Dizziness during Menopause
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?
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/or disorientation. Dizziness can come on when a person sits or stands 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.
During menopause, dizziness are often caused by a hormonal imbalance. Although symptoms usually disappear, women can manage their dizziness by avoiding triggers such as dehydration and quick movements, quitting smoking, limiting the consumption of alcohol, and getting enough sleep.
Dizziness that is classified as vertigo is caused by problems with the nerves and structure in the inner ears that sense movements of the head. It creates a false sense of spinning and unsteadiness. To prevent dizzy spells, menopausal women can try upper body and head exercises, as well as those that condition the eyes. These will help the body adjust to movements without feeling dizzy.
Dizziness symptoms can come on at anytime 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.
Dizziness during menopause can be a little disorienting and may be a cause of concern. Episodes are usually only a couple of seconds and can be prevented by staying hydrated, getting enough rest, exercising regularly and maintaining energy levels. Other tips to prevent and manage dizziness include reducing salt intake, taking warm showers, quitting smoking, and getting plenty of fresh air.
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:
• Hot flashes
• Ear problems
• Anxiety and panic
• Low blood pressure
• Low blood sugar(hypoglycemia)
• Arthritis (especially of the cervical spine)
• Medication use
• Cold and Flu
• Viral infection
• Heart problems
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 are contradictory, or these systems are not working properly, a person can experience dizziness and/or 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 is one of the common symptoms of menopause. A well-balanced diet is crucial to maintaining overall health, and, it turns out that some of the most important foods can also help prevent and alleviate dizziness, one of the many symptoms of menopause. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain plenty of water and essential nutrients to help with dizziness. Other great foods include nuts, liver, and spinach.
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 health care 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, natural remedies are available to treat the hormonal causes of dizziness during menopause. Often, the best approach to treating dizziness during menopause is one that combines these natural remedies 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 medicines (ideally combining the two) and finally, look to drugs or surgery if nothing else seems to work. Click the following link to learn specific treatments for dizziness in these three categories.
Dizzy spells can cause menopausal women to feel unsteady and like they have lost their sense of balance. These symptoms can be worrying, especially in the workplace. To prevent episodes at work, women should avoid caffeine and smoking, eat healthy snacks, and most importantly, stay dehydrated. During an episode, it’s important that women sit down, focus on a stationary object, and take deep breaths.
- 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.