Dizziness is an extremely common ailment. As a result, some people never go to the doctor to find out what causes it. Most of the time, the underlying cause of dizziness is no big deal. There are a few situations where it can be serious business. We’re going to consider some common causes of dizziness and a few of the accompanying symptoms that should send you for help. Then we’ll take a closer look at a natural method that some have used to deal with chronic dizziness.
The Top 10 Causes of Dizziness
In no particular order, here are 10 of the most common causes of occasional dizziness:
- Allergies – When the ears get congested, this can lead to dizziness.
- Illness – Numerous viruses and infections can cause dizziness.
- Medications – The number of medications that have dizziness as a side effect is astounding.
- Stress or anxiety – While these don’t necessarily cause dizziness themselves, they can certainly trigger any number of vestibular problems that result in dizziness.
- Anemia – If your iron gets too low, lightheadedness will likely follow.
- Heavy periods – This goes back to anemia. A heavy period can deplete you of iron.
- Dehydration – Be sure to get enough fluids or lightheadedness can become an early indicator that you are dehydrated.
- Blood pressure changes – Both low and high blood pressure can lead to dizziness.
- Alcohol – Consuming too much alcohol can lead to dizziness, especially since it can cause dehydration.
- Tobacco – Using tobacco may sometimes lead to dizziness.
Is Your Dizziness a Symptom of Something More Serious?
Dizziness is often more of an inconvenience than a major concern. However, there are some times when medical attention is needed. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical assistance:
- Chest pain – Dizziness can indicate a cardiac event.
- Stroke symptoms – If dizziness is accompanied by other symptoms of a stroke, time is of the essence. Get help immediately.
- Stiff neck – This may indicate a neck injury.
- Fever – When dizziness is coupled with a fever, it can signal numerous illnesses, some of which may be serious.
- Difficulty breathing – Again, this combination of symptoms can indicate a wide range of conditions, some of which may be minor, but shortness of breath should be taken seriously.
- Falling – If you have become so dizzy that you have fallen down, you may require assistance to check for additional injuries.
When Dizziness Becomes Chronic
While you may be able to ignore the occasional bout of dizziness, if it becomes a regular occurrence, you should definitely try to identify the underlying cause and correct it. An episode of dizziness at the wrong time can lead to a fall, serious injury, and even death. There are a few things you can do at home to reduce the likelihood of a dizziness attack:
- Quit smoking – If you are a tobacco user, now is the time to give up the habit. It is connected to numerous underlying causes of dizziness.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Being seriously overweight or underweight have both been linked to dizziness.
- Exercise regularly – A healthy lifestyle may be able to reduce the risk of dizziness and falls. Be sure to discuss your exercise routine with your doctor so as to avoid injury.
- Eat healthy foods – A proper diet can help you to avoid some of the underlying causes of dizziness.
- Drink plenty of water – The importance of staying hydrated can’t be ignored when it comes to things that can help you to prevent dizzy spells.
Besides applying these lifestyle tips, you can also get benefits from seeing an upper cervical chiropractor. This is a niche in the chiropractic field that involves a focus on the top two bones of the spine. How can these two vertebrae play a role in dizziness?
The Upper Cervical Spine and Dizziness
When the top two bones of the spine are misaligned, many of the common causes of dizziness may result. For example, the ears may be affected. If Eustachian tube function is inhibited, this can lead to problems such as Meniere’s disease and vertigo. The position of the upper cervical spine has also been linked to changes in blood pressure and blood flow. Pressure may be placed on the brainstem, and cerebrospinal fluid drainage may be inhibited.
With all of the ways that C1 and C2 misalignments can affect balance and blood flow, it is no wonder that many patients in case studies have responded well to having this misalignment corrected. How is it done? Here’s what you can expect from your initial visits.
- Patient History – Upper cervical misalignments are often the result of head or neck injuries. You may have experienced a car accident or sports injury years in the past and figured it was healed, but dizziness is an indicator that the injury left you with a misalignment that has never been corrected.
- Diagnostic Imaging – Depending on the method of upper cervical chiropractic used, a practitioner may use different forms of diagnostic imaging. The common factor is that very precise measurements are made of any misalignment that does exist in the C1 and C2.
- Examination – A physical examination often involves checking leg lengths and whether hips and shoulders are aligned properly. Because the spine compensates from the top down, any misalignment of the atlas (C1) can lead to changes in posture throughout the entire body.
- Adjustment – Low force adjustments are made with gentle pressure or an adjusting instrument depending on the practitioner’s method of choice. There is no popping or forcing of the spine as in general chiropractic.
To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic and how it may be able to benefit you, contact a practitioner in your area to schedule a consultation.