What Causes Vertigo?

In order to deal properly with vertigo we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow vertigo to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind vertigo consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to vertigo.  Here are six possibilities:
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuritis/Neuropathy
  • Fluorosis
  • Dehydration
  • Mercury Toxicity
  • Meniere's Disease

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
cold weather muscle weakness
cold sores
severe vision disturbances
multiple sclerosis in remission
jaw lymph node problems
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
heart racing/palpitations
poor bodily coordination
much tooth staining or pitting
recent onset nausea
unexplained missed periods
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of vertigo:
Cause Probability Status
Fluorosis 95% Confirm
Meniere's Disease 62% Possible
Dehydration 17% Unlikely
Mercury Toxicity 2% Ruled out
Neuritis/Neuropathy 0% Ruled out
Multiple Sclerosis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the General Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about vertigo:
Do you ever experience vertigo (a sensation of you or your surroundings spinning)?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Never
→ Occasionally
→ Regularly - several times per month
→ Frequently - daily or almost daily
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate not suffering from vertigo, vertigo or frequent vertigo, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Multiple Sclerosis

Vertigo is a fairly common symptom of multiple sclerosis, occurring in about 20% of sufferers at some point.  It is an acute, uncomfortable sensation, making those who are already a little unsteady feel even more nervous about moving around.  It is not a permanent symptom, but may indicate a new lesion or inflammation.

This vertigo can be caused by lesions in the cerebellum, or it can be a result of damage to the nerves that control the vestibular functions of the ear in the brain stem.  Vertigo is, however, not always a direct result of the MS disease process.


When the vestibular nerve (connecting the inner ear to the brain) is affected, dizziness or vertigo can result.

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