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May 22, 2016 Dr. Patrick Nemechek and Jean Nemechek


 Many people have felt an uneasy sensation in their head and they describe it as feeling dizzy. But dizziness is a term that means different things to different people.
Zeroing in on the true mechanism of your dizziness determines if you are being properly treated for your underlying problem. Unfortunately, many providers do not take the time to understand a patient’s dizziness before suggesting a treatment.
There are three distinct types of sensations that are commonly referred to as dizziness: (1) vertigo, (2) lightheadedness, and (3) disequilibrium.
Vertigo is the unique sensation of spinning as if one were on a carousel ride at an amusement park. The patient feels as if the room is spinning around them. Vertigo may occur when lying flat or standing, and can be triggered when the position of the head changes from side-to-side (shaking your head “no”).
Vertigo is commonly caused by sinus or middle ear pressure or congestion that is temporary and decongestants will help it go away. Vertigo could also be a problem with the inner ear balance mechanism from an infection or inflammation.
Disequilibrium is the sensation when the floor seems to be gently shifting as if one is standing in a small boat. Disequilibrium people feel like they may fall over. The same problems that can cause vertigo (congestion, infection) and lightheadedness (Autonomic Dysfunction) can also cause disequilibrium.
Lightheadedness is a sensation that feels woozy or like you may pass out if it were to get worse. Lightheadedness does not have the spinning feeling or the sensation of falling over. It may also feel like a head rush, a sudden headache, a sensation of weak legs about to give way or anxiety.
Lightheadedness is often triggered when standing up quickly (called orthostatic hypotension) or when sitting or standing still for several minutes.
Simply put, lightheadedness is from a lack of oxygen to the brain often due to reversible Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction. The Autonomic Nervous System is the brain’s master control network and this is how your brain controls all your cells, organs, hormones, immune system, and blood pressure.
The Autonomic Nervous System is comprised of two main branches that should work together in balance like a seesaw. When you get out of bed in the morning for instance, one branch clamps down and the other releases at the exact same time.
When the Autonomic seesaw works in unison there are no symptoms, but when they no longer are in balance someone feels dizzy, gets a head rush, may fall, or might pass out.
The Autonomic seesaw makes you dizzy because a damaged Autonomic Nervous System cannot correctly push blood upwards against gravity and this results in low brain oxygen levels.
The brain only has a one second reserve supply of oxygen and when the Autonomic Nervous System does not work correctly the brain cells do not function without enough oxygen. The dizziness is an oxygen problem and that is why you feel lightheaded.
The low “brain blood pressure” that results from a dysfunction in the Autonomic Nervous System often does not show up as a low BP reading when the measurement is taken at the arm. Simple blood pressure machines do not measure the brain’s demand for oxygen flow. This is why “low blood pressure” to the brain it is commonly misdiagnosed.
In other words, as your brain screams out for more oxygen the blood pressure reading in your arm will rise as your body pumps harder and harder to supply the oxygen flow to keep your brain from being dizzy.
Ironically, many health care providers do not understand what the raised arm blood pressure number means so they increase your blood pressure medication which results in even less oxygen flow and even more dizziness.
Because they do not take the time to ask a few questions, these health care providers confuse the elevated pressure reading measured at the arm as a sign of the disease Hypertension instead of the effect of low blood pressure to the brain.
People are misdiagnosed and then they are treated with medication they do not need for a problem they do not have, and silently their Autonomic dysfunction progresses.
Surprisingly, lightheadedness may be reversed by adjusting the doses of some common medications. But if you are lightheaded and your general lab tests are normal it may mean your Autonomic Nervous System is not working correctly.
How does the Autonomic Nervous System get damaged? The Autonomic system may be injured through (1) a direct physical injury or trauma (concussion), (2) an indirect injury or intense emotional event (emotional concussion), (3) a metabolic injury (adverse drug reaction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, heat stroke), or (4) an inflammatory injury (antibiotics, surgery, vaccines, or an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria called “SIBO” that sends disruptive signals to the brain).
The common symptoms of Autonomic dysfunction include being lightheaded or dizzy, syncope (passing out), heartburn, intestinal distress (cramping/constipation/frequent urination), frequent or recurrent headaches, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and chronic hunger.
It disrupts our lives with insomnia, sleep disturbances, and non-restorative sleep cycles. In some people it causes depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Autonomic dysfunction also causes temperature regulation problems, PMS, tingling and numbness (feet, legs, hands, arms, face, neck), ADD, cognitive difficulties, or memory problems.
The blood flow issues with Autonomic dizziness also can cause varicose veins (men and women) and erectile dysfunction.
Autonomic Nervous System damage can be identified, treated, and reversed. I use spectral analysis testing to identify which branch of the Autonomics, the Sympathetic (“fight or flight”) or the Parasympathetic (“rest and digest”), is no longer working in balance in my patients and is causing their dizziness.
Restoring balance between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic branches is not just important for feeling better in the short term, restoring balance is necessary for a long and healthy life.
Autonomic functioning is critical to life expectancy because improved Autonomic function improves heart rate variability (HRV). People with elevated HRV have an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation or heart flutter.
People with low HRV have an increased risk of death from widespread organ and metabolic dysfunction.
If you sometimes feel dizzy but you do not feel like you are on a carousel, keep searching for the right answer because being dizzy from Autonomic dysfunction is a warning sign. Autonomic dysfunction fuels the systemic metabolic inflammation that triggers cellular changes and ignites someone’s disposition for disease (cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc.).
I am a classically trained internal medicine physician (D.O.) from UCLA and my private office is located in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. My research background has been focused on the Autonomic Nervous System, brain metabolism, and metabolic inflammation.
I am a scientist physician who uses all available scientific and medical tools to induce the nervous system and organs to actually repair themselves by normalizing inflammation control mechanisms, inducing natural stem cell production, using vagal nerve stimulation, and re-activating innate restorative mechanisms.
For more information you may call my office at 623-208-4226 or go to my website
© 2016. Dr. Patrick M. Nemechek and Jean R. Nemechek. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Sara strenger 2 years ago

    Hi Dr. N I believe I have had the 3rd vertigo you describe going on 2 years ! I started doing Dr Cutler detox! I remember becoming ill Aug. 2015 to my stomach. I recall throwing up and felt like passing out! My stomach has been a mess and I started going gluten free.
    Please help me! I am so frustrated with my body walking with a unequal walk!

  2. Ben 3 years ago

    Hey Dr. Nemechek,

    What is your take on “chronic lyme”? It seems as if these new “lyme literate doctors” just diagnose everyone that walks through their door with no definite diagnosis with lyme, as they claim is causes many symptoms (such as these). Even though many of their patients get better after long courses of antibiotics, there seems to be relapsing of the symptoms or no change in symptoms in the first place. I found through my research that these patients usually need long-term expensive supplements or reoccurring antibiotic courses that are not covered by insurances. Your approach to determining underlying diseases and treating seems to be backed up by research and makes a lot more sense.

    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      I believe most people diagnosed with chronic Lyme’s actually have chronic neuroinflammatioin from primed microglia (white blood cells). Priming causes the microglia to act to worsen damage from emotional, physical and inflammatory brain injuries and limits our recovery. Event after event leads to cumulative brain injury.

      the drugs often used for “chronic Lyme” (Naltrexone, doxycycline, minocycline, Rocephin) all have been shown to suppress the neuroinflammation from primed microglia. There real effect is not in the killing of the Lyme organism but is reducing the neuroinflammation in the brain.

      Other than the correct form and amount of fish oil,nuts and an adequate amount of California olive oil, my patients get full recovery without anything else.

      Dr. N

  3. Jenny Hayden 4 years ago

    Hi I’m 39 years hold and 2months ago I woke up with inner trembling and dizziness. It’s now been two months of everything going wrong with my body. Inner shakiness in the morning, light headness during the day, feeling like I’m going to pass out, increased urination, heart palpitation, having troubles sleeping, right before my period the light headness is worse. I’m really struggling with life right now. Having two children and a husband that doesn’t understand what is going on and is just as frustrated is hard. I’ve had MRI’s, CT’s, ultrasounds, blood work of just about every kind, ENT for hearing and balance test, eye doc. You name it and everything has come back normal. I just need some advise or help. Not sure I can make it all the way to Arizona as I live near St.louis in Illinois. Please help!

    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 years ago

      All the tests you describe will be normal if you have autonomic dysfunction. You need spectral analysis testing of your autonomic nervous system. We have many patients fly into Phoenix, see me for an analysis and fly home in the same day. We can do your follow-up visits by Skype. I can usually make most of this go away in 4-6 months.

      Call 623-208-4226 for more info

      Dr. N

  4. Sandi 4 years ago

    Hi. I just discovered you today, and I’m very interested in many topics you’ve discussed.
    I have the following:
    Chronic daily headaches
    Chronic migraines
    Overweight about 75#
    Nausea – chronic, most of the day
    Chronic hunger
    Constant feeling if I eat my stomach will ‘feel better’
    Occasional heart flutter
    Fatigue – always
    Neck pain
    Back pain

    I’m a mess…but I work full time, I’m just ALWAYS tired…very tired, never feel
    Good and rested anymore. Oh, and I’m just 36. Female.

    What type of Doctor would you recommend I see? I’d love any information you may have that could be helpful to me.


    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 years ago

      See you primary care, and if all basic testing is normal you probably need to see someone who specializes in autonomics

      Dr. N

    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 years ago

      I always recommend being evaluated thoroughly by your primary care physician. Once that is done, you need to see someone who specializes in autonomic dysfunction.

      Dr. N

  5. Emma 4 years ago

    Dear Dr Nemechek

    Thank you for this great post. Do you have more articles or information on how to heal the ANS as I live in Australia and coming to see you is definitely not an option for me 🙁

  6. James 4 years ago

    This info sounds very close to my symptoms. I will have to call your office for an appointment.

    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 years ago

      Might be the most important call of your life. 623-208-4226

      Dr. N

  7. Darcy 4 years ago

    Minere’s disease dizziness and nausea- my question is if the ANS dysfunction could be related to this disease?

    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 years ago

      I believe most cases of Meniere’s Disease are due to autonomic function.

      When I fixed the autonomics, their symptoms stop.

  8. Karen 4 years ago

    What supplements stimulate the vagus nerve

    • Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 years ago

      None that I’m aware of.

  9. Barbara Gentry 4 years ago

    And of course, I attempt to avoid high histamine foods!

  10. Barbara Gentry 4 years ago

    Hi. I seem to be an exception to the rule. I get raging vertigo — carousel type — in response to eating high histamine food. This appears to be a parasympathetic cns issue, which I manage by taking a supplement that stimulates the vagus nerve or by taking an over the counter H2 blocker anti acid.

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