What Causes Dizziness? Is it My Heart?

Health Professional

Lisa Nelson RD #16: If an individual experiences significant dizziness and/or lightheadedness, that requires grabbing an object to steady themselves, when moving from a squat position to standing followed by feelings of fatigue and weakness, should they consult their MD?   What may be a possible problem?

Dr. Shelby-Lane: Vertigo is an ailment that involves a disturbed sense of balance in which the affected individual feels their surroundings are in a state of constant movement, especially through a spinning sensation.

Several causes for syncope include  inner ear disturbances, cardiovascular problems, drugs and medication side effects, neurologic disorders, endocrine, infectious diseases, neurocardiogenic syncope, herbs, etc. All of these conditions require further evaluation and re-evaluation or tests such as an MRI, EEG, carotid ultrasound, EKG, Echocardiogram, a TILT test, hormone and blood tests, as indicated after a thorough exam and evaluation.   You may need an evaluation by multiple specialists including a cardiologist, neurologist or ENT specialist.

If this process is not successful in defining a diagnosis, I usually recommend that a person find a practitioner who can use The Ondamed to help localize a possible source for the problem.

The following ailments can cause vertigo/syncope:

Cardiovascular System

Vertigo can occur as a result of Cerebral Insufficiency (such as decreased blood supply to the brain causing a lack of oxygen)

Vertigo can be associated with blocked arteries to the brain (carotid/vertebral, etc.)

Concussion can cause vertigo.

Vertigo is a side effect of hypotension (low blood pressure).

Syncope can occur as a result of a heart valve disorder or cardiovascular problem

Digestive System

Chronic constipation can cause vertigo.

Toxicity and toxins can cause vertigo/dizziness

Immune System

Vertigo can occur as a result of otitis interna (inner ear infection).

Serious infections can be associated with dizziness.


Hypoxia (lack of oxygen) is speculated to be an underlying cause of vertigo.

Endocrine disorders can cause vertigo.

Nervous System

Impaired sense of balance can occur as a result of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Sexual System

Vertigo can occur as a result of the PMS-C (Cravings) form of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).

Musculoskeletal system

Vertigo can be associated with bone and joint disorders and herniated or degenerative disc disorders.

An excellent resource for neurologic disorders is www.brainrecovery.com, which is a website and a book by the same name.   The author is Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist, who covers disorders such as MS, ALS, Alzheimer's, memory problems, etc.

To learn more about Dr. Cynthia Shelby-Lane and the services she provides go to www.elanantiaging.meta-ehealth.com.

Lisa Nelson RD would love to have you sign-up for The Heart of Health free ezine to receive regular heart health and weight loss tips.   Select the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps or free report Stop Wasting Money - Take Control of Your Health when you subscribe.