Many women experience dizziness, also referred to as lightheadedness, at some point during the menopause transition. In fact, dizziness is one of the most common complaints that doctors hear. This symptom is often caused by hormonal imbalance, but other symptoms of menopause - such as hot flashes and migraine headaches - can also trigger dizzy spells.
Since most cases of menopausal dizziness are linked to imbalanced hormones, there are means to treat it alongside other symptoms as well. Until recently, it was standard to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal dizzy spells. However, doctors are now reconsidering this option due to its connection to side effects like blood clots and an increased risk of cancer. As an alternative, lifestyle adjustments can be combined with herbal supplements.
Three Approaches to Treating Dizziness
Three tiers of approaches can be considered when treating dizziness. These are defined as: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine, and (3) Medications.
As a rule of thumb, women are recommended to start with the first tier - lifestyle changes - because it carries the least amount of risk. Medications should be reserved for severe cases.
1. Lifestyle Changes
The first treatment tier involves the lowest risk, but it requires the most self-discipline. When working to reduce dizzy spells, small life adjustments are often effective.
A combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise is the core of making lifestyle changes. Staying hydrated and consuming all the necessary nutrients - such as vitamins B, D, E and omega-3 fatty acids - can help improve circulation and reduce dizziness. In addition, estrogen-containing foods like apples, soy, and peas can help alleviate the symptom.
While exercise may seem difficult when a dizzy spell could strike at any moment, certain forms can be beneficial. For example, yoga is a low-impact exercise that is designed to help with balance, which can provide relief for dizziness, since this symptom often results in balance problems.
To prevent dizziness, avoid:
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Fast-paced activities
- Excessive caffeine
- Citrus fruits
In addition, keeping a "dizziness journal" can help to identify triggers as well as other factors that could worsen the experience. By recording when dizzy spells happen and the circumstances surrounding them, including nearby meals, a woman may see useful patterns emerge.
Lifestyle changes are a healthful and holistic method of reducing dizzy spells, but they can be hard to implement and continue. Moreover, they do not fully address the hormonal imbalance, which is the most common cause of menopausal dizziness. Fortunately, alternative medicines can treat both the symptom and the underlying hormonal imbalance in a safe and natural way. Keep reading to learn more about natural treatments for dizziness.
2. Alternative Medicine
Herbal Teas to Ease Dizziness and Nausea
- Ginger with cinnamon
This treatment tier includes various options. For example, mindful meditation can decrease dizziness and restore equilibrium, while therapeutic massage can improve overall blood circulation. However, many prefer herbal supplements because they are easier to follow and require less time and financial commitment compared to other alternative methods; some can even function to balance hormones.
There are two types of herbal supplements that can influence hormone levels: phytoestrogens and hormone-regulating supplements.
These supplements, such as Gingko Biloba, are rich in phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that function like estrogen in the body. For that reason, they can compensate for an estrogen deficiency and thereby relieve dizziness. However, their long-term use can make the body less able to produce hormones naturally. Thus, only short- or mid-term use is recommended in order to avoid an ultimate decline in estrogen levels.
To the contrary, supplements like Macafem do not contain hormones, but instead, they are rich in nutrients that support hormonal gland functioning and the proper production of hormones. This generates a balance of not only estrogen but also other essential hormones, including progesterone and testosterone. In addition, these supplements have little to no side effects, so they are considered safe, effective, and suitable for long-term use.
From "Nature and Health Magazine," Dr. Gloria Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormone, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the endocrine glands." Click on the following link to learn more about Macafem and how it works.
A combination of approaches - namely lifestyle adjustments plus alternative medicine - is typically the best route of treatment. However, when dizziness is constant, severe, or persistent, these methods may not be enough. In such cases, a woman may wish to advance to the third stage and seek medical treatment, but it is important to first weigh the risks.
This approach entails the highest risk and often the highest cost as well. In the U.S., the most popularly-prescribed treatment for dizziness during menopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This can be a quick and potent method of relieving vertigo, but it also poses the risk of potential side effects, some of them severe, as this study has revealed:
In 1991, the National Institutes of Health launched the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the U.S, the Women's Health Initiative. Its goal was to discover the risks and benefits associated with the use of synthetic hormones, but it was halted 11 years later, when it was learned that HRT increases the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, and stroke, in addition to posing other less-serious side effects.
Other medications like anti-nauseates, antihistamines, and anti-dizziness drugs can help alleviate the symptoms associated with dizziness, but they do not address the root cause of most cases of this symptom, which is hormonal imbalance. Additionally, such medications can also carry the risk of side effects, some of which may outweigh the prospective benefits. Women considering medications should consult their doctor for advice.
The three approaches to treatment can be used and interchanged in any combination to best treat dizziness depending on individual symptoms. A growing number of women are finding that herbal supplements along with changes in lifestyle best relieve menopausal dizziness.
A Safe Way of Treating Dizziness
Making lifestyle changes:
- Consuming estrogen-boosting foods
- Regular workouts like Yoga
- Keeping a dizziness journal
- High stress levels
- Excessive caffeine and alcohol
- Processed foods
And taking hormone-regulating herbal supplements:
- Support a healthy hormonal system
- Natural, effective, and virtually free of side effects
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- 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.