Ever enjoyed your long hot shower only to suddenly notice the ceiling is spinning and you feel dizzy?
Your dizziness may be so extreme that you end up feeling nauseous and may even become off balance.
Why does a hot shower or bath cause this dizziness and nausea, and is it harmful to your health?
Let’s find out!
What Causes You to Get Dizzy or Nauseous in the Shower or Bath
Hot water has the habit of diluting whatever is in it.
The heat and stimulation of the shower spray or flowing bathwater may cause your body to heat up. As a result, your blood thins, flowing faster.
This, in turn, increases your blood pressure, and with the added pressure of your faster flowing blood, your blood vessels open.
With your blood vessels open, your circulation speeds up more, your heart pumps faster, and your blood pressure rises.
The result of all this rushing blood is that your blood pressure increases, which places strain on your brainstem.
Dizziness follows, and with the increased circulation to your organs, your stomach may respond by sending signals to your brain that you are nauseous.
If you like to turn the shower on high, pummeling your body with shower spray, you may increase this effect, and nausea and disorientation may follow. Disorientation often triggers dizziness.
When taking a hot shower and feeling dizzy, you may not notice the effects immediately as you remain in an upright position.
However, with a hot bath, you may suddenly feel like you will faint if you get up and try to step out of the tub.
This is because the change in position may spur on your blood circulation even more, suddenly raising your blood pressure more.
In extreme cases, you may find that a hot bath or shower can even leave you with a throbbing headache or migraine.
Being lightheaded can lead to passing out or even muscle weakness as your body enters a state of anxiety with the increased blood pressure.
Other Reasons You May Feel Dizzy or Sick After a Shower or Bath
There are a few other reasons you may also end up feeling sick after showering or when you get out of the tub. These reasons include:
You may be dehydrated and a hot bath can further lower your blood pressure and remove essential fluids through your skin. This is also why you may have dry skin after a hot bath or shower.
- Low Blood Sugar
If you haven’t eaten enough and have a shower or bath, it may trigger a drop in blood sugar, which can lead to dizziness and nausea.
- Changing Your Medication
If you have recently gone onto new prescription medicine, you may find that heat and moisture from a shower or bath can trigger a drop in blood pressure, and this results in nausea and feeling faint.
- You Might Be Pregnant
During the early stages of pregnancy, a sudden increase of temperature can cause your blood pressure to rise or drop sharply, which can result in nausea and dizzy spells.
How to Prevent Fainting When Taking a Shower or Bathing
If you love a hot shower or bath, you may wonder if there are any ways that you can prevent fainting or nausea.
Try these ways to still enjoy a hot soak or steamy shower without feeling weak, dizzy, or sick.
Drink a Glass of Water a Few Minutes Before Your Shower or Bath
By hydrating, you ensure you don’t dehydrate too much from a hot shower or bath.
Rinse off With a Cold Shower
If a shower or bath leaves you feeling faint, then a cool shower can help return your body to normal.
This is why those who frequent saunas often finish their session with a cool rinse.
Have a Snack a Few Minutes Before Your Bath or Shower
If you know you tend to feel lightheaded before a shower or bath, try to have a snack or a cup of sweet tea to help balance your blood sugar before you soap up.
Take a Lukewarm Bath or Shower When You’re on New Medication
If your body is already going through changes due to new medications, then toning things down with a lukewarm shower or bath is a good idea.
While your body gets used to the chemical changes, be sure to give yourself a break and practice some self-care with a cooler temperature bath or shower.
Reduce Your Bath and Shower Time When Pregnant
If you are pregnant, you may find that hot water and steam may cause you to feel dizzy.
So by having a shorter shower or bath, your body will be less exposed to heat.
During pregnancy, it is better advised to have a cooler and shorter bath or shower.
Take a Seat After Your Shower or Bath
If you already know you will have a dizzy spell after a hot shower or bath, but you are addicted to your bath routine, then prepare for this by having a seat in your bathroom where you can sit and simply rest until your body has returned to normal.
You can use this opportunity to apply some nourishing body lotion and body oil, while also being restored from faintness.
Have Your Ears Checked
If you’ve ever had swimmer’s ears, you know how disorienting water in your inner ear can be.
When showering tends to make you dizzy, it could be a result of having shower water in your ear canal.
A simple cure would be to shower or bath with cotton ear plugs or swimmer’s ear plugs to avoid water entering the ear canal.
Install Safety Rails in Your Bathroom
Finally, if you know you are prone to dizzy spells, then it is a great idea to have some safety rails installed in your bathroom, specifically your shower and near your bath.
These can help prevent you from falling when you feel faint, and they can also help you maintain your balance when you feel nauseous.
You should be fresh and clean and safe in your bathroom at all times.