Why do I get dizzy? Common reasons and solutions

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The sudden lack of control is frightening when a dizzy spell, or vertigo, hits you. The world spins and rocks, the ground feels like it’s giving way, your ears ring, and nausea may grip your gut.

Vertigo feels terribly wrong and frightening and understandably has people worrying, “Why do I get dizzy?”

Several things can cause vertigo. it’s important to understand the underlying cause of your dizzy spells to improve your success in addressing them.

Before looking for underlying causes, first figure out what type of vertigo you have.

Peripheral vertigo and dizzy spells

The most common reason for dizziness is usually an inner ear, or vestibular, problem, which plays an important role in balance. Peripheral means on the outside, indicating this is not a brain-based vertigo, but instead peripheral vertigo.

Common causes of inner ear problems include:

BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo): A small crystal is floating loose in the wrong area of the inner ear, causing dizziness. This can be treated with the Epley maneuver.

Vestibular neuronitis and labryinthitis: Nerves in the inner ear associated with balance becomes inflamed, usually due to infection. Using functional medicine and functional neurology approaches to address the infection and inflammation often help.

Meniere’s disease: A chronic inner ear disorder that also causes hearing loss and tinnitus and tends to progressively worsen. Functional medicine autoimmune protocols have been known to help; conventional approaches include medications and surgery in severe cases.

In addition to dizziness, other common symptoms of peripheral vertigo include nausea, vomiting, sweating, pain or fullness in the ear, hearing loss, or tinnitus (ringing in the ear). The vertigo comes and goes and fixing your eyes on a point can help stop the spinning.

Central vertigo and dizzy spells

Central vertigo refers to dizziness caused by brain issues. These causes can be more serious and difficult to treat than most cases of peripheral vertigo.

One distinguishing factor of central vertigo is that fixing your eyes on one spot does not help relieve dizziness. Also, central vertigo episodes are more intense and last longer. Although hearing is not as affected as it is in peripheral vertigo, people often experience headaches, trouble swallowing, and weakness.

Factors known to cause central vertigo include head injury, illness, infection, multiple sclerosis, migraines, brain tumors, stroke, transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes), and neurological autoimmunity.

How functional medicine and functional neurology can help address dizziness and vertigo

The first step is to identify what type of vertigo you have and what is causing it. This may involve lab testing to identify chronic inflammation, a blood sugar imbalance, an autoimmune reaction, or other health disorders.

For instance, multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys nerve sheaths, can cause vertigo. An autoimmune protocol and functional neurology rehabilitation exercises can help.

Another example is when a head injury causes vertigo—a nutritional and dietary protocol to support brain healing along with functional neurology may help profoundly.

Vertigo is the symptom, not the disease

Your dizzy spells are a symptom of something else. Through functional lab testing, examination, and clinical history, we can help you address your problems with vertigo.

Three ways to make the placebo effect work for you

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The placebo effect is a target of ridicule but studies show it has become increasingly effective in recent years, particularly in the United States, where drugs for pain, depression, anxiety sometimes barely outmatch placebos.

Fortunately, researchers have decided to study how and why the placebo effect works.

By embracing the mystery of the placebo effect, you can harness its powers to enhance your health protocol or better cope with your ailment.

What is the placebo effect?

Researchers give one group of subjects a new drug or procedure and a different group a sham, then compare the results. Neither group knows which treatment they received. In some studies, the placebo treatment works as well or even better than the real treatment.

1: Use belief to enhance placebo effect

A person’s beliefs and expectations play a profound role in how their body will respond to something. When subjects are told their pain will drop before receiving a placebo, it does. Likewise, when they are told they will experience more pain, they do, even though pain delivery was not increased.

Scans during these experiments show brain activity corresponds with the expected outcome, even though neither pain relief nor increased pain was delivered.

Scientists have also learned that positive expectations release endorphins and dopamine, the “reward” brain chemical. Endorphins dampen inflammation and both endorphins and dopamine help relieve pain.

Spend some time every day reaffirming why you’re on your health journey and the positive things you expect to gain from it. Visualize feeling and functioning better.

2: Receive care and attention to enhance placebo

Increased attention, concern, and care are also believed to be why the placebo effect has become much stronger in recent years. When people take part in these studies, they receive an increased level of interaction and care that positively impacts their health.

Seek out supportive care and nurturing during your health journey. This can be from a practitioner you work with, through body work appointments, or in the company of a support group or class. Include plenty of in-person social time as it is better for you than online socializing.

3: Develop a positivity and gratitude practice

Negativity is stressful and inflammatory. Doctors report that patients who are angry, don’t believe their treatment will work, or who are not supported by their friends and family in their healing journey may not experience optimal results.

However, the person who expects the best from their protocol, learns about their new diet and supplements, and enjoys working with their practitioner experiences less stress and inflammation and better results.

Take some time each day to think positive thoughts about your health journey and what it involves. Keep a daily or weekly gratitude journal and make sure to note your progress. These tips really do help your health!

Remember, it’s the placebo effect and not superstition

Although we’ve all heard miracle healing stories, it’s best not to pin your hopes on one. The placebo effect alone is estimated to work between 18 to 80 percent of the time, which is a wide spread to bank on.

Functional medicine is about creating new lifelong habits as much as it is about restoring function. By injecting the best the placebo effect has to offer into your daily diet and protocol, you are laying the groundwork for a lifetime of more positive outcomes.