Vertigo

Allergy, Age related illnesses | March 12, 2017 | Author: Naturopath

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Vertigo

Unless you are enjoying a ride on a merry-go-round, then a sudden sensation of spinning or dizziness may be quite the unwelcomed alarm. Children love to engage in games that bring on the brief spinning sensation for the sake of the rush of adrenaline; it is bearable because it is mostly quite short-lived.  This sensation of spinning and dizziness, however is a continuous concern for people who suffer from Vertigo.

 Vertigo is a disorder that causes a sudden sensation of being off balance, rotating, rocking, or spinning despite being absolutely stationary.

This sensation may be spontaneous or begin to occur after an injury that may have affected the inner ear.

Unlike self-induced vertigo which usually only last a moment, these dizzy spells can last from a few hours to a few days.

Causes

Vertigo may have causes that are either central or peripheral. Central causes are related to the brain and the spinal cord while peripheral causes are usually related to structures of the inner ear.  The most common causes are usually found to be peripheral.

Peripheral:

  • BPPV

BPPV is an acronym for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Perhaps due to factors such as age, tiny calcium particles known as canaliths may clump up within the canals of the inner ear. This may affect balance as the inner ear is responsible for helping to maintain balance and achieves this by sending signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity.

  • Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a disease of the inner ear that is caused by a build up of fluid with-in the inner ear, changing the pressures. Besides vertigo, Meniere’s disease may also cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and ultimately, hearing loss.

  • Vestibular neuritis or Labrynthitis

This inner ear disease is usually caused by a viral infection of the inner ear. The infection, in turn, may cause inflammation in the inner ear, close or relative to the nerves that effect the body’s balance sensation.

Central

Uncommonly, vertigo is caused by legions and diseases to structures of the brain and spinal cord.

  • Head or neck injury
  • Tumors of the brain
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Basilar artery migraine

Symptoms

Symptoms of vertigo are usually triggered by moving the head from one position to another. These symptoms may be accompanied by other seemingly unrelated symptoms such as nausea. Also, vertigo symptoms may be consistent and constant or they may be brief and irregular.

  • Spinning
  • Tilting
  • Swaying
  • Being pulled to one direction
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nystagmus (abnormal eye movements)
  • Sweating

Risk factors

Head and neck injuries, certain medication such as antidepressants, antiseizure medications and even aspirin may increase the risk for developing vertigo.  Medical conditions and lifestyle habits that could lead to a stroke such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption may increase the risk. Out of the 2% to 3% of the population the condition seems to be most prevalent amongst older women.

Natural Therapies for Vertigo

Most cases of vertigo generally tend to resolve on its own within a few days. However for people with chronic vertigo or for a speedier resolution, natural therapies, diet and life style changes may help.

Gingko Biloba

This magical herb is known to increase blood flow to the head and brain and is thus effective for reversing and preventing tinnitus; a very common symptom in Meniere’s disease.

The active ingredients in Gingko Biloba, heterosides and gingkolisides, act to treat many brain and head related disorders that may contribute to vertigo. 
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Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is very effective for alleviating vertigo and is in fact one of the fastest remedies for relieving vertigo attacks. Drinking the strained tea of dried lemon balm seeped in a cup of boiling water can be an almost immediate relief for vertigo attacks.

Vitamin D

It has been found that people with a vitamin D deficiency are very prone to vertigo. The vitamin is known to vastly improve the occurrence and symptoms of vertigo.
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Vitamin C

According to a study conducted by the Hiroshima University of Medicine in Japan, patients suffering from Meniere’s disease showed a significant improvement in symptoms associated with vertigo when vitamin c was incleased. 

Fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C include strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, green peppers, apples and leafy greens. 
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Coenzyme Q10

Known to improve the severity and frequency of migraine headaches as well as vertigo, Coenzyme Q10 is also a wonder remedy for the heart. It helps to normalize LDL cholesterol levels and improve general heart health. Patients who suffered from vertigo secondary to heart failure reported significant improvement for vertigo after being treated with Coenzyme Q10. 
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Low-sodium diet

Salt causes fluid retention, which is a common trigger for vertigo, especially in cases of vertigo caused by Meniere’s disease.

Processed and deli foods are generally quite high in salt and may be counterproductive when treating vertigo. Limiting sodium intake to no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium spread evenly throughout the day.

Physio Therapy

Physio therapy maybe able to resolve cases of vertigo cause by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo where loose calcium crystals are irritating the inner ear structures, or from muscular or skeletal issues. This is achieved through the application of certain manouvers and exercise suggestions. Having a trained physical therapist perform an exercise known as Epley Maneuver has been found to resolve vertigo. Also, Cawthorne head exercises are excellent for vestibular rehabilitation.

Acupressure

Acupressure is a Traditional Chinese Medicine that may relieve vertigo by the stimulation of certain pressure points.

Ginger tea

Ginger tea can be useful to relieve the nausea symptoms associated with vertigo. A research published in the U.S Library of Medicine reported that Ginger tea was actually more effective for treating vertigo compared to a placebo. It can be taken as a tea, or by seeping grated ginger root in hot water and drinking as a tea. Supplements are also available.
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Consult with a doctor to ensure the exact cause of vertigo is established before taking any remedies.

Avoid activities that require focus and concentration, such as driving or working with industrial machinery during attacks.

Vertigo, on its own, is relatively harmless condition that can resolve easily with the right treatment and simple dietary adjustments.

References

  1. Bhattacharyya, N., et al. "Clinical practice guideline: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo." Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery 139.5 Suppl 4 (2008): S47-S81.
  2. von Brevern, M., et al. "Epidemiology of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: a population based study." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 78.7 (2007): 710–715.
  3. Burmeister, D. B., et al. "Management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo with the canalith repositioning maneuver in the emergency department setting." The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 110.10 (2010): 602-604. 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12953767
  5.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10345150

  6.  Fife TD, et al. (2008). Practice parameter: Therapies for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (an evidence-based review). Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, 70(22): 2067-2074.

  7.  Ear, Nose, and Throat Consultants of Nevada Staff. (n.d.). Cawthorne’s head exercises. Retrieved from http://entc.com/handouts/handout_cawthorne.pdf

  8.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23245911

  9.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3537898

  10.  Santos, P. M., et al. (1993). "Diuretic and diet effect on Meniere's disease evaluated by the 1985 Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium guidelines." Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery 109(4): 680-689.

  11.  “American Journal of Chinese Medicine"; Effect of Acupressure and Trigger Points in Treating Headache: A Randomized Controlled Trial; Lisa Li-Chen Hsieh, et al.; February 2010

     

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