Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can food combinations cause vertigo?"

ZocdocAnswersCan food combinations cause vertigo?


My 8 year old daughter has dizzy spells that I'm trying to treat, and I'm starting to suspect that it's caused by a certain food - but it seems to depend on the way that food (wheat) is prepared. Is it possible that the combination of gluten with another chemical could cause her vertigo?


The first thing to note is that if your daughter is having recurrent episodes of dizziness or vertigo, this must be checked out by her pediatrician. This is because, rarely, dizziness can be a symptom of a serious medical problem such as a brain tumor or a heart rhythm problem. Therefore, any persist neurological symptom must be evaluated. It is highly unlikely that the vertigo is related to food. Although there is some anecdotal evidence that certain foods cause vertigo, by far the strongest association is between alcohol and vertigo, which is not an issue for an 8 year old. Additionally some people feel like their vertigo is worsened by artificial sweeteners; however, in most of these cases there is another underlying cause of the vertigo and the sweeteners are just an exacerbating factor. The most common benign causes of vertigo in children include orthostatic or vasovagal vertigo, usually caused by pooling of blood in the legs and a relative lack of blood flow to the brain. This can be treated by staying well hydrated at all times and avoiding standing for long periods of time. Also, for many children problems with anxiety can manifest as vertigo, and so this is another possibility worth investigating.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.