Dizziness during Menopause
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While not as well-known as hot flashes or irregular periods, dizziness is a common symptom of menopause caused by hormonal fluctuations. Many menopausal women report bouts of dizziness and vertigo, which may or may not be associated with other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and anxiety.
The first step towards managing dizziness during menopause is to learn more about its symptoms, causes, and treatment. Please read on to discover important information about dizziness, which can help a woman determine the best way to manage this common symptom of menopause.
What Is Dizziness?
Did You Know?
According to medical experts, dizziness is one of the most common complaints for which American adults seek medical attention.
Dizziness is a non-specific term used to describe transient sensations of lightheadedness, imbalance, and disorientation. Dizziness can come on when a person sits or a stand up too quickly, is sick, dehydrated, or isn't eating properly. Episodes of dizziness common to menopause are often short-lived, lasting only seconds in duration. Nonetheless, these episodes can be disturbing and sometimes even debilitating.
Medical terms for dizziness include vertigo, or feelings of spinning or whirling; disequilibrium, or feeling instable and off-balance; and pre-syncope, which is characterized by faintness and is typically cardiovascular-related.
Dizziness with vertigo often happens when one or more of the body's balance control centers are malfunctioning. The following graph provides an anatomical explanation of how balance is controlled in the body.
Episodes of dizziness can be characterized a number of signs and symptoms.Please keep reading to learn about the symptoms of dizziness common in menopause.
Dizziness during periods is commonly linked to the hormone fluctuations experienced during the menstrual cycle. It is important to know that it is not a cause for concern, and that the dizziness should go away after a few minutes. Staying hydrated and avoiding sugary drinks can help prevent dizziness during periods.
Dizziness in the morning can be inconvenient and alarming. Dizziness is typically caused by a drop in blood pressure or dehydration, so it is important to try and prevent those things. Drinking water first thing in the morning, and taking a few minutes to sit before standing up can help prevent dizziness in the morning.
Dizziness symptoms can come on at any time of day. While most symptoms of dizziness last seconds, they can make a person feel out of sorts for an extended duration and can sometimes impede on daily functioning.
While most people who experience dizziness are familiar with these symptoms, many do not understand the cause of dizziness. Understanding the common causes of dizziness can be the first step in learning how to avoid or manage these troubling episodes. Please read on to discover more about the causes of dizziness.
As sufferers from the condition will be well aware, there is more to dizziness than slight feelings of discomfort but an understanding of its symptoms can actually play a role in reducing their recurrence. Click to learn about six dizziness symptoms so that you're prepared if they happen to you.
Causes of Dizziness
During menopause, the root cause of dizziness is often changes in hormone levels. Dizziness can also be related to other symptoms of menopause. In rare cases, dizziness during menopause can indicate a more serious condition. While these cases are very rare, it is wise to be informed of all the possible causes of dizziness, further outlined below.
Changing levels of estrogen during menopause can produce changes in the blood vessels and nervous system, which can cause bouts of dizziness.
Other menopausal symptoms can also cause a woman to feel dizzy. These include:
Anxiety and panic disorder
Low blood pressure
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Arthritis (especially of the cervical spine)
Cold and flu
One's sense of balance and equilibrium depends on the proper functioning of at least two of the body's three balance control centers: the eyes, ears, and sensory nerves. If the brain can't process all of the information from these centers, the messages become contradictory, or if these systems are not working properly, a person can experience dizziness, loss of balance, and equilibrium. Low blood pressure and other cardiovascular system changes can also lead to dizziness.
Please read on to learn more about when the causes of dizziness may warrant a visit to the doctor.
Dizziness can occur at any age due to circumstances and each individual, but menopausal women tend to experience it more. What's behind this lack of balance so late in life? From shifting hormones to dehydration, read on to learn more about how vertigo and menopause connect.
When to See a Doctor
While most women experiencing dizziness during menopause do not require medical attention, it is important to understand when a visit to the doctor may be necessary. If dizziness is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, a woman should contact her healthcare professional as soon as possible:
If hearing or ear problems occur with dizziness, it may be wise to speak with a doctor to rule out or treat ear disorders such as Meniere's disease.
Please read on to learn more about how dizziness can be treated.
It is possible to manage dizziness during menopause. One of the common menopausal symptoms, dizziness can cause women to feel unsteady and off-balance. It is caused by the fluctuation of hormones in the body and can be treated by making lifestyle changes. Women should first begin by eating a balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly.
Treatment for Dizziness
Treatment of dizziness often depends on the underlying cause. Because the most common cause of dizziness during menopause is hormonal fluctuations, treating this root cause often provides relief. Doctors recommend that patients begin with the least invasive approach to dizziness treatment.
Lifestyle changes and self-care are often the first steps in treating dizziness associated with menopause. Eating healthy, getting enough fluids, and exercising regularly can greatly help to reduce episodes of dizziness. Women who get dizzy when they stand up should take precautions to avoid getting up too quickly or making sudden postural changes.
While these lifestyle changes can help, they are unable to get to the root cause of dizziness in menopause: hormonal changes. Fortunately, approaches in alternative medicine are available to treat the hormonal causes of dizziness during menopause. Often, the best approach to treating dizziness during menopause is one that combines alternative medicine with lifestyle changes.
Most experts recommend that women who suffer from dizziness and wish to treat it begin with lifestyle changes, then move onto alternative medicine (ideally combining the two) and finally, look to medications if nothing else seems to work. Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for dizziness in these three categories.
Common causes for sporadic bouts of dizziness may include dehydration, excess stress, or especially for menopausal women hormonal imbalance. There are; however, other possible reasons behind these dizzy spells, less common but no less important to consider. Read on to learn about five such ones today.
Dizzy spells are unwelcome at any time of day, but when they occur first thing in the morning, it doesn't bode well for the hours to come. Luckily, small dietary changes to your morning routine may be all you need to start the day off right. Read on for five that you can try today.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. “The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause”. November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. “Menopause: What is it?” Patient Leaflet. 2007.