SELF Magazine shared that if you’ve ever felt dizzy, lightheaded, or like your head is spinning, congratulations: You’re a normal human being. We used to spin because dizziness seemed fun (ah, the good ol’ days), but not so much once adulthood rolled around.
There are so many things that could make you dizzy–like medications and dehydration—and most of them are minor and nothing to worry about, Catherine Cho, M.D., clinical associate professor in the departments of neurology and otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF.
Psst! Want more? Shape up, eat clean, and live healthy. Subscribe to SELF for $5.
In some situations, though, dizziness can be a sign of something more serious. Here is how to tell the difference between a minor spell of the spins and when it’s time to consult a neurologist to figure out what’s making you so faint.
1. Your dizzy spells are frequent or last longer than a few minutes.
A common condition called vertigo causes an “illusion of movement,” Cho explains. It’s caused by a disconnect between your ears and your brain, which results in a spinning sensation. Brief episodes can be triggered, most commonly, by rapid change in head movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. In most cases, especially in younger patients, the condition will resolve on its own, Cho says. But if you have it constantly, episodes that last hours at a time, or it’s accompanied by ringing in the ears or hearing loss, it could be a sign of a more serious ear disorder or undiagnosed migraines.
2. You’re also experiencing symptoms like numbness, weakness, speech problems, clumsiness, or vision problems.
Vertigo can actually be a sign of a stroke. If you feel a spinning-dizzy sensation that hits suddenly and also experience any other symptoms of stroke at the same time (for instance, weakness especially on one side of the body, sudden severe headache, or trouble speaking, seeing, or walking), you should see a doctor to rule it out. Cho urges a visit to the emergency room where doctors can do a quick check to make sure. Some other neurological conditions (like multiple sclerosis) can cause similar symptoms—they may not be as life-threatening, but it’s important to get them diagnosed so you can treat them.
3. You feel dizzy when you stand up.
Orthostatic hypotension—low blood pressure that happens when you stand up—can make you feel faint, but is usually nothing to worry about. The most likely cause is dehydration. “Especially in the summer months, people forget to drink more. You don’t have to be dripping sweat to become dehydrated,” Cho says. If loading up on H2O doesn’t stop these dizzy spells, there are some other disorders that could be causing low blood pressure or poor circulation, leading to dizziness. Cardiovascular disease (arrhythmias or congestive heart failure), and conditions that are most typical in diabetics—such as neuropathy (nerve damage) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—can all cause this dizzy or lightheaded sensation.
4. You have a history of migraines.
If your dizziness feels like your head is spinning (not the room), it could mean you’re suffering from migraines without knowing it, Cho says. Some people don’t realize their headaches are actually migraines if they don’t also see flashing lights or auras—but those symptoms are not always necessary.
5. You recently hit your head.
Cho says that you can also experience dizzy spells after getting a concussion. If you hit your head and never got it checked out, but sometimes feel like your head gets a little spinny, there’s a chance that bump did more than you thought.
6. You get dizzy during your workouts.
In this case, dehydration is the most likely culprit. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re constantly feeling this way during physical activity, focus on hydrating more to see if the problem stops; getting dizzy in the gym or out on a run is a good way to fall and injure yourself. Though not as common, exercise so intense that you’re gasping for air can cause hyperventilation, rapid breathing that causes carbon dioxide levels in the blood to drop, resulting in lightheadedness.
Bottom line: If a dizzy spell is so bad you can’t function, it’s worth seeing a doctor, even if it only happens once. As for those times every now and then that you get dizzy or lightheaded and it goes away? Stop worrying, and take a few slugs from your water bottle instead.
What does every Super Hero need? A healthy spine!
From July 25 – 29, DuPage HEALTHCARE LTD., located at 45 Park Street, Glen Ellyn, IL, is transforming kids into SUPER HEROES by making sure their spines are in SUPER HERO shape.
Dr. Sally Pepping, who is also featured on this month’s edition of SchoolScape, is offering FREE Exams and FREE Posture Screenings. If an adjustment is needed, the clinic is providing that as a reduced rate of $15. Every child will receive a cape and mask in celebration of the discovery of their super power.
Any child who participates also is eligible, after registration, to earn a Healthy Lombard Flat Apple Raffle ticket. Another ticket will also be entered in the child’s name if a photo is sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for posting on the Healthy Lombard Selfie Facebook page.
To make an appointment or find out more details, call 630-238-8200 and/or download the attached flyer.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released four final rules on Smart Snacks, local school wellness policies, school meal program reviews, and the Community Eligibility Provision. These rules finalize changes initiated with the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and strengthen the commitment to creating healthier school environments. Read the full press release from the USDA.
These rules help to make healthy choices the easy choice for schools and students by:
- aligning snack foods sold in schools with the nutrition standards for school breakfast and lunch;
- ensuring robust implementation of updated nutrition standards for school meals, snacks, and beverages;
- providing consistent messaging and marketing about healthy food and beverage choices in schools;
- fostering a collaborative approach to local school wellness policies to improve access to healthy food and physical activity;
- expanding access to school meals;
- maintaining school meal program integrity through accountability and standards; and
- strengthening efforts of parents, teachers, coaches and school partners to help students reach their potential in a healthy school environment.
Dr. Axe, from Food is Medicine, shared that in addition to brushing and flossing daily, there are several ways you can reverse cavities naturally and maximize your oral health without resorting to taking in fluoride. Here are just a few ways to reverse cavities naturally for you to consider, while also avoiding fluoride:
1. Remove Sugar
Probably the worst culprit of them all for anyone who desires healthy, cavity-free teeth, sugar should be avoided like the plague. So kick that sugar addiction stat. Not only does sugar feed oral bacteria that prevents a healthy flow of dental fluids, but it’s highly acidic and can literally decalcify or demineralize the structural content of teeth that create dental decay. (4)
This means staying away from soda, candy and baked goods with sugar. Additionally, use raw honey and maple syrup, and drink juices sparingly, as too much sugar can contribute to cavity formation. Be careful of artificial sweeteners because of their health risks as well. Bottom line: Make stevia your new best friend along with raw honey in moderation!
2. Eliminate Phytic Acid
Phytic acid (phytate) is a mineral blocker and enzyme inhibitor found in grains, nuts, seeds and beans that can cause serious health problems in our diets. The main reason phytic acid has become an issue today is because we have stopped ancient food preparation techniques, such as sprouting or sourdough fermentation, which kills off the phytic acid.
According to research published in the The Lancet, a diet high in phytic acid creates mineral deficiencies and causes osteoporosis. About 80 percent of phosphorus in grains and beans is bound to phytic acid so it’s completely unabsorbable. In addition to blocking phosphorus availability in humans, these molecules bind minerals necessary for oral health, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc — thus causing them to be unavailable for proper utilization. Consuming foods high in phytic acid decreases magnesium absorption by 60 percent and zinc by 20 percent. (5)
Joshua Steckler, owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition, posted in the Daily Herald on July 18 that perhaps your commute to work, paying all the bills this month, or trying to function on four hours of sleep. We all have a good understanding of what stress feels like and where it comes from, and many of us even practice techniques to manage that stress.
Other types of stress may not be as apparent, or we just don’t recognize the signs. For example, food can act as either an ideal fuel for the body or a poison that should be avoided. When you eat certain foods, they may be causing stress within your body — also known as inflammation.
Inflammation is our body’s response to illness, injury, or stress. Inflammation can actually be beneficial when it’s short-term. Sprain an ankle and it will become inflamed to begin the healing process. But, if inflammation is long-term and systemic, it could lead to many diseases and health problems.
Diseases associated with long-term systemic inflammation include cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and many autoimmune diseases. So it would seem logical to try to minimize or at least control inflammation.
Taking control of systemic inflammation begins with the digestive system.
Changing the types of foods you eat will have a dramatic effect on the health of your digestive tract. Cutting out processed foods, sugary foods, chemical-laden foods, and trans fats is a good place to start.
Adding healthy fats such as fish oil while limiting certain plant oils such as soybean oil may help balance out your Omega 3 to Omega 6 fat ratio. Continue reading
Lauren Priebe shared that as a child, you may have avoided broccoli at all costs. As the health conscious adult you surely are, it may be a staple of your diet. But, love it or hate it, the benefits of broccoli can’t be denied. It has long been referenced as a so-called super food. And a recent study suggests broccoli has even more health benefits than we once thought.
University of Illinois researchers found that broccoli is full of healthy promoting agents called phenolic compounds. These “compounds, including certain flavonoids, are associated with a lower risk of coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, asthma, and several types of cancer,” said Jack Juvik, a U of I geneticist.
In addition, Juvik discovered that by eating broccoli rich in phenolic compounds, the vegetable helps to reduce inflammation and lessen the risk for a number of degenerative diseases.
The study noted that our bodies do not naturally produce phenolic compounds, which makes eating broccoli even more important to fight off the risk for infections.
“Broccoli is also rich in vitamin A and C, fiber, folate and potassium: it’s essentially a nutrition powerhouse that provides a variety of services for our bodies such as maintaining skin, our immune system, aiding in digestion and more,” says Melodi Peters, a registered dietitian at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. Continue reading
Jess at Paleo Grubs shred that if you want to get all the below benefits of coconut oil pulling, make sure to do it every morning. This process:
• Detoxifies your body
• Boosts metabolism
• Kills bad breath”
• Heals bleeding gums
• Prevents heart disease
• Reduces inflammation
• Cures tooth decay
• Whitens teeth
• Soothes throat dryness
• Prevents cavities
• Heals cracked lips
• Boosts Immune System
• Improves acne and
• Strengthens gums and jaw
Step by Step Instructions
1. Put one tablespoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil in your mouth. Since coconut oil is a saturated fat that hardens at room temperature, you might have to kind of chew/suck on it in order for it to melt.
2. Once melted, swish the oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, making sure you work it through your teeth, around your gums, etc. You don’t have to get aggressive about it, it can be a calming and easy swishing motion. You can make this part of your morning routine by doing it in the shower, while you get dressed, etc.
3. When you’re done, spit the oil out into the toilet or trash can, and brush your teeth as normal. Done!
4. Do this every morning.
Dr. Josh Axe shared asked if you know that up to roughly 85 percent of all people are sensitive to oils found in the poison ivy plant? It’s true, which is why poison ivy rash is so common.
Those who react to poison ivy by developing a skin rash are also very likely to develop similar symptoms from coming into contact with poison oak or poison sumac. When a person is “sensitized” to poison ivy’s oils — the skin touches the oils and enters the immune system, causing a histamine response — a form of dermatitis develops on the skin. In about 15 percent of people, this reaction becomes very severe.
Fortunately, the poison ivy rash itself isn’t contagious. It cannot be spread from body part to body part or from person to person. However, having a poison ivy rash once does not protect you from getting it again in the future, and the fact that poison ivy’s oils can linger on tools and clothing for long periods of time means a rash can easily spread. If you’re struggling to control your poison ivy symptoms, natural remedies for rashes including essential oils, supplements and compresses can all help lower itchiness and redness while you heal.
The treatments below can help keep you protected from developing a poison ivy rash in the first place, along with lowering the severity of symptoms you experience, including itchiness. Some experts believe that treatments won’t help speed up the amount of time it takes for a poison ivy rash to heal, since the immune system must gradually work through its allergic response. However, it’s likely that by boosting overall immune function before you’re even exposed to poison ivy, you’ll be able improve healing and shorten the duration of your symptoms.
1. Take Steps to Prevent a Rash
Recognizing what poison ivy plants look like (as well as poison oak and poison sumac) and avoiding exposure are the first steps in preventing a poison ivy rash from developing. Here are some pointers:
- Poison ivy plants have three leaves and tend to be shiny and medium-sized. Some people like to remember the common phrase, “Leaves of three, let it be.” The leaves are usually bright green but can also have shades of red or yellow.
- Poison ivy is capable of growing in many climates and is found across the U.S. It tends to grow in areas where people roam around, including the edges of trails, streets or gardens.
- It can be found on golf courses, campsites, near the beach, hiking trails, by garages and on the side of dirt roads. The reason it’s commonly found in these areas is because the plant likes partial shade and tends to grow where densely populated woods meet open land.
- It can appear as either a small vine or a small shrub, which means it’s sometimes on the ground but also up higher. Its base/trunk tends to grow tiny hairs on it, which means it’s a good idea to look over a whole plant if you suspect poison ivy.
A number of available creams, soaps and lotions can also be used to help lower your risk for developing symptoms if you do come into contact with the plant. However, these still won’t guarantee that you’re protected from having an allergic reaction, so always use caution when you’re working outdoors and suspect there’s poison ivy. Some people swear by using protective lotions before they garden or work outside, since these can add a buffer between the plant and your skin. Continue reading