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My Experience with Vertigo, Cold Feet and Nausea

Natural and Alternative Therapies That Worked for Me


Also see Part 2 - Exercises That Helped My Vertigo

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This past winter I had my first, and hopefully last, experience with vertigo. The first time it happened I was out on a walk with my husband. I got dizzy and things seemed to start spinning for no reason. I had to stand still for a few minutes until it passed and then we walked home. After that I noticed that I would feel light headed at times, but it usually passed pretty quickly. Then one morning I was in bed reading a book and the whole room started spinning around me. I felt like I was on an amusement park ride, but the reality was that I was in bed, physically motionless. After a while the spinning stopped, but it would return every time I moved my head. I also had a headache, became very nauseous and had extremely cold feet.

I ended up up seeing a doctor who prescribed an anti-nausea medication and physical therapy. Luckily I had some clues as to what had brought on the vertigo, plus a stockpile of alternative health books at home, so I recovered with only some minor diet changes, stretching exercises and yoga postures. As of this writing my vertigo has completely cleared up.

Listed below are the treatments I found helpful for the symptoms of vertigo, nausea and cold feet.

1. Eating more more magnesium rich foods helped. Many health and nutrition books note that vertigo can be a symptom of a magnesium deficiency. I believe this was likely to have been my problem, too. Prior to my vertigo onset my family had all been sick with the flu. I had been busy taking care of them and wasn't eating as healthy as I normally did or exercising very much. I was also eating a lot of yogurt to load up on beneficial bacteria, a food I normally don't eat that often, so I wouldn't get sick like the rest of my family. As a dairy product, yogurt is very high in calcium, a magnesium antagonist.

Other symptoms of magnesium deficiency may be anxiety, heart arrhythmias and palpitations,mitral valve prolapse, migraines, sensitive hearing, tight muscles, and fibromyalgia.

Foods high in magnesium generally include nuts, seeds, beans and leafy green vegetables. I also find small amounts of Milk of Magnesia (1/2 of a teaspoon) washed down with a glass of water to be helpful for times when diet changes just don't seem to be working fast enough.

A Relapse

After a couple of years of being vertigo free, I had a recent relapse. This time I traced it to the opening of a frozen yogurt snack shop at the local shopping center, which I was evidently stopping at way too often. So once again too much yogurt and having an overly acidic body seemed to be the cause of my vertigo, headaches, numbness in my arm and hand, nausea and dizziness. And once again, stretching, mineral water, Izze sodas made with mineral water, and eating lots of alkalinizing, magnesium rich vegetables helped me get back to normal.

2. Eating more alkaline forming foods was also important. I think my nausea was caused by an over acid stomach, which can also be linked to magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium is very alkaline, and is one of the minerals the body releases to keep its acid-alkaline balance in check. Researchers from Germany have found that an acid load in the body may be a factor in human magnesium deficiencies.

When I got home from seeing the doctor for my vertigo and nausea, my husband made me some chicken broth. Drinking this made me even worse and I vomited it up. I then tested my pH levels and found that my body was extremely acidic.

Chicken broth is very acidic so it made me think to try to eat something very alkaline next instead. Next I drank a banana smoothie with coconut milk, an easily absorbable and highly alkaline food. After I had the smoothie my nausea started going away. Next I had a baked potato and then, not only was I no longer suffering from nausea, but interestingly my feet also warmed up.

I think my feet were cold along with the vertigo because a lack of magnesium had been constricting my blood vessels and slowing down my circulation. While I had the vertigo episodes and for a few days before the onset, my feet had been really cold. I could pile ten blankets on them and it didn't help to warm them up at all. But drinking the banana smoothie and eating the potato made my feet become warm.

Magnesium has many beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. The way it relaxes and opens up blood vessels may make it important in Raynaud's Disease."

3. I did yoga and other stretching exercises to relax the muscles in and around my head, ears and neck. I think this relieved pressure on my ears and also helped to stop the vertigo. I suspect that not having enough magnesium in my diet, being on the computer too much, and not exercising had made the muscles in my upper body tight and stiff. Magnesium is the mineral that aids the body in relaxing muscles, while calcium contracts muscles. In hindsight, eating a lot of yogurt, which is high in calcium, the muscles in my body became too tight and contracted.

After some trial and error, I discovered that turning my head to the right would stop my dizziness and turning my head to the left made it worse. The left side of my body, and especially my neck and shoulders, are where I have the most problems with tight muscles. Stretching away from the tightness and loosening all the tight muscles on the left side was my ultimate cure. In my case the vertigo was definitely muscle tension related.

For a few days prior to the vertigo onset I had headaches from muscular tension and I also felt a return of my thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) (numbness in my left arm and hand, headaches and shoulder pain on my right side, and a tingling feeling down my left arm).

Vertigo and Anemia?

Recently I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Interestingly, I found out that anemia can have an inverse relationship with an elevated blood platelet count, which in turn can impede circulation. In hindsight, I think undiagnosed and untreated anemia may have been a contributing factor to my vertigo, poor circulation and dizziness. Once my anemia was corrected, my platelet count returned to normal, my circulation improved and I had less episodes of dizziness.

If you think you may have anemia, see your doctor. IRD can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and many cases can be easily treated with over the counter iron supplements.

When I did yoga and exercises I had been previously been given by a physical therapist for the thoracic outlet syndrome, then I started having less and less vertigo episodes until they completely stopped after a week or so. By the time the physical therapy department called me to schedule an appointment for therapy, my vertigo had already cleared up from my home treatments.

It has been a year since my first vertigo attack, and occasionally I will still get bouts of nausea, dizziness and vertigo, usually from eating too much yogurt. When that happens now I know I eat or drink something alkaline (blackberry Izze sodas work great) and so far that has always helped me get back to normal.



Related sections of interest:

Cures for eye floaters

Nystagmus - involuntary movement of the eyes

Dislocated Lenses

Alternative treatments for tinnitus - ringing in the ears

Noise Sensitivity

Clogged Ears - Overlooked Causes

My experience and treatments for the symptoms of vertigo, nausea and cold feet

Stretches For Vertigo


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