"Whoa, I just got really dizzy!" We've all said it. We know that feeling — when the contents of your skull feel as if they've been hooked up to a spin cycle and your orientation is woozy at best. The floor bends below you, trees grow sideways, and your brain feels like it's being weighted down by a cinderblock. We can't think of any particular reasons why we're dizzy, so we write-off as just a thing that passes. Because usually, it does. Just like a Charlie horse, it can come out of nowhere, totally disable us for a moment, and be off as quick as it came on.
But is it really all that safe to just shrug at dizzy spells because they're common? Sure, sometimes you can get dizzy from something as innocuous as standing up too fast. But other times, a dizzy spell can be as serious as a brain injury. So why do we regard them so casually? If you get dizzy spells regularly, there's probably an internal discrepancy that you need to take care of. Even if you've never experienced a serious dizzy spell before, it's good to know about what causes them, in case you're ever struck with one. You'll be educated with your body and know what to expect and whether or not you should head to the doctor. These are eight reasons you might be dizzy:
Drop In Blood Pressure
When your blood pressure drops, you can feel lightheaded and dizzy. This less serious condition can happen from standing up too fast. It might cause a drop in the systolic number in your blood pressure, which will lead to an unsteady feeling. Always take your time standing up if you've been sitting down for a while, and if you feel unsteady, put your hands on your knees and take deep breaths until you feel stable.
In order for you to feel steady and balanced, you need a healthy flow of blood to the brain and ears. If your blood circulation has been compromised, you might feel dizzy, which is your body's way of telling you that it needs a stronger blood flow. Some people suffer chronically from poor circulation. In their case, they must always be careful when driving and working.
When you're suffering from an anxiety attack, your breathing patterns can be rapid and inefficient. If you begin to hyperventilate, your body is unable to process all of the oxygen and becomes dangerously imbalanced. If you don't slow your breathing, you might get so dizzy that you pass out. The best way to combat this type of dizzy spell is to take long, slow breaths, or breathe into a paper bag to better absorb carbon dioxide.
Low Iron Levels
Whether you're anemic or experiencing from a mild drop in iron, you might suffer the affects of anemia, which include fatigue and dizziness. If you're feeling dizzy and tired on the regular, you might want to get some blood work done and see where your blood iron levels are at. Or, you might consider adding more iron-rich foods to your diet like red meat and dark leafy greens.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
Eating well-balanced meals on a regular schedule is what keeps your blood sugar in check, if you're not diabetic. If you skip a meal, or stretch your meals too far apart, you might find yourself with crashing blood sugar. If this happens, you'll feel it in your head for sure. If you're feeling dizzy from low blood sugar, you might even feel faint. Grabbing a bite to eat as soon as possible is the best way to combat these spins.
When you're properly hydrated, your brain is properly cushioned from the walls of your skull and is kept firmly in place. When you start to deplete your body's water source, you take water from your organs, too. If you're severely dehydrated, the sack of water that cradles your brain might diminish and cause some serious headaches or migraines and spins.
Vestibular neuritis, or ear infections, can cause swelling and fluid build-up in the ear cavity. This can cause you to feel seriously off-balance. If your dizzy spell has come on suddenly and isn't waning, you might want to get yourself checked out for an infection. It's an easy fix, but will most likely require antibiotics.
Certain medications can cause dizziness as a side effect. You should always check the labels and warnings listed on the back of your pill canister before you start to take a new medication. If you've been on a medication for a long period of time and have noticed that you have an ongoing battle with dizzy spells, you might want to go back, do some research, and make sure that the medication is right for you. Being dizzy can be dangerous if it affects your ability to function properly, especially while driving, operating machinery, or making important decisions.
As with any medical concerns, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any indication that your symptoms are out of the ordinary. Better safe than sorry!