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CHIROPRACTIC HELP #29: Light Headed Dizzy
April 21, 2012

Welcome again to the monthly newsletter from Chiropractic Help. Firstly, these monthly newsletters are long and take at least half an hour to read and digest. Are they too long? How often do you read to the end? Always, sometimes, never? Would you rather have a weekly much shorter newsletter? Feedback would be appreciated.


The chronically dizzy patient often finds his/ her way to the Chiropractic Coalface, having heard that Chiropractic might help. And it's true, but there's a big BUT...

A very large research project into how chiropractic patients respond to neck manipulation revealed that adverse affects most often related to dizziness, known in medical terms as vertigo, although they are not precisely the same. Serious adverse affects like stroke are extremely rare (less than one in one-million manipulations) but every chiropractor knows to take extra care with the dizzy patient.

Dizziness is really more related to light headedness or a feeling that one is about to faint. First thoughts relate to low blood pressure, or low blood sugar. For example, cadets standing at attention in the hot sun may start to experience sudden dizzy spells. So too, the person who attends early mass prior to having eaten, may feel light headed and dizzy.

Postural dizziness may relate to a sudden drop in blood pressure in the brain when standing up suddenly.

The key to these light headed dizzy sensations is to quickly lie down (before you fall down!), have something to eat and drink; in small amounts if you feel dizzy and nauseous.


Particularly women should consider whether they are deficient in either iron or one of the B vitamins. This is done with a routine blood test. Beetroot is one of the best vegetable sources of iron, not to mention probably the best cure for constipation. Beetroot constipation ...

Because of the world's love-affair with white rice, aka as "beri-beri rice" (polished rice removes thiamine, vitamin B1) Generalised muscle weakness associated with a B1 deficiency, white bread (all the vitamins are removed), a dislike of green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach (B6 and folic acid), and in vegans (B12 deficiency), vitamin B deficiency is not at all uncommon.

  • Vegan weight loss and B12 deficiency ...

    Black and White diet

    So, if you are light headed dizzy and not eating your mandatory five colours per day (I aim for ten) and whole grain foods, then the place to start is a healthy diet. It's really not difficult to throw a couple slices of bell peppers (Paprika), a scoop of hummus, a bunch of grapes into your lunch box.

    Plus, I'd recommend a B complex vitamin supplement, NOT instead of a healthy diet, but in addition to. Adding those colours to your diet is what stops cancer in its tracks, fixes constipation and generally makes food interesting. And may help with light headed dizzy attacks.

    What are phytosterols ?


    Vertigo on the other hand is another ballgame, not unlike a lighted headed dizzy feeling, but with the added sense that the world, or you yourself, is spinning. It may be associated with nausea and even vomiting and can be extremely unnerving.

    How long does vertigo last ?

    Acute attacks usually pass over in a few hours, sometimes lasting a couple days. However, in some cases, certain movements may for years provoke sudden dizzy spells.

    It's usually brought on by sudden movements of the head such as looking up, or to the side and up. However, lying down for prolonged periods and not moving the head often aggravates the condition. It's better to move.

    A personal story

    I suffer from vertigo myself. So every few months, I wake up, turn my head to the right and the world starts to spin. I can feel my eyes oscillating, one of the cardinal signs, but seen only by the astute observer. It's called nystagmus.

    What is particularly unnerving for me, is that when I have a chiropractic adjustment for my lower back, rolling onto the right side produces an attack of nystagmus. It's not related to the manipulation at all, starts before the chiropractic adjustment, but for some reason turning on a chiropractic table is much worse than turning in bed. It has to do with the posture of the head.

    The good news is that vertigo almost always responds very quickly to some little exercises called the Epley manoeuvres. So I do the Epleys three times, and it's over for another few months. Sometimes I may feel nauseous for a few hours.

    However, your chiropractor will have to first establish which canal is affected. Personally I don't recommend adjusting the neck on the same day as doing the Epleys.

    The most common cause of vertigo (not unlike seasickness) is small crystals of calcium that collect in one of the semi-circular canals in the inner ear, inbibiting the flow of fluid. Then the two inner ear balance mechanisms do not agree. The result: Vertigo dizziness ...

    Multiple Sclerosis

    As stated above, vertigo is caused by unequal input from the right and left balance mechanisms to the brain. Very occasionally this may be caused not by those calcium crystals, but by demyelination of one of the vestibular nerves carrying the information to the brain.

    Nerves are coated in a fatty sheath called myelin. It's vital that these nerves are coated in healthy fat, hence the strong move away from hydrogenated fats.

    For unknown reasons, a disease called MS attacks this fatty sheath, reducing the conduction of the nerve: in this case vertigo dizziness results, but MS attacks many other nerves too, resulting in other symptoms. It's a rare condition.

    Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley ($11.90)

    "When you die, all the bread you've ever wasted is weighed. If it's heavier than you, hell is your destination!"

    Russian proverb.

    This month another non-chiropractic book, but one vitally related to good health.

    It's interesting that the amount of bread consumed in Western societies is dropping, some would say alarmingly. Whole wheat is a vital source of many vitamins and fatty acids, fibre too.

    Does today's bread give you heartburn and indigestion? Do you find it unsatisfying and unfulfilling?

    Well, you're not alone. And there's a perfectly sound reason. Today's supermarket bread is, by an large, junk food, full of chemicals, and not brewed with yeast at all. Or with too much yeast to speed up the process. And of course, white flour has none of the above nutrients; like sugar it's just empty calories. To get full value out of bread, the taste to die for, one needs to slow down the process allowing certain friendly bacteria to do their work.

    One of the chemicals added to bread, transglutaminase, has now been conclusively shown to be the reason why the modern loaf has made the protein in bread toxic for so many of us. It causes gluten intolerance, a condition called Coeliac disease. Chronic diarrhoea? Try cutting out ALL the wheat in your diet for a week.

    Bread matters has a large section specifically for the person who is gluten intolerant.

    Say Bread Matters readers:

  • I have found bread making a source of simple wonder and deep satisfaction.

  • Thank you for bring us back to bread. My two young sons choose breadmaking over playing computer games any day.

  • I have run the gamut of emotions in my kitchen, but one of the greatest pleasures I have ever found there is tasting my first loaf under the guidance you give in Bread Matters.

    This is a scholarly, but highly readable book. Whitley is himself a master baker, but obviously has a astute and highly educated mind too. It's a profound book, full of bread recipes, I have enjoyed it immensely. More important I have found bread does not have to give me indigestion. Bread making links me to profound feelings about life and what makes it good and meaningful. Kneading bread and chiropractic go hand in hand!

    For Christians, there are perhaps few more profound passages than the words of Jesus: "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall never hunger... " But when bread loses its breadness, it no longer satisfies our hunger pangs, in fact it starts feeling like an indigestible lump in the pit of the stomach. Not unlike some religion, eh?


    Some folk can't live without the assurance that, if they get sick, they will have medical insurance to cover their costs.

    Some, simply can't afford cover, despite being desperate about it. Medical insurance doesn't come cheap.

    Others, like myself, choose not to have insurance cover, even if they can afford it. But that places a huge responsibility on uninsured folk to follow the health rules of life. Otherwise you will pay dearly! That means:

    1. Enjoying proper holidays, at least three weeks per year.
    2. Taking regular exercise.
    3. Eating a healthy diet, high in fibre, rich in avocado, olive, flax and fish oils. With a minimum of your five mandatory colours per day. The Black-and-White diet is a guaranteed recipe for illness. And with minimal high Glycemic Index foods.
    4. Regularly exercising those parts of the body that are weak. I for example do lower back exercises EVERY morning before arising and have almost no lower back pain.
    5. Not smoking
    6. One could go on...

    Big savings

    I get a lot of letters at Chiropractic Help from folk complaining that they can't afford health care. But...

    You've been making huge savings over the years by not paying health insurance premiums. I know, I've been pocketing tens of thousands.

    But now you've hurt your back, and you have tingling in feet and legs ... this is not the time to be whinging that you have no health insurance. See your chiropractor, pay up, and think only of the thousands of dollars you've saved, not the paltry dollars you will have to fork out. Waiting in the wings, is a surgeon ready to take a very large slice of your savings... prevention is better than a cure.


    We are proud at Chiropractic Help to be providing an important service. In March, for the first time, over 200,000 pages at C-H were visited. For over two years now, C-H has consistently occupied the top slot in Google.

    Of course, we're very conscious that without you, this site would have no significance at all. So, thank you for being a faithful visitor to Chiropractic Help. It's you who have made this the successful website that it is. Why Chiropractic Help ...

    Yours in better health,

    Bernard Preston DC

    PS. Feel free to forward this to family and friends, your chiropractor and even your medical doctor!

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