Vertigo and Strokes


I subscribe to some medical information via email, including the NEJM Journal Watch Stroke Alert, and this article was in the email today:

Stroke may present with vertigo as the only symptom

In the article the author writes “. . . days to weeks of continuous vertigo or dizziness, nausea or vomiting, head-motion intolerance, gait unsteadiness, and nystagmus . . .” can actually be caused by small strokes.

That just floored me. Which one of you reading this has not had horrible days with those symptoms? I know I have. My doctor actually ordered an MRI to try to diagnose the cause of my vertigo.  Negative results.

I’m not trying to alarm anyone with this information, but you might want to talk to your doctor and get an MRI if you have persistent vertigo.

Just saying.


Posted under Causes, Symptoms

This post was written by Dan Ferry on July 9, 2014

Thought I was home free . . .

Well, I thought when I stopped taking the metoprolol tartrate that I was home free, that I would have no more unexplained dizziness. Wrong. LOL.

I have a very acid stomach, and I’ve had several ulcers over the years, so I was taking omeprazole (Prilosec) 40mg/day. Well, I got an ulcer in January from a MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack that I was taking for a back injury, and my G.I. specialist gave me a prescription for a greater dose of Prilosec (80mg/day). Man, did I get dizzy! Of course, it says right on the bottle: “May cause dizziness“. Duh.

Tried Protonix with the same result (dizziness). Four 150mg Zantac a day couldn’t handle the acid, and I wound up taking Prilosec again, but only 20mg/day (OTC). It appears that for now I’ve hit a decent balance between dizziness and stomach pain.

The lesson from this? Examine every medicine you take to determine if it could be contributing to your dizziness or vertigo.

Posted under Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

This post was written by Dan Ferry on May 18, 2014

Mystery Solved

Well, I finally figured out what else was causing my vertigo: my high blood pressure medication (metoprolol tartrate).  I never considered the medicine as a possible cause because when I first had the vertigo, I was not taking any medication.  And when I stopped eating soy, I was still taking the medication and I was fine.  However, I was only taking one pill a day.  When my dosage increased slowly to two pills a day, I began to have severe vertigo problems again.  I began looking for additional foods that might be causing the vertigo instead of blaming the medicine.

It doesn’t seem much of a leap to realize it was the medication, but I was sure it was a food allergy.  I got to the point where I was only eating about five different gluten-free/soy-free foods (cereal, almond milk, meats, bread, potatoes) and still having vertigo problems. Finally I looked online at the side effects of the metoprolol tartrate and discovered that about 10% of people who take the drug have vertigo.  Eureka!  Duh.

So I worked with my doctor to get me off the medication, and now I don’t have the bad vertigo problems, but I now I have to lose 20 pounds and increase my exercise level to drop my blood pressure.  Well, I wanted to (needed to) do that anyway.  Now I have a real reason to do it.

An observant reader will note that in the last paragraph I said “. . . I don’t have the bad vertigo problems . . .”, not that all the dizziness/vertigo is gone.  Yup, I still have some minor dizziness and every once in awhile a day with more moderate dizziness.  Is it from some food (eggs?).  Is it from the prilosec that I have to take (my only other meds)?  I don’t know, but I hope to find out . . .

BTW, my military thriller novel, FIELD PIECE (see the left sidebar), will be a Kindle FREE DOWNLOAD on on Black Friday and Saturday (11/29 & 11/30). Pick it up for nothing, nada, and give it a good review on Amazon if you like it.  (If you don’t like it, it’s OK if you don’t review it.)


Posted under Causes, Symptoms

This post was written by Dan Ferry on November 27, 2013