Vertigo is a condition that causes feelings of being off-balance due to a sensation that the individual is moving around in space or that the room and objects in it are moving around the individual. If you have vertigo, you may feel as if you’re moving even when you’re standing completely still. Vertigo is not a fear of heights. Mild vertigo is common and not usually serious. However, vertigo that reoccurs or persists may be caused by an underlying health condition.
Without establishing what’s causing your vertigo and receiving appropriate treatment, you may keep having episodes of vertigo for many months or even years.
See your licensed health practitioner if you have recurrent or persistent vertigo. They’ll be able to confirm or rule out a more serious cause and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include:
- vestibular rehabilitation – a special exercise programme that encourages your brain to adapt to the abnormal messages sent from your ears
The symptoms of vertigo can be barely noticeable or so severe that the loss of balance prevents you from perfoming everyday tasks. Depending on the cause, an episode of vertigo may last several seconds, minutes, hours or days. If you have vertigo, your surroundings will appear to be moving vertically or horizontally, or you may feel that you’re spinning.
Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds or they may last much longer. If you have severe vertigo, your symptoms may be constant and last for several days, making normal life very difficult.
As well as the sensation that your surroundings are moving or spinning, the symptoms of vertigo may include:
- loss of balance
- nausea (feeling sick)
- vomiting (being sick)
- difficulty standing
- difficulty walking
Several different conditions can cause vertigo. Depending on the underlying cause, you may also experience:
- tinnitus – the perception of noise in one ear, both ears or inside your head; the noise comes from inside your body rather than from an outside source
- hearing loss
- symptoms of an infection, such as a high temperature
- nystagmus – where your eyes move uncontrollably, usually from side to side
The most common cause of vertigo is a problem with the balance mechanisms of the inner ear. However, it can also be due to a problem within the brain or the nerves.
The following are causes:
Labyrinthitis – This is an inner ear infection that causes a delicate structure deep inside your ear (the labyrinth) to become inflamed. The labyrinth is a maze of fluid-filled channels that control hearing and balance.
If the labyrinth becomes inflamed, the information it sends to your brain will be different from the information that’s sent from your unaffected ear and your eyes. This difference can make you feel dizzy or that you’re moving when you’re still.
Labyrinthitis is usually caused by a viral infection, such as the common cold or flu, which spreads to the labyrinth. Less commonly, it’s caused by a bacterial inner ear infection.
Vertigo that’s caused by an infection may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a high temperature or severe earache.
Vestibular neuronitis – Also known as vestibular neuritis, is an inner ear condition that causes nerve pain and inflammation. It can also cause attacks of vertigo that can last for several hours or days.
A viral infection can sometimes lead to vestibular neuronitis if the infection spreads to your vestibular nerve. The vestibular nerve is one of the nerves in your ear that’s used for balance. If your vertigo attacks are caused by vestibular neuronitis, they will often come on suddenly and can cause:
- nausea (feeling sick)
- vomiting (being sick)
You won’t usually have any hearing problems.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – Short, intense, recurrent attacks of vertigo (usually lasting less than 30 seconds) are often the result of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
BPPV can occur when you:
- turn your head suddenly
- roll over in bed
- look up
- stand up
- bend over
BPPV is often accompanied by nausea, although vomiting is rare. During the attack, you may also experience brief nystagmus. This is where your eyes move uncontrollably, usually from side to side. Light-headedness and a loss of balance can last for several minutes or hours after the attack. You won’t have tinnitus (ringing in your ears) or hearing loss.
BPPV is thought to be caused by small fragments of debris which, for unknown reasons, break off from the lining of the channels in your inner ear. The fragments don’t usually cause a problem unless they get into one of the ear’s fluid-filled canals.
When your head is still, the fragments sit at the bottom of the canal. However, certain head movements cause them to be swept along the fluid-filled canal where they brush against the sensitive hairs that line the canal. This sends extra, confusing messages to your brain, which responds by causing vertigo.
BPPV usually affects older people, with most cases occurring at around 50 years of age. However, it can sometimes affect younger people. BPPV may occur for no apparent reason, or it may develop after:
- an ear infection
- ear surgery
- a head injury
- prolonged bed rest – for example, while recovering from an illness
Attacks of BPPV can clear up within a few days, but many cases require treatment because it can keep reoccurring.
Ménière’s disease – Severe vertigo is sometimes caused by a rare condition called Ménière’s disease. As well as vertigo, the symptoms of Ménière’s disease include:
- hearing loss
- aural fullness (a feeling of pressure in your ear)
If you have Ménière’s disease, you may experience sudden attacks of vertigo that last from 20 minutes to 24 hours. The attacks often cause nausea and vomiting.
The tinnitus that’s associated with Ménière’s disease often gets worse over time. Initially, the hearing loss comes and goes, but it may eventually become permanent.
Head injury – Vertigo can sometimes develop after a head injury. If you have symptoms following a head injury, such as dizziness or vertigo, you should visit your licensed health practitioner as soon as possible. Alternatively, go to your nearest hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E) department.
Migraines – A migraine is a severe headache that’s usually felt as a throbbing pain at the front, or on one side, of your head. Some people also experience other symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light (photophobia). It’s thought that migraines may be one of the most common causes of vertigo.
As well as the conditions described above, vertigo may also occur as a side effect of some types of medication. Check the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine to see if vertigo is listed as a possible side effect.
Less common causes of vertigo include:
- a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA or ‘mini-stroke’) – the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or reduced
- multiple sclerosis – a condition that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)
- acoustic neuroma – a rare, non-cancerous (benign) brain tumour that grows on the acoustic nerve, which is the nerve that helps control hearing and balance
- a brain tumour in the cerebellum (which is located at the bottom of the brain)
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
www.grasslandbeef.com The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
- Avoid all sugars and simple, refined carbohydrates, as well as alcohol and coffee and other caffeine products
- Minimize your salt intake and use only pure sea salt, such as Real Salt. Try also Saltic Sea salt, Alaska Sea Salt, Cornish Sea Salt etc. Rotate the salts you use as they each contain different minerals.
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid alcohol
- Don not consume fried foods
Foods that are helpful in alleviating vertigo are basil, celery, chamomile, coconut, flax oil and pine nuts.
- Vitamin D has been shown to be a key factor in high blood pressure. Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day http:/// for periods of up to 4 weeks.
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C – plus bioflavonoids and rutin
- Vitamin E
- Coral calcium – link to site
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Magnesium – taken in powder form – www.therawfoodworld.com (from KT book)
- Adrenal glandulars
Hemp seeds – www.nutiva.com
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
- Meditation: Meditation has been scientifically shown to relieve stress, as well as to improve overall health and immune function, and to reduce the pain and suffering caused by chronic disease. In fact, in 1984, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended meditation as the more appropriate and effective choice for treating mild cases of high blood pressure, instead of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications. Meditation can offer new insights and improved coping strategies, better enabling you to meet the challenges of the day. Some types of meditation, such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), have even been shown to produce deeper states of physical relaxation than ordinary sleep.Although there are many types of meditation practices to choose from, all of them have one thing in common: focused attention on the breath. If you are new to meditation, you can begin by sitting up straight yet comfortably and closing your eyes. Place your attention on your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Each time you find your attention starting to wander, simply refocus on your breath. Though doing so may seem difficult initially, with practice it will become easier and easier, and you will easily spend 20 to 30 minutes meditating in this manner. The key is to be gentle with yourself and not force. At first, you may find yourself unable to sit still for more than a few minutes. If that is the case, don’t continue. Instead, each day seek to add to the length of your meditation practice until you reach your goal of 20 to 30 minutes per session.
- Relaxation Exercises: Practicing exercises that help your body and mind to relax can quickly release feelings of stress and tension. Here is an example of a relaxation exercise that you can easily make part of your daily health routine:
- Sit in a quiet room with dim lighting, with your feet flat on the ground.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Gently begin to breathe deeply in and out from your belly.
- Each time you exhale, mentally tell yourself “Relax.” Do this for a few moments, until you feel a wave of relaxation starting to move through your body.
- Now place your attention on your head, jaw, and face. As you continue breathing, direct the wave of relaxation throughout all the muscles of your face and jaw, including the eyes, then over your scalp and along your head, down to the base of your neck.
- Now tense your facial, jaw, and eye muscles for a few seconds, before relaxing them.
- Repeat this process with each remaining part of your body, beginning with your shoulders, back, arms, and hands, then moving down to your chest, abdomen, pelvis, thighs and upper legs, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Be sure each area of your body becomes more relaxed before you move your attention to the next area.
- Once you have proceeded all the way to your toes, continue to sit with your eyes closed for a few more minutes, still breathing gently in and out of your belly, allowing your feelings of relaxation to deepen.
- Just before opening your eyes, allow your breathing to become deeper and fuller, feeling a wave of energy passing through you. Once you feel vitalized, open your eyes and return to your daily activities.
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Acupuncture and its benefits in treating vertigo: www.longmontacupuncture.net/vertigo.html
TCM and treating vertigo: www.pingminghealth.com/article/275/clinical-origins-and-treatment-of-vertigo
Treating vertigo with ginger: www.peoplespharmacy.com/2007/10/18/ginger-to-treat
Home Ayurveda therapies for vertigo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2KuS4durSA
How to cure dizziness with yoga: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0gpchMFbxE
Home remedies for vertigo: www.ehow.com/video_7489636_home-remedies-vertigo.html
Treating vertigo at home: www.news-medical.net/news/2004/07/13/3279.aspx
Cell/mobile phone dangers and vertigo link: www.naturalnews.com/027232_cell_phone_use_radiation.html
Vertigo linked to inner ear “rock slides”: www.naturalnews.com/036848_vertigo_inner_ear_rock_slides.html
Further Information (links and books)
Natural Vertigo & Dizziness Relief [Kindle Edition]; The Book on Dizziness: Natural Solutions for Dizziness and Balance Disorders, Dr Mark A. Scott.
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.