The feeling of light headedness and unsteadiness, dizziness is usually a mild sensation that passes quickly. Sometimes this symptom is more prolonged and serious requiring investigation, but natural home remedies and lifestyle changes can often complement medical treatment or in milder cases, make it superfluous.
Most attacks of dizziness are caused by a momentary drop in pressure in the arteries that transport blood to the brain. This reduces the brain’s blood supply, leaving it low in oxygen. Dizziness often happens after rising from a lying or sitting position; this is known as postural hypotension and usually lasts only a few seconds. You can also become dizzy if your blood sugar level drops too low as a result of not eating or poor control of diabetes. Dehydration resulting from low fluid intake or fluid loss, as from diarrhoea, is another possible cause.
Other causes of dizziness
Below are the reasons due to which dizziness may occur. Beware that it can be a symptom of a serious underlying problem.
- Arterial disease
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Osteoarthritis in the neck joints
- Sudden emotional stress
- Intoxication with alcohol or other recreational drugs
- Eye strain
- Food allergies
- Hormonal changes
- Brain infection
Avoid attacks of postural hypotension by taking a few deep breaths before getting up from a sitting or lying position. When you do get up, move slowly, rising in stages rather than in one rapid movement. Maintain a stable blood sugar level by eating regular meals that include high fiber foods. Limit your intake of foods containing white flour and added sugar.
Improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs and help maintain a good oxygen supply to your brain by getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Do appropriate forms of exercise including walking and swimming. Be careful not to make the bath water too hot, since this might dilate the veins in your legs and lower your blood pressure, making you feel dizzy.
Your priority if you feel dizzy is to put your feet up. Eat something nutritious, such as sandwich, if it has been more than two hours since you last ate.
Exercises for vertigo
Certain head and body exercises can be beneficial if you suffer from vertigo. An ear specialist can arrange for you to learn these ‘vestibular rehabilitation exercises’.
To boost circulation, apply firm pressure in a circling movement with your thumb on the point two finger widths below your navel. To counter vertigo, apply thumb pressure with a press and release action in the hollow between the jaw and the skull just behind the earlobe.
When to get medical help
Dizziness recurs. You also have a painful or stiff neck, fever, an earache or a headache. You are taking prescribed medication.
Get help right away if:
You also experience a change in vision, numbness in the face or limbs, palpitations, chest pain, breathlessness or confusion. Dizziness persists despite self-care.