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Signs and Symptoms: When it's Unclear What Causes Dizziness

Woman suffering from a spinning head. What causes dizziness for her?Dizziness and light-headedness are the most common reasons for doctor visits. However, doctors are sometimes perplexed as to what causes dizziness. Much patience and diligence is needed to find the right doctor who will properly diagnose and then treat the actual cause or causes of your dizziness.

What Causes Dizziness: Many Root Causes

There are many possible causes of dizziness. It can often be seen in a variety of conditions. Stress overload and intense anxiety can sometimes lead to disorders of the cerebellum. This happens when sensory signals experience a kind of short-circuit. Many times, an imbalance or unsteadiness results. A dysfunctional nervous system and cardiovascular system can also be the cause of headaches, along with side effects of prescription medications. If you have had a conventional medical work up and no known cause is discovered, it may be time to look at adrenal fatigue syndrome as a possible cause.

Adrenal Dizziness: Not Your Usual Dizzy Spell

Dizziness, in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, is not the typical dizziness associated with vertigo. Vertigo, in this case, is described as having light-headedness described as a sensation of floating or near fainting. Many times, imbalance and unsteadiness can result. During this time, blood pressure and all cardiovascular and neurological markers are usually normal.

Many causes can be responsible for the Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome light-headedness. Among some, are metabolic issues such as sugar imbalance, autonomic nervous system imbalances, ear problems, and chronic, prolonged, intense stress.

Let us examine metabolic imbalances such as low blood sugar as a potential culprit. Reactive hypoglycemia, where you have symptoms of hypoglycemia but serum glucose level are normal, are commonly associated with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. This can often happen in the setting of advanced stages of adrenal fatigue as your metabolism becomes deregulated. In such situations, the adrenals are unable to produce sufficient cortisol, a glucocorticoid hormone. As such, hypoglycemia can result and lead to light-headedness or dizziness. In addition, the thyroid helps to regulate your metabolism as well and plays a role in what causes dizziness. Lastly, low blood pressure, as commonly associated with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, due to deregulation of salt balance, may also be a potential cause of dizziness as well. When blood pressure drops, blood flow to the brain decreases and can result in a light headed feeling. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome sufferers are often dehydrated. The lack of fluid may cause postural hypotension and dizziness. Perhaps the most frequently overlooked cause of dizziness is prescription medications as well as stimulatory glandular compounds and herbs such as maca, rhodiola, ashwagandha, green tea, and licorice. Caffeine, interesting enough, often can reduce dizziness because of its constricting effect (if, in fact, what causes dizziness is hypotension and reduced vascular volume).

The above mentioned multiple pathways that can result in dizziness are often the result of a deregulation of the cardionomic system, which is a part of the Neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response system, that the body has to react to stress. The cardionomic system revolves around the triad organ systems of adrenals, heart, and autonomic nervous system. When your adrenals are weak, often times, the autonomic nervous system will have to compensate, this may lead to hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension, which can be a cause of dizziness. This often happens after taking a hot bath, or standing up too quickly. It can be so severe that you can actually pass out from the drop in blood pressure. Low blood pressure can also be a result of low aldosterone levels. Aldosterone is a hormone that is produced by the adrenals. It functions to help regulate your blood pressure and fluid levels. Low aldosterone means that your body will lose more water and salt, and as a result, your blood pressure will lower.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome And The Nature Of The Beast

Enough stress can overload your body and become what causes dizzinessStarting out, perhaps as a weakening of strength and energy, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome may actually have begun years before by burning the proverbial candle at both ends and having chronic stress overload. Advancing, unattended, and misdiagnosed by most physicians, the Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome sufferer wanders from one doctor to another looking for help--and not receiving it.

Overtime, you may exhibit an inability to focus or concentrate, a lack of memory retention, having brain fog, imbalance, weakness, mild depression, restless leg syndrome (RLS), an inability to sleep and a gradual inability to do the simplest of everyday chores, are telling symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Family life is sacrificed, jobs are lost and almost everything in life comes to a standstill.

Thyroid dysfunction is often suspected even though the adrenal glands may be the underlying cause. As a result, medication for a low thyroid is dispensed, and this sets off another cascade of symptoms involving the thyroid gland, one of the most important organs in the human body.

Sad to say, many conventional doctors do not even acknowledge that there is such an illness other than Addison Disease. To even suggest something like adrenal insufficiency is tantamount to being considered a medical quack in some quarters. Many patients leave their doctor's office with the explanation of, "It's all in your mind, you just need a vacation," ringing in their ears. They continue on in a "zombie-like" type of existence where jobs and careers, care for the family and the desire to keep on living ceases.

Healing the adrenals

A healthy meal as part of proper diet addressing what causes dizzinessWhen it comes to helping deal with dizziness in the setting of adrenal fatigue, it is important to find the root of what causes dizziness, be it low blood sugar, or blood pressure problems. Often times it can be a combination of factors affecting your body. Helping the adrenals get stronger is one of the main ways to help alleviate dizziness. Here are some suggestions.

  • Vitamin C at high doses and other supplementation including some herbs.
  • Never pushing beyond what the body is calling for; listen to your body.
  • As soon as your body says, "Rest," then rest.
  • Too much exercise could bring on a relapse of the illness. Instead, try yoga or Tai Chi.
  • Suspension of any exposure to electronic equipment emitting EMF waves including PC monitors, Wi-Fi systems, LED lights at night and your use of cell phones up to four hours before going to bed.

One vitally important aspect of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome recovery is stress management and learning to deal with toxic relationships. Many times, stress overload from undesirable relationships lay at the root of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome suffering; cutting some of them off may begin the healing process from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Another aspect of recovery includes lifestyle changes that will be mandated depending on the severity of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome that the patient is manifesting. Perhaps eliminating a stressful job, changing living arrangements and changing one's work hours are part of the new modifications required.

Helping to resolve dizziness in the short term revolves around managing the cause of the dizziness. If it is from hypoglycemia, eating small frequent meals to help balance your blood sugar is an easy lifestyle change to make. If it is due to low fluid and electrolytes, drinking salt water may help to resolve that. A deregulated autonomic nervous system is tougher to balance, but adrenal breathing exercises are a good method to help calm your body down and regulate the autonomic nervous system.

It is of vital importance that anybody suffering from dizziness gets a full workup to rule out any other possible causes. Dizziness is a serious symptom and can lead to accidents, and as such, must be taken seriously. The right support at the right time can go a long ways to relieve this symptom without damaging the body. Suppressing the dizziness with medications can mask the underlying problem and is not recommended. Supporting the adrenal glands properly, without the use of stimulants, is conducive to the healing process. Always seek professional help. What works for one person may make another person worse. Every body is unique in its response.


In conclusion, navigating the myriad signs and symptoms of dizziness when the cause is unclear can be daunting. From spinning sensations to lightheadedness, the range of experiences can be unsettling. Yet, understanding these manifestations is crucial in seeking appropriate care and support.

If you find yourself grappling with persistent dizziness and its accompanying uncertainties, taking proactive steps is imperative. Consider reaching out to a healthcare professional who can provide expert insight and guidance tailored to your specific needs. You can embark on a journey toward clarity and relief by seeking timely assistance.

Don't let the ambiguity of dizziness hinder your quality of life. Take charge of your well-being today by scheduling a consultation with our team. Together, we can unravel the complexities of your symptoms and pave the way toward a clearer, steadier path forward. Your journey to reclaiming stability and equilibrium begins with a simple step – give us a call now at +1 (626) 571-1234.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

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