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Dizzy Spells

GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Registered User Posts: 5,440 Senior Member
edited September 2010 in Parent Cafe
My 80 year old father fainted last week in the middle of the night going to the restroom. Mom got him to the emergency room and they determined that he was 50% dehydrated. They put him on IV fluids to plump him back up, and he was kept just to be on the safe side. 36 hours later when my mom thought he would be discharged, she arrived at the hospital to find he was getting blood. He ended up with 3 pints of blood in addition to the IV fluids. How the heck does one need three pints? They kept him a couple of more days to see if he was bleeding somewhere. He got a colonoscopy, an upper GI, an MRI (he has Parkinsons) and all tests were negative. He does have vertigo, and has meds for it, but they say his blood pressure is dropping when he stands up. It is frustrating when there is obviously a problem, but no clear cut reason can be found. Have any of you had elderly parents with dizzy spells, sometimes several a day? He is still having them after being discharged from the hospital. He has an appointment with the neurologist next week and I am hoping for answers. My parents are supposed to be going to visit my D at school in 10 days (my dad has never been) and we are playing it day by day on whether he can make the trip or not.
Post edited by GA2012MOM on

Replies to: Dizzy Spells

  • ilovedcollegeilovedcollege Registered User Posts: 429 Member
    Stuff happen when you are 80. My dad is right there....my folks had to cancel an Alaskan cruise due to a 3 week visit to the hospital by dad in July.

    Everything is tentative with them. We just all go with the flow---including doctors appointments and diagnosis's. Sounds like you are going down the right path.....just remember it is the "practice" of medicine. Sometimes it just takes a long time to rule stuff out before finding "the cause"!

    Hang in there!
  • MansfieldMansfield Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    GA2012MOM, I hear you. My 81 year old father has Parkinsons and also complains of dizziness. He's on meds for low blood pressure, but I'm not sure the low BP is really the root of the dizziness. Most days he also complains about being very weak and having no energy. I was wondering if he might be slightly dehydrated as well. His neurologist hasn't been much help with the symptoms. He just tells my dad that this happens with Parkinsons. Its very frustrating and very scary when they start to faint and fall.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime - Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    Mom (94) was put on a new BP medicine. I told her split the pill in half (OK by pharm) and to take half 2x/day. Never can tell about BP and pills for older people. She needs to have a walker or hand rails everywhere.
  • worknprogress2worknprogress2 Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    I have absolutely no medical background, but I accompany my mom, dad, m-in-law, and another elderly couple to all appointments. Here's what it sounds like was going on when he passed out in hospital:

    Orthostatic hypotension - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I know as we age our arteries are less supple so the blood tends to pool and thus when we stand we get light-headed.

    It is also aggravated for men when they urinate, as that can cause a drop in BP as well. It is not uncommon for elderly men to get very light-headed and faint at night when they get up to urinate.

    Vertigo is a little different and may be caused by medication or just the crystals getting out of whack in inner ear causing BVVP. Manipulation of a person's head can bring relief.

    So - I would ask your dad if he is dizzy or was the light-headed incident something different. Most MD's don't seem to treat BVVP, although most Physical Therapists do. Actually, this is incredible but you can actually find the treatment online and if your dad trusts you, you can move his head and if he gets relief - it was BVVP, if not well then it may be something more serious. Unfortunately, most times when you visit the neurologist, first they do an MRI or CAT scan and if it is negative, THEN send you to physical therapist.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,512 Senior Member
    I have vertigo, though I am great at avoiding the triggers. I also have low BP & have been told that my BP drops when I stand. I do have to drink often.

    I am not 80+ and this began when I was in my 20s, I have to be quite aware of how I am feeling and can successfully manage it. For example in yoga I could easily pass out if I were not self-monitoring.

    It could be your Dad needs some conscious adjustment to his situation? I saw this in my mother, she did not instinctively compensate and needed guidance to help her make those adjustments.
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