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Please read our Golden Rules of self help before considering the information on this page.
Do you some times feel that the world has started spinning around you and you need to hold on to something for fear of falling over? It appears that there are two types of patients who suffer common bouts of dizziness: elderly ones and young active women.
What sort of dizzy spells?
A dizzy spell is not just that. There are many causes for feeling dizzy. In order to receive the correct treatment, you need to actually keep tabs on your dizzy spells:
- How often do you get them? Daily? Weekly? Once a month?
- When did they start.
- What do you usually do when they occur?
- Do you get them when get up quickly?
- When you turn suddenly?
- When you are upset or anxious?
- During menstruation?
- And here is a really important one: are you taking any medication?
Dizziness is the side effect of many drugs or of a combination of
Let's look at the senior citizens first. There are so many older people struggling with dizziness that many doctors dismiss it as the inevitable consequence of clocking up years. This response could be a very big mistake.
Dizziness can be caused by degeneration of the canals located in the inner ear. Viral infections as well as injury can be responsible for this. Of course the older one gets the more damage occur, there is no getting away from that.
However, dizziness can be caused by other disorders that do respond to treatment. Such as:
- Cardio-vascular illnesses: such as coronary-artery disease
- A slow heart beat
- Damaged blood vessels in the brain
- Joint disease in the neck.
You should go to your practitioner with answers to the questions above in order to work out the proper treatment. You may need some tests that only a GP can organise for you. When a cause has been tracked down you may want to use some natural remedies to help you.
In the case where the problem is a circulatory one you can take very safe herbs such as Hawthorn, Lesser Periwinkle, Motherwort or Linden flowers. All these can be taken as tea.
You should also take more vitamin C with bioflavonoids and small amount of vitamin E (not more than 100mg a day).
For problem with the neck: you can see an osteopath, an acupuncturist, and/ or take herbs such as Devils Claw and Pennywort.
Exercise such as Tai Chi is excellent for the balance as is the
Alexander Technique semi-supine position (see It's Only Natural: week
With young women we can rule out degenerative problems and also many of the cardio-vascular problems. The extra questions you should be asking yourself are:
Did I eat breakfast?
Did I eat lunch?
Did I go and exercise –such as the gym or jogging- straight after a hard day's work?
Have I taken care of every body in the world (kids, husband, sick aunty, the boss) except myself?
My experience is that too many women have an appalling diet. If you run on empty all day, getting dizzy is the way your body tells you to refill. If you suffer from low blood pressure, low blood sugar or low iron you will be dizzy.
By all means go and check that you do not have a brain tumour – or anything else you may be worried about. But if your dizziness is a simple case of self-neglect then it is important that you treat your body well so that it does not switch off on you:
Have breakfast and include a some protein in it.
Take time to have a proper lunch –not a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar.
Make sure you have enough iron in your diet.
Keep you neck loose, both nervous tension and repetitive work –on the computer or otherwise- will tense your neck and block blood flow to the head. The above advice on the neck applies to everyone.
Rest and relax. If you have worked hard all day, don't beat up your body further with hard exercise. If you pass out at the gum or out jogging, you deserve it.
Now, here is a little advice which, coming from me, will knock your socks off:
I'd much rather see a patient of mine, who is hard working and stressed out, go home, kick off their shoes and have a glass of wine or a hot chocolate (especially if they are in the bath at the time), than to see them put on their running shoes and commit slow suicide.
Told you it would knock your socks off!