Lightheadedness: What to do if you have it
Updated: Mar 19
In this blog, we will cover the topic of lightheadedness and what to do if you or someone you know is experiencing it.
Lightheadedness is commonly described as a sensation of “blood rushing to (or away from) the head”. Sometimes people describe lightheadedness as a “reboot” of their system; where for a few seconds it seems like all of their senses and awareness of the world are “offline” temporarily. Many people experience lightheadedness after changing positions, either from a lying or seated position to a standing position. Lightheadedness in general can occur very frequently, but usually only lasts several seconds to a couple of minutes. Finding the root cause of this symptom is key to fixing this permanently, as opposed to just “managing” or adjusting your lifestyle to the symptoms.
Lightheadedness can occur from a variety of reasons; commonly, they can be separated into metabolic and neurological categories. People who have blood sugar regulation issues, including insulin resistance, can experience lightheadedness in times of prolonged fasting without adequate blood sugar circulating in the blood. Sometimes people can also experience lightheadedness when trying intermittent fasting protocols, especially initially in the first couple of days as their body adjusts to the new routine. Both of these scenarios have obvious correlations to the timing of the symptoms; the lightheadedness that they experience will stop after they eat a meal, and usually only returns under certain conditions (known triggers). As such, the lightheadedness they experience is episodic (usually not daily) and temporary.
If the lightheadedness is stemming from a neurological issue, it can be usually separated into two categories; dysautonomia and/or vestibular dysfunction. Almost everyone who is experiencing dysautonomia (instability in the sympathetic/parasympathetic systems that results in abnormal fluctuations in the heart rate and/or blood pressure) has lightheadedness at one time or another. These people usually feel the lightheadedness increase when changing positions (seated/lying to standing) or when standing upright for extended periods of time. Vestibular dysfunction causing lightheadedness is usually triggered by visual motion (motion of the environment around you, such as in a car) or movement of your body (such as walking through a busy story with a lot of turning in different directions). Both of these scenarios can be helped through neurological rehabilitation exercises that target the weakness and instability in those areas.
It is worth looking into one of these causations if you experience lightheadedness. Generally speaking, you can eliminate some causations simply by paying attention to your triggers or timing of the symptoms. With the appropriate treatment, the sensations of lightheadedness can be successfully fixed for good.
Our mission at Great Lakes Functional Neurology is to help you understand your injury and provide the correct treatment to get you back to normal, healthy living. We strive to equip you with the tools needed for your full brain recovery. If you would like to know more, or you know someone currently struggling with neurological symptoms, we would be happy to discuss this topic in more detail with you. You can reach out to us at www.greatlakesneurology.com and schedule a complimentary phone consultation with one of our doctors.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER The content above is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. Great Lakes Functional Neurology does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. We recommend readers that are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications consult their physicians before starting any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.