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Craig Lewis
(craigl28) - F

Locale: SoCal
Vertigo on 01/08/2008 13:02:37 MST Print View

I'm certain that I'm getting slight vertigo symtoms several hours into an intermediate hike. The interesting thing is it's only hiking, mtn biking is never causing the same symtoms. The symtom is vision to the side moving slowly. I never get to the migrane headache and nausea stage of vertigo.
Curious if anyone has the same symtoms and what you do to treat it on the trail. The medical websites suggest Benadryl and Valium to treat.
Here is an interesting option:
Scopolamine is an oral, intravenous, ophthalmic or topical drug with many uses including the prevention of motion sickness. Transderm-Scop is scopolamine administered topically (through the skin or transdermal) via a special delivery system that gradually releases scopolamine onto the skin over a period of three days. The scopolamine is absorbed into the body through the skin. It is not clear how scopolamine prevents nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. The vestibular part of the ear is very important for balance. When a person becomes disoriented due to motion, the vestibule sends a signal through nerves to the vomiting center in the brain, and vomiting occurs. Acetylcholine is a chemical that nerves use to transmit messages to each other. Scientists believe that scopolamine prevents communication between the nerves of the vestibule and the vomiting center in the brain by blocking the action of acetylcholine. Scopolamine also may work directly on the vomiting center. Scopolamine must be taken before the onset of motion sickness to be effective.


Edited by craigl28 on 01/08/2008 13:13:31 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Vertigo on 01/08/2008 13:45:30 MST Print View

Craig.....I have been diagnosed with Vertigo Migraines. (I have had 3 full blown sessions where all I can do is lay on the ground and I vomit for about 8 hours non stop and cannot stand up as the vertigo is non stop.)
Oddly enough they come from a different part of the brain that my regular migraines come from. Have you had an MRI yet? Can or have you seen a neurologist? It is worth it!!

I have noticed as my blood pressure is controlled and I eat better that I am (knock on wood) more controlled now. I do carry anti nausea meds with me as well that are prescribed.

You might want to note and study how you eat, drink and most of all how you feel on these hikes. Also do you have a history of migraines?
Feel free to PM me if you want...I can tell you more of what they did for me. I quite understand the "shifting" feeling as you hike. I had it happen to me twice on a PCT section hike, the second time I was doing a open traverse for many miles and went into a pathetic panic attack.

Craig Lewis
(craigl28) - F

Locale: SoCal
Vertigo on 01/08/2008 14:42:08 MST Print View

Hi Sarah,
At age 20, I went thru my only migrane headache experience and thankfully went thru that stage fast with maybe a total of six cases leading to vomiting. None since thank goodness.
I've never had an MRI, but I'll suggest it to my doctor. I'm almost 48 now so might as well take advantage of medical insurance and old age! My blood pressure is normal.
Food was normal chicken and rice for dinner and heathy cereal before the hike last weekend. I didn't eat anything during the 3hr hike, just water. Maybe salted nuts is a prevention?
I now recall having these same symtoms while traditional BBk in 70's, but never took any medication just toughed-it-out. I've recntly geared-up with modern equipment so I'm working into shape gradually so that by Spring should be ready for part of PCT. Mountain sickness and slight vertigo are my only medical concerns fortunately.

Edited by craigl28 on 01/08/2008 14:54:07 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Vertigo on 01/08/2008 15:33:50 MST Print View


A thought.....while it isn't some funky miracle - along with the stuff I sent you in my PM - one thing I ate this past year on the trail was tons of potassium. I eat bananas, potato chips, orange juice, mashed potatoes, etc. It has helped me a lot.

Now what is interesting is I also have suffered from mountain sickness. But mine is related to the barometric pressure in the sky. Migraines can be caused by the barometric pressure changing (high/low systems clashing). You might want to look into that as well! What was the weather like on those days?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Vertigo on 01/08/2008 18:15:28 MST Print View

Causes of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo:

* One of the most common causes of BPPV is head trauma. Although the true mechanisms are not exactly certain, the concussive forces presumably cause particles that reside in the vestibule to become displaced to the canal. Other factors that predispose individuals to BPPV include inactivity, acute alcoholism, major surgery, and CNS disease.

* Many patients have concomitant ear pathology, which underscores the importance of a complete neuro-otologic examination.

* The frequencies of various causes are as follows:

o 39% idiopathic

o 21% trauma

o 29% ear diseases

o 9% chronic otitis media

o 7% vestibular neuronitis

o 7% Ménière disease

o 4% otosclerosis

o 2% sudden sensorineural hearing loss

o 11% CNS disease

o 9% vertebrobasilar insufficiency

o 2% acoustic neuroma

o 2% cervical vertigo

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
re: Ménière disease on 01/08/2008 18:56:16 MST Print View

Ménière disease: what they "diagnose" patients often with when they have no idea what is causing it. I was given that diagnosis in 2006. I am glad I kept asking questions....and changing Dr's.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
insight into this discussion on 01/09/2008 00:38:15 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/24/2015 23:28:10 MDT.

Craig Lewis
(craigl28) - F

Locale: SoCal
Vertigo on 01/09/2008 11:33:50 MST Print View

The weather was a high to low transition, it rained on the last section back to the trailhead. Sea level to 1500ft and back.
I only sat down once after the symtoms appeared so maybe lying on my back during rests would bring blood back to my head. I'll try the potassium also next "trial" hike.
Breathing was normal because the grade was consistant.

Edited by craigl28 on 01/09/2008 11:36:54 MST.