Sporadic bouts of dizziness might have many common causes, from dehydration to excess stress to hormonal imbalance. There are, however, other potential reasons for chronic dizzy spells, which are less frequently seen but still important for some to consider. Read on to learn more about five unusual causes for dizziness to cover all the bases when searching for solutions.
Less common than other symptoms of an allergic reaction, dizziness can still occur for some when they come in contact with certain allergens. Allergic reactions can often affect the inner ear, which is directly related to maintaining balance. Dizziness can occur as a result of allergies whether they are seasonal, due to factors such as pollen or dust, or food-related, from foods such as peanuts or shellfish.
Dizziness is also occasionally linked to megaloblastic anemia, a form of vitamin deficiency resulting in a lack of iron or vitamin B12 (cobalamine). These nutrients are partially responsible for keeping body and brain function normal, and it has been shown that low levels of them can result in dizzy spells. Consequently, this type of anemia can be a reason for chronic dizzy spells. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned this may be reason you're suffering from dizziness.
Marked by continually low levels of blood pressure and blood sugar, diabetes can also be linked to dizziness, as it is known to increase the likelihood of episodes. Not only are low blood pressure and blood sugar often hidden triggers, but when dizziness and low glucose levels are connected, it may signal further problems down the road. Experts believe this may be a precursor to heart disease, particularly among women.
Diseases of the ear are not commonplace today, but those who suffer from them often find that they coincide with dizziness. Prominent examples include Menière's disease, which involves a fluid imbalance in the ear; tinnitus, which is marked by a constant, shrill, and high-pitched ringing; and vertigo, the sensation that the world is moving while the body stays still. These conditions can all be reasons for chronic dizziness.
Least common of all, a tumor in the inner ear - known officially as acoustic neuroma - affects only one in 100,000 people each year. It is, however, another potential reason for chronic dizziness when all other possibilities have been thoroughly exhausted. Acoustic neuroma surrounds nerves from the inner ear to the brain, causing hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus sometimes all at once. A doctor should always be consulted when dizziness becomes a regular issue to make sure that all underlying causes are detected.
Any of the conditions listed above can potentially cause frequent episodes of dizziness, but for women going through menopause, hormonal imbalance is the likeliest culprit. Luckily, lifestyle changes and herbal supplements are usually effective ways to treat menopausal symptoms. Your doctor can explore what might be causing your dizzy spells and help you find relief as soon as possible.
- Better Health Channel. (2015). Dizziness and vertigo. Retrieved January 20, 2016, from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dizziness_and_vertigo
- Kacker, A. (2014). Acoustic neuroma: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 20, 2016, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000778.htm
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (n.d.). Pernicious anemia symptoms. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/prnanmia/prnanmia_signs.html
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2014). What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease? Retrieved January 20, 2016, from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topic/hdw/signs.html
- National Institute on Aging. (n.d). Balance Problems: About Balance Problems. Retrieved from http://nihseniorhealth.gov/balanceproblems/aboutbalanceproblems/01.html