While it’s true that dizziness can mean different things to different people, one thing’s for sure: you’ve probably felt dizzy at one point or another. A common description is having the sensation of the room spinning — this is called vertigo. 1 Other symptoms of dizziness may include feeling faint or lightheaded, or losing your balance.
As many as four percent of all emergency room visits are due to dizziness or vertigo. 2 Dizziness is a common complaint for people of all ages, though your chances for experiencing dizziness increase with age. An estimated 40 percent of patients over 40 years old have experienced dizziness or vertigo. 3 Dizziness can lead to falls, especially for seniors, so it’s important to find a solution for dizziness that works for you.
What’s the Cause of Feeling Dizzy?
In order to stop feeling dizzy, you first need to figure out what’s causing it. If you feel dizzy when standing up, your dizziness may be caused by a drop in blood pressure. 4 When you sit, blood can concentrate in your lower body. That decreases blood flow to the brain, which can cause you to feel dizzy upon standing. Additionally, certain serious medical conditions may also cause a blood pressure drop, and trigger lightheadedness. 5
Your inner ear also affects dizziness. You see, your sense of balance depends on the information collected by your eyes, inner ears, and the sensory nerves to your brain. 6 Sometimes the inner ear sends signals that don’t align with what your eyes and sensory nerves are receiving. So your brain becomes confused, and it may feel like the room is spinning.
Other causes of dizziness include migraine headaches, side effects from medication, nutritional deficiencies, and becoming overheated.
Luckily, there are natural ways to combat dizziness and vertigo:
Vitamin D works with calcium to help build healthy bones. A 2013 study from Austria found a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and vertigo. 7 When participants who experienced vertigo took a vitamin D supplement, their vertigo episodes did not recur.
The root of the ginger plant has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years. It may help relieve symptoms of vertigo. 8 In a clinical study of eight volunteers, ginger was found to significantly reduce vertigo. You can take ginger as a supplement, or add fresh ginger to juices, smoothies, and stir-fries.
Iron is a mineral your body needs to stay healthy. If you don’t get enough, your body can’t produce the amount of red blood cells it needs, which causes a condition called anemia. Dizziness can be a symptom of iron-deficiency anemia. 9 Iron occurs naturally in foods such as meats, beans, legumes, spinach, and nuts, and can also be found as a supplement.
Many people with dizziness benefit from physical therapy. A physical therapist usually recommends an exercise and movement program focusing on balance retraining. 10 Research from several sources, including a 1993 study published in BJM, found that physical therapy can help reduce dizziness and vertigo. 11 To try this method, find a physical therapist who is trained in vestibular rehabilitation.
Dehydration and overheating can cause dizziness. 12 Make sure to drink water whenever you’re thirsty, consuming more when the weather is hot, or if you’re working out. Caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate you, so limit or avoid these beverages. Also, limit outdoor workouts to early mornings or evenings, when temperatures are cooler.
Manage Stress and Anxiety
Stress can have many negative effects on your body, including making you dizzy. Research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that many patients who complain of dizziness also suffer from anxiety. Good mental health habits may help cut down on dizziness. Learn how to deal with stress in positive ways, such as exercise and meditation. If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, it’s important to seek treatment. 13
When to See a Doctor
Many people experience occasional dizziness, and it’s usually not serious. However, if your dizziness is accompanied by severe symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, loss of consciousness, injury to the head, numbness, chest pain, or shortness of breath, you should seek medical attention immediately. 14 Patients with recurring dizziness should also make an appointment with their doctor.
Dizziness is an uncomfortable feeling experienced by many people. Be sure to follow a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and do your best to reduce stress levels. All of these natural remedies may help you find much-needed relief.
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