Can Low Vitamin D Cause Dizziness?

Updated October 10, 2022
Young woman sitting on the bed feeling dizzy

If you feel dizzy on a regular basis, there's often a good explanation as to why this unpleasant side effect is happening to you. There are several things that can cause dizziness, but sometimes it is simply a lack of certain nutrients, like vitamin D. Low vitamin D can cause several different symptoms - including dizziness.

How Vitamin D Deficiency Is Linked to Dizziness

Research published in 2018 showed that about 40% of participants involved in a study that included 4962 participants were at risk for developing vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D is linked to several health conditions like low bone density, rickets, osteomalacia, even diabetes and high blood pressure. And a vitamin D deficiency is also associated with a variety of symptoms.

Vertigo

Vertigo is a debilitating condition that can come on suddenly. If you are low on vitamin D, you might have a higher risk of developing a form of vertigo known as benign positional paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV). Several studies have found a link between BPPV and low vitamin D.

One such study published in 2013 in the Journal of Neurology found low blood levels of vitamin D may put you at risk for developing BPPV. Another 2016 study found improvements in blood levels of vitamin D reduce the occurrence of BPPV. Likewise, a third study published in 2015 found low vitamin D levels are indeed related BPPV and low bone density.

Why vitamin D is linked to dizziness isn't entirely clear, but some theories do exist. The Vitamin D Council notes vitamin D receptors found in the inner ear probably regulate calcium crystals (also found in the inner ear), which help your body sense balance and motion. However, more research is needed to determine the exact cause and effect relationship between low vitamin D and dizziness.

So, if you're suffering from vertigo and feeling dizzy, it might be time to get your blood vitamin D levels checked. If vertigo is indeed due to vitamin D deficiency, once your levels are back to normal, the dizziness should subside. This process could take up to several months, depending on how low your vitamin D levels are. Taking a vitamin D supplement may help you to normalize vitamin D levels when you are deficient.

High Blood Pressure

Low vitamin D is also linked to hypertension. According to a 2017 Cureus study, vitamin D plays an indirect role in the modulation of blood pressure. Additionally, another published study suggested that dizziness is a symptom of hypertension. However, more research is needed in this area to understand the link between the two.

Parkinson's Disease

Low vitamin D is associated with some health conditions that have dizziness as a side effect, creating an indirect correlation. For instance, there is a high prevalence of low vitamin D noted with Parkinson's disease, according to Frontiers of Neurology. If you have Parkinson's disease, you might experience dizziness as a symptom, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

However, The Frontiers study advised that the link between Parkinson's and vitamin D remains unclear, and further research is needed to understand if vitamin supplementation would be helpful.

High Vitamin D Levels and Dizziness

It may be tough to determine the cause of your dizziness, even if it's vitamin D related. This is because getting too much vitamin D from supplements can also lead to lightheadedness. Medline notes excess vitamin D in your body can cause a condition called hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your blood), and a symptom of hypercalcemia is dizziness.

Other Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness is a vague symptom. So, low vitamin D might not be the culprit. Just a few other causes of dizziness listed by Mayo Clinic include:

  • Anemia (low iron levels)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Being overheated
  • Certain medications
  • Dehydration
  • Infection
  • Low blood sugar
  • Meniere's disease (buildup of fluid in the inner ear)
  • Migraines
  • Neurological conditions
  • Poor circulation

Any sign of dizziness is a good reason to see your healthcare professional since it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. You can get your vitamin D levels checked to determine if dizziness is related to low vitamin D. Your healthcare professional can also help determine the cause of vitamin D deficiency and the appropriate course of treatment.

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Can Low Vitamin D Cause Dizziness?