Light-headed and dizzy after gastric bypass surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  

Adam S. (a patient from Alto, GA)

Dizzy After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Dizzy After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Has any one had issues with light headedness or dizzyness after gastric bypass surgery?

Could it be a vitamin issue or diet issue?

It is concerning me because of how often it is happening, about 3 or more times a week.


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Light-headed and Dizzy after Gastric Bypass Surgery

by: Dr. Alberto Aceves

HI Karen,

If you are not getting the answers you need from your doctors it might be a good idea to find a new one that will go further to help you.    

My recommendation would be to get some labs done to check everything. Even though you are taking your supplements and eating right you may still be lacking something important in your diet that is making you dizzy.  

The reason might also be totally unrelated to your bypass surgery. Sometimes the answer is not as obvious as dehydration, low blood pressure, or anemia and further testing is needed.  

Dr. Alberto Aceves

(click here for Dr. Aceves' full bio & contact info)

Dr. Alberto Aceves

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.


Related Pages:
- Gastric bypass side effects


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Dizzy & Seeing Flashes

by: The Wife

My husband is post 4 years and these "episodes" have been occuring off and on for the entire time. I read all the comments and his episodes are similar, only he sees these light flashes that make him dizzy (or light is possibly reflecting in his glasses).

Also, he will frequently have an "episode" that's described as feeling hungry/ he needs to eat. He eats several bananas or a protein shake and it goes away soon....while these things are happening, his pulse is high!

He takes his vitamins every day and tests have been normal. He does not drink a lot of water.


by: Cindy

After no dizzy spells at all for about 9 months (and over the summer) I suddenly started again with a faint flicker in my head that gradually got stronger over a couple of weeks. During the initial spells I had a brain scan and a heart monitor and they found nothing. While pondering this, my son suggested dehydration.

I WAS drinking a LOT more in the warmer weather so I immediately started drinking more. Blood tests also found I was very low on vitamin D. I had been very weak and very breathless and knew it was not my asthma flaring up. I had this once before since surgery also. Immediately started on vitamin D.

I am happy to say the dizzy spells stopped immediately after drinking more, and the weakness stopped with the vitamin D.

So everybody remember to drink lots and take your vitamins without fail. They are both extremely important!!!


by: Nicole

I am exactly the same as Karen.

My dizziness progressed from standing up and about three seconds later the dizziness kicks in and lasts about 3 seconds. I now get it when I lay down in bed and if I tilt my head back. They think my neck is out, I may have meniere's disease, a virus causing dizziness.

I am so confused. I had my surgery 15 months ago and this has been going on for 9 months. I eat well, drink water... my doctors can't seem to explain it.


Dizzy after gastric bypass...

by: Cindy

Within a few months of surgery I had a couple of very minor dizzy spells, more like a small loss of attention. About 10 months after surgery they started getting stronger and more frequent. I would just hold on to something until it passed.

One day I hit the floor at the grocery store. I have always had low iron so I thought it was that. Blood tests, cat scan, and 3 days on a heart monitor said I was fine. My dizzy spells got stronger and more frequent. I would not drive my car, it was definitely totally unsafe! During the dizzy spells I felt like I was 'zoning out'. A friend said it almost looked like a seizure, and I thought maybe she was right! I started being really serious with my vitamins, taking B12, D, iron, calcium, and a multi vitamin.

I also take Prozac and 2 blood pressure pills. The spells gradually got milder and less frequent, until they were gone, and I've been fine maybe 7 months.

Problem solved? Nope.

A couple of weeks ago I felt a mild blip and knew right away what it was. So far I haven't had a 'real' dizzy spell, or any sign of zoning out, but definitely worried they're coming back. My son read something saying blackouts are fairly common after the surgery and are caused by the pancreas. I'm definitely going to read up on that!

Has anybody else had serious dizzy/blackout spells? What did you do about it?

Syncope after gastric bypass

by: Anonymous

Google "syncope and gastric bypass." There is a paper published in 2008 that reviewed orthostatic intolerance after gastric bypass surgery. We have seen 5 cases in our electrophysiology clinic in the last year.

- A cardiology fellow

I think I made a mistake!!

by: Karen

I had gastric bypass surgery in Dec, 2012. I have lost weight. BUT...When I lay back, tilt my head back or get into bed lying down...I get very dizzy, as if the room is spinning. When I sit up fast, I get dizzy too.

NO! I am not dehydrated. YES! I am taking all my pills and eating right. ANY Suggestions? I have talked to my Primary and Surgeon....All I get is...It takes time...keep drinking water.

That is not the cause...I KNOW IT!

Major Diziness & Fainting

by: Anonymous


I am exactly 1 year post for the full gastric bypass. I am also 4 months pregnant. For the last 4 months I have continued to lose weight, 20 pounds to be exact. In total I have lost 108 pounds and I am now 223 lbs. Every single day, several times a day I feel faint. I have even passed out in my home twice, and rushed to the hospital to make sure the baby is okay.

Most times I catch my falls by holding the wall or stopping at the couch on my way to the kitchen. This has only happened since I became pregnant. I also am not able to eat as much from before the pregnancy, and I do eat slow, but feel very sick shortly after the first two swallows.

I have seen my surgeon, GYN, and Endocrinologist, and no one has given me an answer. I take Calcium, B12, Prenatals, Iron, Folic Acid, and vitamin D. I drink a lot of ice cold water too! I even quit my job because I feel so weak. My husband is upset because I can't cook, clean, or even do laundry, my energy level is very low and every time I stand I hold walls to stay up. I begin a new job next Friday.

It's an office job so I will be sitting and I hope this works out for me because we have bills to pay. Thanks for any insight!

Dizzy spells occur

by: Anonymous

Many people experience dizziness following surgery, which especially occurs when standing up from a seated position. For me, increase in water intake, making sure I am eating enough calories and protein to sustain my exercise routine, and replacing electrolytes with G2 (Gatorade) has reduced my dizziness.

Used to feel like I would faint, now the dizziness lasts only 1 or 2 seconds. Hope this helps.

Nearly everyone I have spoken to that has had the surgery experiences some type of dizziness.

Blood Pressure?

by: Lap Band Groupie

Hi Adam.

Hope you've contacted your Dr. by now, but I just want to mention blood pressure.

I was on BP meds for high BP and after surgery and losing some weight (I had the Lap Band) I actually fainted twice. Found out my BP was probably too low and they took me off the meds (and I wasn't getting enough water in, which can also cause dizziness).

Hope you get this solved quickly.


by: dorothy

I have what I can only desribe as an unsteadiness - sort of like a slight stagger (as if I'd had 1 glass of wine too many). It happens anytime.

I am diabetic but have been for 20 years now and didn't notice this before my bypass, which I had done in 2009.


by: Yvonne McCarthy

The number one most important thing is to contact your doctor. I am not a doctor and don't play one of TV but there are a few things that I've come across...You didn't say how far out you are but you might need to get labs done to see if your levels are OK.

Are you taking vitamins? Have you ever had any labs done? I know guys tend to not like to do that stuff but it's really important.

There's one more thing I've heard of but I don't want to get into that yet. Anyway...let me know what surgery, how long ago, and if you've done labs recently, or at all, and are you taking vitamins OK?

see a cardiologist

by: LaTonya

I found out today in a follow up appointment 5 months after gastric bypass sleeve surgery that this is happening, rare but I've had dizzy spells that turned into fainting. It is not blood pressure or blood sugar, dehydration, protein levels because they are all great.

And, I have to see a cardiologist and have a test done to be diagnosed and treated like other patients for "neurocardiogenic syncope" if you are having problems check it out.

Passing out

by: Sandra

I'm 15 months out from Gastric bypass and I've had extreme thirst then passed out twice. First time was four months ago. Had all the work up (cardio, neuro) and the bariatric doctor said nothing was wrong with me.

I have increased my water intake hoping this will solve it.

Any suggestions?


by: Janette

It is related to low blood sugar. Try to not eat sugar in the evenings mostly. And, of course, drink a lot of water all the time.

Dizziness, Faint, Lightheadedness

by: Albuquerque NM

I am a 50 year old black female and I had Gastric bypass surgery in October 2016. Now 9 months post-op weight loss surgery, I don't know what triggered this new onset of dizzy spells.

These past couple of months I began to experience unexplained dizziness mostly from lying down to standing. I now sit upright on the edge of my bed a few minutes before getting up & this seems to help somewhat but I have the need to hold on to something until it passes.

I also become light-headed after sitting for long periods of time at my desk at work. I get dizzy if I bend or stoop over, tilt my head when shampooing my hair, etc, as though I’m gonna faint or pass-out.

I’m confused, as I believe I am consuming enough liquids, taking my B.P. meds and daily bariatric vitamins.

I even get woozy when I cough. I haven’t discussed this with my PCP or Gastric Surgeon yet, just buying time to see if it will eventually go away. In the meantime I’ll increase my water intake and see if this helps.


by: JAC in So Calif

Only 10 weeks post bariatric sleeve, and have done blood work, seen my GP for another opinion. We have corrected BP med dosage, special vitamins, and antibiotics w steroid treatment for middle ear infection. Finally went to my Eye Doctor, who explained that the rapid weight loss, and the sudden drop in the level of SUGAR in your diet will change your eye sight!!

The liquid that surrounds the eyes contain sugar, so when the amount of sugar changes so does the shape of the eye's lens. I had started to get dizzy looking up from my desk laptop. My prescription for my eye sight has shifted dramatically, and he warned that because I'm not done losing weight it will probably shift again. Can't wait for new glasses. Keep asking questions...

Fainting - near fainting episodes post Gastric Sleeve surgery

by: Jenna

I never had any incidents of fainting or feeling faint pre surgery. Had Gastric Sleeve 9-2015 and since that time have had a handful of fainting episodes. Saved from total passing out by sitting a few times. Passed out on the ground a few times.

I cannot understand why. I was a 35 BMI day of surgery and I was only a 36 the year prior- I have never had this issue and I am certain it's obviously related to surgery. I had surgery when I was 50 years old. Years birth to 50 no spells. 50yrs-53yrs, =5-6 spells.

I do not think it's linked to dehydration.

Bariatric patients and dizziness

by: Michele

Vasovagle Syncope. Google it.


by: William Peterson

Since VSG , 4 yrs ago, dizziness and lightheaded happen frequently..Had Drs. do tests, all negative..

At first I thought it was heat but now can't do any physical exercise without feeling faint..WTF...its crazy..I have read many of these comments and have increased Vit D and fluid intake..

Also noticed decline in strength and over all muscle tone..I was avid jock and excelled in I get dizzy after a few holes of golf!!! Used to use 35-50 lb dumbells now 20lbs are heavy. Anyone out there got answers?????

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