The onset of menopause brings many uncomfortable changes. Besides the episodes of hot flashes, you may also experience menopause dizziness.
According to research, about 35% of women experience dizziness once a week during menopause.
In this post, we’ll look at the types, symptoms, and causes of menopausal dizziness. We’ll also talk about treatment and tips for relief.
Types of Dizziness
There are various types of dizziness, each with its own symptoms. A physical examination and questions can help identify what type you are experiencing and why. Common types of dizziness are vertigo, lightheadedness, and disequilibrium.
Vertigo can feel like you are on a rollercoaster. You might feel like a room is whirling or spinning around you. It can also seem like you are being pulled in one direction and could fall over. Vertigo may also come with headaches, vomiting, sweating, and ringing in the ears.
Menopause dizziness is often associated with vertigo, specifically BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It’s a type of vertigo where you have the sensation that you or your head is spinning.
The chances of experiencing BPPV increase with age, with most people between the ages of 40 and 60. Women are particularly susceptible as they undergo hormonal changes and drops in estrogen levels.
Lightheadedness refers to a sensation where your head feels weightless. You often feel like your head is like an air balloon detached from its ribbon, floating freely. This feeling may also include clouded vision, loss of balance, or fainting.
Disequilibrium is a feeling of instability due to a loss of coordination or balance. In many cases, you may feel like the floor is spinning and you're about to fall. Other symptoms you may experience with this include dizziness, faintness, and spatial disorientation.
Is Dizziness a Symptom of Menopause?
Yes, dizziness is a symptom of menopause. After your period stops, signifying the end of your reproductive years, you may experience menopause dizziness.
However, it is not a sign of menopause on its own. There are many other menopause and perimenopause symptoms that you should be aware of when consulting your physician for an official diagnosis.
What Causes Menopause Dizziness?
There's also no one specific cause of menopause dizziness. Based on scientific research, doctors attribute dizziness in menopause to several factors. These include:
- Hormonal changes
- Middle ear issues
- Hot flashes and fatigue
- Blood sugar levels
- Persistent migraines
While hormonal changes occur throughout life, they become more rampant during the onset of menopause.
As you approach menopause, your body stops actively producing eggs. As a result, it slows down the generation of two vital reproductive hormones: estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are imbalanced, your body manifests menopausal symptoms, such as dizziness.
An inner part of the ear called Otoconia helps the brain achieve a sense of balance. Hormonal imbalance during perimenopause and menopause can affect your internal ear function. This may also cause the types of vertigo we mentioned above—benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and disequilibrium.
Because it is affecting your middle ear, you may experience dizziness each time you move your head or change position.
Hot Flashes and Fatigue
A hot flash feels like a sudden wave of heat that spreads across the neck, face, and upper body.
You may also be feeling dizzy because of hot flashes that occur at night. Hot flashes at night, also called night sweats, may affect your sleep quality. The following day, you may feel extreme fatigue and dizziness.
The dizziness can also include sweating, nausea, heart palpitations, weakness, and headaches.
Blood Sugar Level
Estrogen helps in breaking down and distributing glucose to produce energy. As you approach menopause, your body releases less and less of this hormone, causing an imbalance in the blood sugar level inside your body.
When your body lacks a balanced blood sugar level, energy decreases, resulting in weakness and menopause dizziness. Other symptoms include weight loss, tiredness, unquenchable thirst, and repeated infections.
Migraines are a common complaint during perimenopause and menopause. They occur due to changes in hormones as you enter menopause, and can become more chronic migraines as you grow into menopause.
Scientifically referred to as vestibular headaches, this migraine causes vertigo and balance problems, among other symptoms such as sensitivity to sound, light, and noise.
Other Causes of Dizziness
Non-menopause-related factors may contribute to your dizziness. These other causes include:
- Heart problems
- Neurological conditions
- Poor nutrition
You can easily become dehydrated if you aren’t drinking enough fluids. Your chances of being dehydrated are higher if you’re overheated or sick, so you may need to hydrate more than usual.
Lack of water in the body for long durations deprives your cells of nourishment and can lower your blood pressure, limiting the blood that goes to your brain and causing you to become weak and dizzy.
Stress and anxiety may increase as you age and go through body changes. Too much pressure and stress can increase your risk of a panic attack that may cause heart palpitations and a feeling of dizziness.
The heart pumps oxygen through the blood to all parts of your body. When you have a heart condition, your heart doesn't beat as it would normally which deprives your body of oxygen, causing dizziness.
Conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease cause progressive dizziness and loss of balance.
If you deprive your body of food for long durations, your cells lack nutrients to produce sufficient energy, causing general body weakness and dizziness.
What Does Menopause Dizziness Feel Like?
Menopause dizziness can manifest itself as various sensations. At first, your dizziness may feel like lightheadedness with a false sense of spinning. Your symptoms may progress as you age, causing:
- A false sense of motion
- Lightheadedness or feeling faint
- Instability or a loss of balance
- A feeling of dizziness, floating, or heavy-headedness
These signs become worse when you stand up or move your head. Your dizziness may also trigger nausea and a sudden need to sit or lie down. The length of your episodes may vary—some lasting seconds while others hours or days.
It's essential to see a doctor if you experience sudden, severe, recurrent, or prolonged dizziness together with these signs:
- Sudden, severe headache
- Chest pain
- Numbness or paralysis of arms or legs
- Difficulty breathing
- Double vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Ongoing vomiting
- Slurred or confusing speech
- Difficulty walking
- A sudden change in hearing
- Facial weakness or numbness
If these symptoms occur suddenly, seek medical attention. It could signal an underlying, and possibly life-threatening condition.
If you seek treatment for your menopause dizziness, a doctor will narrow down your cause of dizziness through various tests and questions. They'll want to know things like:
- When your dizziness occurs
- Where your dizziness occurs
- How severe are your symptoms
- Any other symptoms that arise with your menopause dizziness
Apart from that, they may also:
- Examine your ears and eyes
- Look at your posture
- Conduct a neurological exam
The type of treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the cause of your dizziness. These include:
Hormonal Replacement Therapy
Hormonal imbalance is a significant cause of menopause dizziness. Hormone replacement focuses on replacing lost estrogen hormones in your body. When the hormone levels balance, menopausal symptoms such as dizziness, vaginal discomfort, and hot flashes may improve or disappear.
Systemic estrogen medication may come as a pill, ring, skin patch, cream, gel, or spray containing higher doses of estrogen absorbed in the body. Always talk to your doctor about the risks of this treatment before proceeding.
Your dizziness may be a result of various actions that act as triggers. Things like smoking, not getting enough sleep, and standing up too fast, could contribute to your dizziness. By identifying and avoiding triggers, you may have fewer episodes.
Part of the reason you may feel dizzy during menopause is dehydration because your body weakens without water. Adopting a habit of drinking water throughout the day will help you stay hydrated.
There are plenty of applications to help remind you and keep track of your water intake each day. If you dislike the taste of plain water, you can try different healthy alternatives such as fresh orange and lemon juice or herbal tea.
Manage Blood Sugar Levels
When you don't eat, your blood sugar levels fall below the required standards, causing your body to become weak and dizzy. Eating regularly, especially at old age, is essential in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
While it may seem wiser not to eat to avoid gaining premenopausal or menopausal weight, which is hard to lose, the secret is to have balanced nutrition. Avoid processed and baked foods containing saturated and artificial fats, such as French fries.
Instead, select snacks that are protein-rich, low in sugar, and contain unsaturated fats, such as avocados, flax seeds, green veggies, nuts, boiled eggs, and yogurt. Try to sneak snacks in between meals for stable blood sugar levels.
A doctor can prescribe anti-dizziness tablets depending on the severity of your dizziness. These include:
- Meclizine or dimenhydrinate to treat acute-related vertigo
- (Dramamine®) or meclizine to treat dizziness that occurs after the first few minutes of standing (usually a blood-pressure drop)
- Non-specific medication that responds to various migraine-triggered vertigo
These medications are considered non-addictive, so they can help treat dizziness during menopause in the long run. However, as always, refer to your physician before undergoing any treatment or taking a new medication.
Manage Stress Levels
Although stress and anxiety about family, health, work, and finances are part of daily life, you should find ways to escape the pressure. Luckily, there are many ways to decompress, from meditation to exercising or talking to a friend or family member.
If not, you can choose to speak to a professional counselor to help you continuously manage overwhelming stress and anxiety in your life. Remember, the secret to a happy and stress-free life is to constantly view the glass as half full and accept things as they come.
Get Solutions for Menopause Dizziness
Menopause is a stage in life that may or may not come with different symptoms impacting your daily life. Some of these symptoms may be uncomfortable to live with, such as menopause dizziness.
When they do occur, the most probable reason is usually related to hormonal changes. However, other factors such as hot flashes, blood sugar level, migraines, and the inner ear may contribute to your dizziness. Simple changes to your lifestyle, such as drinking water, exercising, and eating right, can help treat your symptoms.If these don't work, seek medical attention so a doctor can determine whether you need anti-dizziness tablets or HRT. Also, you can visit our website to check out some of the intimate care and menopause products we offer.