In common parlance these three words are often taken to be synonymous but medically speaking the difference in symptoms between the three definitions following is very useful to the practitioner trying to isolate the cause.

Giddiness is an unpleasant situation of losing one’s relationship to surrounding objects.

Vertigo actually reflects the sensation that the world is revolving about oneself (objective vertigo) or that one is moving in space, although one knows that one is stationary (subjective vertigo).

Dizziness is a mixture both of combining a difficulty in relating to objects, as well as feelings of rotation or whirling. Very often weakness, faintness and unsteadiness is associated.

Depending on your symptoms, an experienced practitioner or doctor will be able to isolate whether the problem is occurring because of sensory input (vision or problems with the pressure receptors in the feet if standing) or motor control (loss of control of the body through nervous or muscular uncoordination). The other reason that dizziness, etc may occur is because of problems in perception actually within the central nervous system or brain. The causes can be as serious as brain tumours and other space-occupying lesions, or less serious such as low blood sugar not providing the brain with enough energy.

Dizziness, giddiness and vertigo may be initial symptoms of the presentation of atherosclerosis causing clogging of the arteries and therefore reducing the blood supply and oxygen to parts of the brain. The intake of any drugs or specific food allergens may also affect the perception of the brain, sensory input or motor control of the body. Except when an obvious cause has created dizziness, such symptoms should be reviewed by a doctor.

Eastern philosophies consider dizziness to be a deficiency in being ‘earthed’ or an excess of space/air. Treatment is therefore based on centring or earthing the body and, according to the Chinese, nourishing or working on the stomach meridian is useful.

For any persistence of dizziness please visit a doctor. The practitioner will need to check your sugar levels through your blood and urine and if examination does not reveal anything may suggest further investigations such as computed axial tomography (CAT or CT scans) of the brain to rule out anything nasty. Follow through with these investigations as treatment is dependent upon accurate diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis has been established, review the situation with a complementary medical practitioner.

In an acute situation try drinking a small glass of fruit juice, water and some non-refined carbohydrate such as a slice of wholegrain bread. (This will raise blood sugar and feed the stomach meridian.)

Pressure can be applied to stomach meridian points; the most well used is stomach 36, situated four fingers widths below the knee cap in a small dent found on the shin bone. Apply gentle pressure for about 2min at least.

The following homeopathic remedies may be of benefit if taken at potency 6 every 15min until the problem relieves itself or medical attention is sought. Kali carbonicum if worse for movement or concentrating on something or if the individual is better in the open air or by an open window; Conium maculatum – if symptoms are worse for lying down; Gelsemium – if the dizziness is associated with weakness and feeling shaky.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine or refined sugars.