Allergic Reaction - Dizzy Spells

A woman from Denver whom I met on a plane told me that she had dizzy spells off and on for couple of years. She’d be walking down the street, for example, when suddenly her head would start to spin. She’s begun to worry that she might have a brain tumor. But a thorough neurological exam, including the brain scan, failed to detect one.

An allergist eventually discovered that the woman was allergic to yeasts and molds in foods – cheese, wine, mushrooms and so forth – and that they were the cause of her dizzy spells. The woman told me that she still eats an occasional piece of cheese or drink some wine at parties, but not very often and not very much.

The biggest relief, she said, comes from knowing that she doesn’t have a brain tumor or other some life threatening illness. Dizzy spells can be pretty scary. So when a controllable cause is uncovered, doctor and patient alike are relieved. Allergy, however, is rarely suspected. And allergic, causes are rare – but they exist.

Dizziness from allergy to foods or inhalant results when they cause fluid retention in the inner ear that throws equilibrium off balance. You feel faint, or have the sense that you’re going to fall. The allergen can be anything from an easy to avoid food to a hard to avoid chemical.

Marshall Mandell, M.D., an allergist in Norwalk, Connecticut, tells of a ten year old girl who became quite dizzy when leaving the kitchen to walk to school every morning (the kitchen have a gas stove). She also became dizzy and nauseous in school every time freshly printed papers were passed around in class or when she was in the same room with a mimeograph machine.

When Dr. Mandell tested her for allergy to ethanol (a petroleum product in gas and copying fluid) and other environmental substance, the girl became very ill. At Dr. Mandell’s suggestion, the girl’s parents then replace all gas appliances in the home with electric models and discarded any household cleaning materials that contained petroleum byproducts.

”This environmental change was of considerable benefit,” says Dr. Mandell. ”(The girl) morning dizziness disappeared along with her fatigue,” (Dr. Mandell’s 5 Day Allergy Relief System, Thomas Y. Crowell, 1979). If you suffer unexplained dizzy spells, an allergy investigation could give you some helpful answers. Rotary Diets, and Clearing the Air, outline how to go about identifying allergy to food or chemicals.

If after reading those chapters you feel you need professional guidance, write to the following address for the name of an allergist in your area who’s familiar with environmentally induced illness: Del Stigler, M.D., 2005 Franklin Street, Denver, CO 80205. Because dizzy spells are often accompanied by nausea or Headaches, you could also find it helpful to read the entries on those topics.