Why Am I Dizzy? 5 Common Dizziness Causes

February 19, 2022

You know the feeling—suddenly you feel unsteady and then everything around you is moving. Feeling dizzy is very unsettling and leaves you clamoring for a quick cure. But to understand how to make it go away, you must first know the top dizziness causes.

Let’s take a look at what causes dizziness and then review a few quick dizziness cures you can try to get some relief—fast!

5 Common Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness is one of those symptoms that you don’t want to let linger for too long. After all, you risk hurting yourself if it isn’t relieved quickly.

Here are five of the most common dizziness causes.

1. Vertigo

Simply put, vertigo is the sensation that everything around you is moving. It usually occurs when you move your head quickly and is one of the top dizziness causes you need to be aware of.

Vertigo affects up to 20 percent of all adults each year. Interestingly, research has shown that vertigo is anywhere from two to three times more common in women than in men and is often associated with other conditions, such has depression and heart disease. [1]

Now, vertigo can also be caused by many different conditions–not just moving your head quickly. And sometimes it’s accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting and unsteadiness.

The truth of the matter is that vertigo can be caused by anything from an inner ear infection to a migraine to a head or neck injury to excess calcium deposition within the inner ear.

People often describe the feeling of vertigo as being unbalanced or “tilted.” In order to diagnose it, doctors often depend on the patient’s list of symptoms, though sometimes imaging is ordered to look for a specific cause of vertigo.

2. Stress/anxiety

Believe it or not, one of the main dizziness causes is emotional stress—and you’re more likely to experience dizziness following a stressful event.

According to one study on 50 patients complaining of dizziness and vertigo compared with 50 people who didn’t have dizziness, those who were dizzy were significantly more likely to have experienced substantially more negative life events in the year leading up to the dizzy episodes. [2]

They also reported significantly higher levels of anxiety. The reason why stress is believed to be one of the major dizziness causes is due to the fact that cortisol is known to impact the vestibular system, which is responsible for your sense of balance. [3]

3. Low blood pressure

Have you ever stood up suddenly and felt lightheaded? Odds are that you had a bout of low blood pressure, which is one of the major dizziness causes. But why does it happen?

Anytime you have low blood pressure or a sudden decrease in blood pressure, your heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to your brain. And when your brain is lacking adequate blood supply, it can cause dizziness.

So, this begs the question: What causes low blood pressure?

The truth of the matter is that there are many causes of low blood pressure, from dehydration to pregnancy to heart disease to nutritional deficiencies to hormonal imbalances to certain medications.

But I want to discuss a lesser-known cause of low blood pressure, which is also one of the major dizziness causes we’ve already reviewed: stress.

Now, we often associate stress and anxiety with an increase blood pressure—and that’s very true. But you may be surprised to learn that stress and anxiety is a major cause of low blood pressure. [4]

This occurs because we tend to subconsciously hold our breath when experiencing emotional stress and anxiety, which subsequently lowers our blood pressure.

It’s interesting how stress plays such a huge role in so many aspects of our health, isn’t it?

4. Dehydration

Another one of the main dizziness causes is dehydration. As I mentioned above, dehydration can cause low blood pressure. Here’s why ….

When your body is lacking adequate levels of fluid, your blood volume decreases, which lowers your blood pressure and deprives your brain of blood. The result is dizziness.

Oftentimes, if dehydration is causing your symptoms, resting and drinking a glass or two of water can provide relief. But if you’re chronically dehydrated, you may require more help via an IV.

Personally, I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces each day to help prevent dehydration.

5. Low iron

If you have low iron or anemia, which can be caused by low iron, you have one of the common dizziness causes.

When you have low iron, it impacts the amount of oxygen your blood carries to your brain. And while the most common symptom of low iron or iron deficiency anemia is fatigue, dizziness is another frequent symptom.

While most people know that red meat contains iron, I recommend turning to plant sources of iron if you’re looking to increase your intake of this mineral.

Some of the top plant-based foods for iron include: nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, kale, and figs.


Dizziness causes - Dr. Pingel


How to Cure Dizziness

If you’re looking to “cure” your dizziness, you must determine the cause.

Because your adrenal glands are essentially your body’s “control center” and they’re directly impacted by stress, which we now know is one of the primary dizziness causes, I recommend starting by supporting your adrenal health.

You can check out my article on how to do that here. And for even more information, along with a detailed meal plan and recipes, check out my book Total Health Turnaround.

Also remember to prioritize your hydration by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water. And for more tips on staying hydrated, along with my top seven home remedies for dehydration, click here.

Finally, make sure you’re consuming plenty of iron-rich and adrenal-supporting foods. Staying sufficient in essential nutrients will go a long way in supporting your body’s stress response and, in turn, help to mitigate a few of the major dizziness causes we’ve reviewed.

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