Among the lesser discussed symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause is dizziness. However, if you are in menopause and dizziness is a part of your life, then you may be looking for answers. We have some here for you.
What is dizziness?
Dizziness is a term to describe a variety of associated sensations, such as feeling faint, lightheaded, unsteady, woozy, and weak. It can be triggered or worsened by moving your head, standing up suddenly, or walking. Sometimes it is accompanied by nausea or a severe need to sit or lie down. Dizziness can last for several seconds or even days. When it involves a false sense of spinning or motion, it is called vertigo.
Dizziness may be caused by an underlying medical condition or have environmental causes. Identifying the cause can help determine which treatment avenue to pursue. Some possible causes include menopause and the hormonal changes associated with it, inner ear infections, and cardiovascular problems.
How is dizziness associated with menopause?
Dizziness is a common symptom of menopause, but in the majority of cases, it doesn’t indicate a serious medical problem. As estrogen and progesterone levels decline, it can affect the functioning of the heart, brain, and ears. These changes can result in dizziness.
- For example, some experts believe that hormonal changes can affect the otoconia, an organ of the inner ear. The results of a study among 935 women who were experiencing dizziness suggested that estrogen weakens the otoconia, which contributes to dizziness.
- Research also names anxiety as a cause of menopausal dizziness. In a study that involved nearly 500 women, more than one third of women in perimenopause or postmenopause experienced dizziness at least once a week. The authors reported that dizziness was associated with anxiety and recommended treating the anxiety in order to relieve dizziness.
- Changing estrogen levels can impact blood glucose levels as well. As glucose and insulin levels fluctuate, dizziness and fatigue can result.
- An irregular heartbeat or palpitations is another symptom of menopause, and this heart-related problem can make you feel dizzy.
- Insomnia is common among women in menopause, and lack of sufficient sleep can lead to dizziness
- The hallmark of menopause, hot flashes, can be accompanied by feelings of dizziness
- Experts have noted that some women begin to experience a migraine that involves dizziness during menopause. The dizziness is called epigone migraine vertigo.
How can you manage dizziness in menopause?
Take these steps to help alleviate dizziness you may experience during menopause. Your best management tools involve addressing the issues that may be underlying the dizziness.
- Stay hydrated, as dehydration can contribute to dizziness
- Maintain balanced blood sugar levels by eating frequent small meals and snacks and focusing in nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts rather than sugary, fatty foods
- Keep a notebook and write down when dizziness occurs and your activities (e.g., food, sleep, exercise, use of medications or supplements) before the event
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you are experiencing insomnia, take steps to correct it
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, guided visualization, or other relaxing methods. Practice these methods every day.
- Do balance exercises to help strengthen your muscles. Tai chi is a practice that can significantly help with balance issues
When to see your doctor
If your dizziness persists, you feel like your balance is affected, or your surroundings are spinning and it is impacting your daily activities, consult with your doctor. There may be an underlying medical condition behind this symptom.
Dizziness during the menopausal years is a common occurrence, and a variety of factors may contribute to it. Listen to your body, try natural approaches to alleviate this symptom, and consult your physician if you are not successful or have any questions.