If you’re someone who suffers from vertigo regularly, then you already understand how difficult it can be to treat – especially if you want to treat it naturally. But there are ways to treat vertigo without resorting to drugs that often bring with them harsh side effects and high price tags.
It’s important to note these treatments are only recommended for people who have a diagnosis to go along with their vertigo. Unexplained vertigo can be a symptom of a serious illness and if you haven’t talked to your doctor about it yet, make an appointment to talk to them as soon as possible.
For everyone else who knows the source of their vertigo, listed below are some of the best natural treatments for vertigo. But remember, always talk to your doctor before trying any new supplements or embarking on lifestyle changes.
A Chinese herb, Gingko biloba has been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine, but it has only gained popularity in the West during the last few decades. While there is little evidence to support all the ‘miracle’ cures it supposedly offers – such as improved memory – several studies have shown it to help with vertigo and associated symptoms. Gingko biloba may even be as effective as SERC (betahistine) – a drug regularly prescribed to Meniere’s disease sufferers.
As someone who suffers from vertigo nearly every day, ginger has been a lifesaver for me. While ginger has long been used by sailors to ward off seasickness, it’s only recently that studies have shown it to be effective against vertigo as well.
Something as simple as drinking ginger tea twice a day can make life more bearable for people who have vertigo. It does this by combatting both nausea and vertigo. Anyone who suffers from Meniere’s disease or migraine-associated vertigo (MAV) may especially benefit from ginger tea.
And while the taste of ginger tea isn’t for everyone, adding some honey or lemon will make the tea more flavourful. Although if you suffer from migraine associated vertigo, it’s best to avoid citrus fruit as they may cause migraines. Alternatively, if you’re not a tea person, ginger capsules can be taken which have roughly the same effect.
Lifestyle changes on their own probably won’t eliminate vertigo, but they can often make it more manageable. And one of the first lifestyle changes that should be looked at is reducing stress.
In many conditions – such as Meniere’s disease – one of the greatest triggers is stress. Thankfully, there are numerous methods available to reduce stress, including relaxation techniques, regular exercise, seeing a therapist, and getting more sleep. And sometimes, it requires nothing more than giving yourself permission to rest when you’re feeling ill.
Of all these methods, regular exercise is probably the most important if you suffer from vertigo, as it will help to improve balance and retrain the brain to deal with vertigo symptoms. But be careful to know your limits and stay within them. Tai chi and yoga are both popular exercise choices for people with vertigo and most areas offer classes.
Not everyone will benefit from dietary changes, but it’s often worth trying an elimination diet to see if removing a certain food will help with your vertigo. An elimination diet – removing only one food at a time for a period of two to four weeks – will help you narrow down which foods aggravate your vertigo. It may also help to keep a food journal and write down how you feel after eating certain foods.
Some of the most common vertigo food triggers are:
- Salty Foods
- Aged Cheeses
- Citrus Fruit
These food triggers – with the exception of caffeine and alcohol – usually only make symptoms worse for people with Meniere’s disease or migraine-associated vertigo. But they’re still often worth removing from your diet if you have vertigo, as Meniere’s usually takes on average five years to diagnose, while migraine-associated vertigo often takes even longer.
Dehydration will often cause vertigo and dizziness symptoms even in people with no underlying conditions, which makes it all the more important to stay hydrated if you have vertigo. If you don’t already, it’s a good idea to carry around a water bottle wherever you go and to replace all caffeinated and sugary drinks with water. Also, cutting down on salty foods will help you to stay hydrated.
Eat Regular Small Meals
Instead of having two to three large meals, you should opt for five to six smaller meals at regular intervals to help combat vertigo. The smaller meals will help to keep your insulin levels stable and should help to prevent vertigo and dizziness caused by hunger. And by eating smaller meals, it also makes it less likely to indulge too much on food that may trigger vertigo.
Dealing with vertigo can be difficult and draining, but if you make the proper changes to your lifestyle and diet, it can be manageable. However, consistency is key. Most of the methods listed above will only work if you stick to them strictly.