Dizziness during menopause is a reality for many women, and is often a natural bodily response to the changes going on inside it. It can be very distressing, embarrassing, or even dangerous, depending on when the attacks strike, and so for this reason, many women seek effective solutions. Read on to find out more about dizziness during menopause and how to treat it.
What Is Dizziness?
Dizziness symptom during menopause manifests itself in the same way as dizziness at other periods in life. It is a feeling of lightheadedness or imbalance, and sufferers can often feel as though the room is spinning. There are a myriad of causes for dizziness, and it can happen to anyone, but it is a common menopause symptom because of its link with hormonal imbalances. There are a number of symptoms of dizziness, including:
- Loss of balance
- Sensation of floating or swimming
The Link to Menopause
Menopause symptoms are caused by the levels of hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, changing in the body. As the body gets ready to cease production of these chemicals, there is a period of hormonal fluctuations, which are responsible for many of the menopause symptoms, including dizziness. The main reasons that dizziness occurs during menopause is because estrogen regulates blood circulation and the nervous system as well as the reproductive system, having a marked effect on feelings of balance.
A decline in estrogen levels can sometimes result in lower blood pressure and reduced circulation, hampering blood flow to the brain. As a result, the sense of balance is affected, and the brain needs an increased flow of blood to relieve dizzy feelings.
The body chemistry throughout the nervous system has a strong connection with estrogen, so menopause can have far-reaching consequences on many areas of physiology. The discord in the nervous system results in senses suffering, in particular, vision and hearing. As dizziness is to some extent a psychological phenomenon arising out of not being able to see or hear properly, this can mean dizziness during menopause commonly occurs.
Despite the fact that dizziness during menopause is largely to do with hormones, this does not mean that it cannot be controlled. There are a number of ways to reduce dizziness and prevent it from affecting your life. Below are a few ideas:
Breathe more slowly and deeply. Low blood pressure and lack of carbon dioxide and oxygen balance can cause or worsen attacks. Therefore, it is important to consciously breathe more slowly and deeply in order to encourage oxygen flow. This will help ward off attacks and will also get rid of dizziness if you do this during a dizzy spell.
Close your eyes. The blurry vision and spinning sensation that often comes with an attack will only worsen the sense of dizziness. Closing your eyes will provide dizziness relief and avoid nausea.
Drink water. Dehydration can often lead to or worsen dizziness, so drinking plenty of water will reduce the chances of suffering from dizzy spells. As a form of immediate dizziness relief, it can also be useful because the cooling water will help relax the body.
Sit or lie down. Sitting or lying down will help stop the blood rushing away from your head, getting rid of the dizziness, and it will also keep you safe from injury, as dizziness can cause temporary unconsciousness and fainting.
Frequent dizziness spells can be disorienting and scary, but fortunately, there are several ways to manage them. If you experience unusual symptoms alongside dizziness, such as trouble hearing, it is important to see a doctor to fight out if your dizziness is due to hormonal balance or an underlying disorder. Read about how to treat menopause dizziness and other symptoms.
- Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. (2013). The balance organs and dizziness. Retrieved December 10, 2014, from http://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/therapies/physiotherapy/balance-organs-and-dizziness.pdf
- Love, S. & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause & Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
- Vorvick, L.J. (2011). Dizziness: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 10, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003093.htm