Alarmist scenario: A stroke.
More likely cause: Low blood sugar, an irregular heartbeat, stress, a cold, or the flu.
Reality check: “In an otherwise healthy person who is not also having heart palpitations, light-headedness is not likely to suggest a stroke,” says Stein. While people of all ages can have strokes, those over the age of 65 suffer two-thirds of them.
Rx: Eat regular meals that include some protein to keep your blood sugar stable. “When you feel light-headed, make a cup of tea with honey, lie down, put your feet up, and see how you feel after 10 or 15 minutes,” says Stein. “If it happens more than once or if you’ve ever fainted, see your physician.”