my doctor next Friday, September 5th, 2008 and I will ask her of this symptom.  I'll post the answer to my questions after (and IF) I get them.

I asked a massage therapist if she has heard of anyone ever complaining of this symptom and she had never, but she mentioned that it might be a nerve of some kind that is located in the back of the throat and the food entering the esophagus, may trigger the symptoms.  But I think (if I can remember correctly) that as soon as I take a bite and before I swallow is the time that the first dizziness is felt.  I'll have to test it at lunchtime!  :-)
Avatar universal
I feel better for reading this - i have exactly the same symptoms and have had for a couple of years.   I have also had a double stapedectomy so i suspect this must be a clue to it.  have been through various tests with no resolution so am living with it for now.  the intensity varies as well - right now its quite severe after several months not really noticing it.  if it is to do with the stapedectomy, however, the joy of having my hearing restored far outweighs the inconvenience for me.  hope yours was successful.

hfs
Avatar universal
I have never had a stapedectomy, nor anything done to my ears.  My doctor was stumped when I told her of my symptoms.  She recommended that I see a neurologist, since she agreed with me that it could not be due to anything internal because the food has not had a chance to digest yet when I feel the symptoms.  I don't know when I'm going to see the neurologist, but will follow up here when completed.
621973 tn?1221586213
I too have been getting dizzy in my head when I first start to eat.  I'm a 27yr old female with no known health problems or anything going on with my ears, although now that I think of it my hearing could be better...  It started maybe 3 months ago.  It always goes away after the 1st couple bites, but now its happening more and more often so I decided to look it up.  I've been thinking its more like a chemical response...like something in my body triggering the dizziness at the thought of getting food.  Does that make sense??  And more importantly how can I stop it from happening?!?!  Pls comment back!
Avatar universal
The only thing with it being a chemical response is that the food does not have the chance to go into the bloodstream with the 1st and 2nd bites.  I don't think it would have time to even think about going into your blood to cause a chemical reaction.  One thing that I have been doing is keeping track when it happens and with what kind of foods.  Some days, it does not seem to happen at all, but other days, it happens every time I eat.  I take supplements by swallowing, but it does not happen then; nor with gum.  I am otherwise very healthy, but need to lose about 30-40 pounds.  My appointment with a neurologist is on October 14...I will post more then.
Avatar universal
I am a 46 year old male and have begun to experience this exact same thing. Dizziness on first bite, goes away.  Occurring more frequently lately.  Has anyone found a solution?
Avatar universal
OK...
I went to the neurologist and she found nothing wrong with me, nor has she heard of anyone else having that symptom.  She recommended that I write down EVERYTHING that I eat, since it could have something to do with what I ate previously as well.  She also stated that since I have no other major symptoms, that I should not worry about it and if it does not go away, to come back and see her in 6 months.  She DID confirm that I had TMJ syndrome, but I do not have much pain at all with it (someone told me that dizziness is one symptom of TMJ Syndrome).  So the mystery continues to be unresolved.  I'm back at square one asking you all if you have had any other diagnoses?
Avatar universal
I've have the exact same issue for a couple months.  "head rush" upon the 1st couple bites of food about 60-70% of the time, occasionally happening upon subsequent bites during a meal.  I'm 45 and male.  I just had minor dental work and dentist says I grind my teeth (never knew), but doubts TMJ due to no other symptoms.  Let's all share the answers if and when we get them.  Dentist recommended checking blood pressure and inner ear.
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