Although not as commonly discussed as a common during menopause, dizziness can be a reoccurring affliction of menopause. It is caused by the fluctuations of hormones that occur in menopausal women. A large amount of women going through menopause report feeling dizzy and experiencing vertigo, which might or might not be combined with anxiety and hot flashes, other menopause symptoms.
To manage problems of dizziness, one must first learn about the symptoms, what causes dizziness and the treatments for it first. Read the following crucial information which may help women determine how to manage dizziness during menopause. Medical experts report that dizziness is one of the top medical conditions that Americans complain of.
What is Dizziness
This non-specific term describes transient sensations that cause a person to feel light-headed, disorientation and an imbalance in the body. Dizziness occurs for many reasons, such as when you stand up too quick, when you are sick, or have not eaten or drank enough. For those who suffer from dizziness during menopause, the sensation may last for just a couple of seconds. However, that is not to say that they are still not disturbing and frightening feelings.
The terms for dizziness are also known as the following: vertigo- which is the feeling of the room spinning or whirling; disequilibrium- the feeling of being unstable; and pre-syncope- a more serious condition that can involve fainting and is usually related to the cardiovascular system.
When dizziness occurs with vertigo, it is commonly occurring because the balance control center in the body is not working properly.
Symptoms of Dizziness
The symptoms of dizziness can occur at any time. They may only last a few seconds at a time, but have the ability to cause a person to feel out of whack for a long time, along with causing problems with everyday functioning. Symptoms include vertigo, unsteadiness, feeling the room spin, problems with vision, nausea, tiredness, feeling weak and wooziness.
A lot of people who have experienced being dizzy are aware of the symptoms; however, many people still don’t understand the causes. Learning to avoid and manage the troubling episodes of dizziness starts with understanding the causes of this condition. Read more to learn about these causes.
Causes of Dizziness
For women who are in menopause, dizziness is rooted in the changes of hormones. However, dizziness may also be a cause of other symptoms found in menopause. Rarely, being dizzy while in menopause may prove to be part of a worse problem. They are rare, but it is important to keep current of all the different causes of dizziness outlined here:
A women experiences changes in their estrogen levels during menopause, which then produces changes in blood vessels and the nervous system.
Dizziness can occur as a result of other symptoms of menopause, such as ear problems, migraine headache, anxiety disorders and hot flashes.
Low blood pressure and blood sugar, dehydration, arthritis, flu and cold symptoms, viral infections, heart attacks and strokes can all lead to dizziness.
The sense of balance and equilibrium in the body depends greatly on the functions of at least two of the three balance control centers, namely a person’s eyes, their ears and the sensory nervous system. When the brain is unable to process the information coming from these three centers, these messages can become contradictory. Or, when these particular systems are unable to work properly, dizziness as well as loss of balance and equilibrium can occur. Other cardiovascular changes and low blood pressure are also related to dizziness.
When to see a Doctor
During menopause, most women do not have to seek a doctor because of dizziness. However, if dizziness occurs along with these following symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you can. If you experience any of the following symptoms related to dizziness, please contact your health care provider as soon as possible:
- Loss of consciousness
- Fainting/head injury
- Speech or vision problems
- Stiff neck
- Chest pains
- Heart palpitations
- Ongoing vomiting
- Problems breathing
- Talk to a doctor about the ear disorder known as Meniere’s disease if you experience hearing or other ear issues.
Managing Your Dizziness
When treating dizziness, patients must learn about the underlying causes of the condition. Since dizziness when in menopause is usually caused by fluctuating hormones, this is typically the first avenue of treatment taken. Medical professionals will generally recommend that their patients try and cure the dizziness without the use of drugs first.
- Stay hydrated – One of the most important diet changes to minimize hot flashes is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Phytoestrogens – Adopt a dietary plan that includes foods that contain phytoestrogens. These plant estrogens bind to estrogen receptors in your body and can alleviate hot flashes. Soy, tofu, beans, legumes, seaweed, potatoes, apples and carrots are all wonderful sources of phytoestrogens.
- Replenishing Your Diet - Eating more calcium-rich foods, magnesium-rich foods and Vitamin E-foods, like green vegetables, nuts and almonds, are other easily adaptable diet changes to help replenish necessary electrolytes lost through perspiration.
Daily Lifestyle Changes
- Sit on the edge of your bed or chair for several minutes before standing
- Turning or changing positions slowly
- Never walking in the dark and using a night light or turning on a light before entering a room
- Exercise – Any activity that will increase your physical exertion can make a difference in how often you get your night sweats. Working out reduces anxiety and increases endorphin levels, which raises your threshold for pain.
- Vitamins – Take a dietary supplement with vitamin B6. It is recommended to take 50 mg daily. It helps your brain to function and contributes to the health of your central nervous system. Your nervous system helps your body keep a sense of balance. Please note that 200mg of vitamin B6 a day can cause nerve damage.
- Alternative Medicine – Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, has been a long standing treatment for dizziness around the world. Deficiencies of the Qi and Blood, Deficiencies of Kidney Essence, Hyperactivity of Liver Yang and Stagnation of Phlegm and Dampness are all common causes of dizziness that can be treated with acupuncture. There are therapies available like massage, aromatherapy, hypnosis, as well as herbal supplements, that can help the menopausal woman manage dizziness caused by menopause.
- Black Cohosh One of the most commonly used herbal remedies is Black Cohosh, a perennial plant that is a member of the buttercup family. It provides powerful phytoestrogens that mimic the hormone’s effects and bind to hormone receptors in the uterus and other parts of the body, alleviating hot flashes. Black Cohosh is also known to relieve hot flashes efficiently and is a good alternative to HRT. It is also used effectively for treating PMS, arthritis and lowering blood pressure. Red Clover, Dong Quai, Ginseng, Kava and evening primrose oil can be used as natural therapies, although there are some risks involved. Herbal supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription drugs and the amount of the herbal product, quality and safety may vary between brands.
- Herbal Remedies – Some common herbal remedies to help treat dizziness are Ginkgo biloba and ginger (100mg of ginger extract) every few hours when needed. Two different herbs used to treat dizziness are phytoestrogen and non-estrogenic herbs. Some of the most common phytoestrogen herbs are Saint Johns Wort, Black Cohosh and Dong Quai – all which contain estrogenic components produced by plants and replace some of the missing estrogen hormones experienced as a result of menopause. Although these herbs are known to maintain the balance of key neurotransmitters in the brain, they can also make your body less responsive to producing its own hormones, causing a further decrease of one’s hormone levels. Non-estrogenic herbs are known to nourish one’s hormonal glands into producing its own natural hormones. By stimulating one’s own hormone production, non-estrogenic herbs, such as Macafem. Macafem is grown in the Andes of Peru and has achieved great success in naturally increasing one’s hormone levels. Some other beneficial herbs are Bupleurum, Chrysanthemum, Feverfew, Kudzu, Self-Heal, Sweet Violet and Pumpkin.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – For more severe cases of dizziness, women may seek surgical or pharmaceutical treatments, although it is important to keep in mind that there are many studies showing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases a woman’s risk of elevated blood pressure, endometrial and breast cancers, strokes, blood clots and gallbladder disease. It is advised to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.