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Dizziness

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

I'm a 17 year old high school runner in my junior year. This year I've actually been experiencing dizzy spells that I get from running a hard work out or sometimes a race. It never happened to me my freshman or sophomore year, and it started in the 2010 Cross Country season. It started when I collapsed in the first cross country race, and was unable to finish. My quad muscles literally gave out, but I was extremely disoriented; it was near impossible to see straight, and about ten minutes after getting helped off the 5k course (100m from the finish line) I got this wicked head ache. There were only a handful of races that season where this didn't happen, although i was able to finish the ones where it did. My usual dizzy spell symptoms consist of not being able to see straight (it's easier to keep my eyes closed, and i blink rapidly), muscle fatigue (in my arms, almost like they need more circulation and my legs, where I almost trip over myself walking), nausea, an intense headache when the dizziness starts to subside for about 10 minutes, and a really dry mouth. I went to all sorts of doctors, where i ran multiple stress tests, had blood work done, had an EKG, and worn heart monitors and blood pressure machines throughout daily activities. It all came back normal. I then went to a nutritionist, and i told her how during the cross country season I had started drinking 5 bottles of water a day (in cause dehydration was what caused the dizziness). She then suggested I was lacking electrolytes, needed to cut back on the water (over-hydration), and needed more salt. By this time, cross Country was over and we were in my winter track season. This seemed to work, because I don't remember any bad dizzy spells. Yet now in Spring Track, this has started to come back during the workouts again (and once during the 1600 on a hot and muggy day). My family and I then wondered if it was my diet, seeing as typically I have a twenty minute lunch period at about 10:50 where I eat a sandwich, some pretzels and an apple. I then started eating a snack during the later period of my day, or right after school. But the dizzy spells still happen. I have been incredibly stressed with school and this problem; especially as I wanted to run a time this season that qualifies me to run division I in college. I would say my average hours of sleeping logged a night are about 6.5, but it's been like this for the majority of my high school career. Please please help me! Thank you

Answer

We can't give out medical advice, and never take medical advice online. I'd be happy to go over your situation with regard to your current training and racing offline. In terms of running, we would need to know a lot more. It could be a simple fix or it could be a complicated medical issue. Hopefully, we can speak via email.