I’m Dr. Tom Rofrano from the Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And today I’m talking to you about dizziness and vertigo, natural solutions. You see, over the last +30 years, and after seeing over 100,000 patients visits, dizziness and vertigo are some of the most common symptoms that people come in with. And they are right up there with headaches and migraines.
As a matter of fact, in any given year it’s estimated that 20% of adults experience dizziness and up to 5% experience vertigo. The difference being dizziness is an unsteadiness, just feeling out of balance, and vertigo feels like the room is spinning around. And oftentimes nausea and vomiting are associated with that. Sometimes it can get so severe people can’t even drive.
So, it can be very debilitating and what causes this? Well, it’s widely thought that crystals in the ear get out of place and that’s the main cause of this vertigo. And actually, I found that may be true to a certain percentage of the people. But what I found are a number of other causes and some very simple solutions to getting better.
One of the biggest causes I’ve seen for vertigo and dizziness both is structural causes. There’s a type of vertigo called Cervical Vertigo, that means it’s from the neck. So often times a trauma to the neck, whether it’s a car accident or some kind of injury, can injure the neck. And a lot of the balance centers within the body, proprioception center to look at you within the neck and that can affect your balance, and also blood flows up to the brain. You know the arteries go through the neck up to the brain, so there’s a lot of congestion and tightness and restriction that can cause dizziness and vertigo.
So, one example is that I had a patient a while back come in. He was bench pressing and started coming down with dizziness, vertigo. It was so bad he had to leave work, he wasn’t able to drive, he had people drive for him. He had so much anxiety about driving and having an attack during that time. So, he came in, we evaluated him, and it turns out he did have some compression and irritation in the neck. Within two weeks’ he was significantly better, within a month’s time all better and these just some of the simple fixes for something as severe as vertigo.
And then other times, it doesn’t have to be an accident. I could have patients that are painting their room in there and they’re looking up for the entire weekend and they’re painting the crown molding. And all this, just that compression in the neck, can cause irritation, compression, affect the circulation to the brain, affecting balance centers. So I had patients come in with that as well. And we did an evaluation, some treatment and typically within just a few visits, significant improvement is noticed on within 2-4 weeks complete resolutions. And just two or three visits you see a very significant improvement where they can function again.
Just to run through a few other common causes, I mean there are nutritional deficiencies that can cause both dizziness and vertigo. A B12 deficiency, when patients come in and we do an evaluation and we do lab testing so B12 deficiency is one common cause. Vitamin D, iron, those are all, they all can contribute to dizziness and vertigo.
I had a patient, some years ago, she was in her early 20s who was deficient in all of those. Plus, she had other things. Her condition was so severe she was blacking out 5 to 10 times a day! That’s how severe everything was. It helped just by determining the root cause and tracking these deficiencies. She also had repeated trauma from playing soccer. So, she was heading the ball probably thousands of times in her life as a kid, all the way through her teens. So it’s a combination of that, one of the most severe cases I’ve seen. Within a couple of weeks, significantly better within 4 weeks completely better and she had this for years.
So it’s just the matter of getting to the root cause and finding out what’s going on and then correcting it. Besides structural issues and deficiencies, there are toxins. I talked about iron, and iron deficiencies can cause dizziness, weakness, vertigo… well, too much iron actually can cause the same symptoms.
I had a patient recently come in, her iron levels were astronomical, they were through the roof! Really toxic levels and she was having vertigo for almost 20 years. She was going and getting all these treatments for the crystals in her ear. It would help temporarily but it’s been going on for almost 20 years, she was still having it. So, toxicity can cause vertigo and dizziness, not only iron but heavy metals, mercury, lead, arsenic. Often I’ll do testing for those as well and sometimes it’ll come back positive. That can cause brain issues, neurological issues including dizziness and vertigo.
Food can be a toxin to some people. Certain types of food, food sensitivities, food reactions… these are perfect examples. Gluten sensitivity is known to cause neurological issues. So, a lot of people relate gluten only with digestion symptoms but in fact of those with gluten sensitivities, less than half actually have digestive and it’s manifested in other ways. And one is neurological and dizziness and vertigo. So, ways to determine that is you can do testing for that.
Also, there’s a specific diet I came up with called The FreeDiet which is not only free of gluten but free of those foods that are most commonly responsible for inflammation, digestive, and other chronic issues, they’re three of the most common food allergens. Like I said, not only gluten but gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, corn, soy. Phase I of The FreeDiet can help you determine what foods you might be sensitive to.
And lastly is adrenal dysfunction. So, you may have heard me speak about adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency. So, if you’ve been under stress for a period of time, like all of us, and eventually you can worry down. You can become exhausted, you can develop low blood pressure and even low blood sugar.
So, either of those two things can cause dizziness, vertigo, especially when you’re changing positions. You’re sitting or you’re laying down, you go to stand up and you start losing your balance. That’s oftentimes related to adrenal dysfunction, and we do some testing for that. And there are very simple solutions with diet, supplements, lifestyle changes, and if you look at some other videos, about 4-5 of them on adrenal dysfunction and how to clear that up.
Another example is someone I had recently who had vertigo, dizziness for many years and no trauma to her neck or anything like that but she had sailed boats over many years. Just looking up at an angle for many hours at a time, and again affecting the neck, causing that congestion and affecting the circulation up to the brain.
And usually when patients come in, it’s not one thing, it’s often a number of things. It could be a nutritional deficiency, again B12, D, iron… it could be toxins, it could be an adrenal dysfunction, it could be food reactions, usually with these chronic health issues or patients have been to all kinds of doctors,
I don’t want to mention for almost 20 years going from doctor to doctor to a neurologist to ENTs telltales all of this, and not getting any better. Usually, we find, it’s a number of things… a combination of things. And once we determine a root cause, then it’s very simple to find solutions to these chronic health issues that you have that are just not going away and no one can figure it out.
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