Dizziness and Balance problems

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Good morning: i am new to this forum but it looks very interesting.

I am a 70 year old female, no history of diabetes or blood pressure problems. About a year ago i had an episode wherein I went to get up from a sitting position, I found i was staggering. i was not dizzy per se. this lasted about an hour and went away. Fast forward to October 2015, i was sitting on my coach and felt really weird,  though no vertigo and no actual dizziness. when i tried to get up and walk i could not. i was alone and could not even get to the bathroom; i also became nauseated and wound up being taken by ambulance to the hospital. I had A CT of the head, threw up while i was there, had lots of blood work and was discharged the following morning.  I did see a neurologist and my exam was ok. they wanted to do an MRI but i cannot tolerate the noise; ido have tinnitus for years and my ears are extremely sensitive. If I turn too fast, let's say to get up and walk somewhere, i can precipitate an episode of inability to walk without staggering and some dizziness, though not vertigo.

Since then I have had three episodes like this. I took Meclizine and it seemed to help. But here is the problem now; my balance is off- i feel like i am going to topple over- it is scary because my balance is really off.

I have to mention i do take 3 tablespoons of magnesium ( 1800 mg) every other night  for severe constipation and have taken magnesium for 30 years. I have asked different docs if they thought the Magnesium could be a cause of my dizziness and they do not think so.

I feel very vulnerable. does anyone have any suggestions as to what to take for this problem? i have read that Meclizine cannot be used prophylactally - it will only work for an acute episode.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and ideas.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello, have you noticed any hearing loss during this time? Have you been to an ENT? I have had meniers since 2007 and went through bouts of vertigo, one episode took all of my hearing in my left ear. I have had episodes of being off balanced for several months.Movements like your describing that gets you off balanced has not happened to me. I have heard of it before..ENT describe them as crystals that can become out of place and create what you are describing. There are manipulations that can help move these back into place. I hope you find what is causing this. It's not a nice feeling at all.
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  • Posted

    If you eat plant based you will not need magnesium, I have not found any medications for us.  Vestibular therapy can help the brain compensate over time.
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  • Posted

    Hello,I have had dizziness and been off balance 24/7 for almost 6 months and have been of work the whole time ,if I turn suddenly I can get a bad dizzy spell and have to stay put till it goes, I understand what your going through and it is scary and even after 6 months of it I don't feel any less scared.if you need to talk im here for you,take care Lisa

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    • Posted

      Hi Lisa:  yes, it is scary as hell- today it is worse than yesterday. I am afraid to get up for fear of falling. like you, if i turn suddenly i get dizzy. but today i am off balance and not dizzy. have you been worked up for the problem? if so, what was the outcome of the tests?
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    • Posted

      Hi,I've had a MRI scan that was ok,balance tests also ok and bloods taken for everything and I was anaemic badly and lacking in vitamin k but I've had pills and all OK now for a few months.my ent doctor thinks I have silent migraines and positional vertigo, I was taking a pill called stemital but its not good to take for a long time but works,it helps with the dizziness and stops sickness.I'm now taking sturgeon 15 and works just as well,its a over counter travel pill also treats vertigo.

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  • Posted

    Hi, You say you don't have vertigo, so the Epley head movements would not help you, I'm pretty sure. You have imbalance, like I do... many causes, but the "only"? therapy is vestibular rehab training, where your brain finds new pathways to keep you balanced. I don't understand it, and it hasn't worked for me yet, but they say it can be done.

    Interesting that you use the phrase "topple over", That's me too! It feels like your head is too heavy, and it pulls you to one side. When the ENT doctor asked me to walk a straight line, I couldn't, and told him it felt like my head was pulling me to one side.

    He just shook his head "yes", but didn't really say what this could be for sure.'Could be many things... a B6 deficiency, a virus that hit your vestibular nerve, nerve damage of some other kind (from heavy antibiotics), diabetes, etc. Many possibilities but they all tell you that vestibular rehabilitation therapy can help reverse it. If you have a balance center near you, it would be good to see what they can do for you.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Physical therapy definitely helped me. My brain has had to adjust and find new ways to compensate. My hearing aids made an enormous difference in my recovery also. 
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  • Posted

    hI i am new to this group as well.  Have you been to a vestibular physiotherapist and done the exercises that are supposed to help.  I know nothing about Magnesium and whether it causes such problems.  What does your doctor advise.  It is a shame you can't tolerate the MRS - can't they give you earplugs and earmuffs to counteract the noise.  It would at least eliminate if there was a problem in that area.  It is an absolutely terrible feeling and I can understand you feeling vulnerable   Good Luck  June
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