While not as well-known as hot flushes or irregular periods, dizziness is a common symptom of menopause caused by hormonal fluctuations. Many menopausal women report bouts of dizziness and vertigo, which may or may not be associated with other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and anxiety.
The first step towards managing dizziness during menopause is to learn more about its symptoms, causes, and treatment. Please read on to discover important information about dizziness, which can help a woman determine the best way to manage this common symptom of menopause.
What is dizziness?
Dizziness is a non-specific term used to describe transient sensations of lightheadedness, imbalance, and disorientation. Dizziness can come on when a person sits or a stand up too quickly, is sick, dehydrated, or isn’t eating properly. Episodes of dizziness common to menopause are often short-lived, lasting only seconds in duration. Nonetheless, these episodes can be disturbing and sometimes even debilitating.
Medical terms for dizziness include vertigo, or feelings of spinning or whirling; disequilibrium, or feeling instable and off-balance; and pre-syncope, which is characterized by faintness and is typically cardiovascular-related.
Dizziness with vertigo often happens when one or more of the body’s balance control centers are malfunctioning. The following graph provides an anatomical explanation of how balance is controlled in the body. Episodes of dizziness can be characterised by a number of signs and symptoms.
What causes dizziness?
During menopause, the root cause of dizziness is often changes in hormone levels. Dizziness can also be related to other symptoms of menopause. In rare cases, dizziness during menopause can indicate a more serious condition. While these cases are very rare, it is wise to be informed of all the possible causes of dizziness, further outlined below.
Changing levels of estrogen during menopause can produce changes in the blood vessels and nervous system, which can cause bouts of dizziness.
Other menopausal symptoms can also cause a woman to feel dizzy. These include:
- Hot flushes
- Ear problems
- Anxiety and panic disorder.
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sugar(hypoglycemia)
- Arthritis (especially of the cervical spine)
- Medication use
- Cold and flu
- Viral infection
- Heart problems
One’s sense of balance and equilibrium depends on the proper functioning of at least two of the body’s three balance control centres: the eyes, ears, and sensory nerves. If the brain can’t process all of the information from these centres, the messages become contradictory, or if these systems are not working properly, a person can experience dizziness, loss of balance, and equilibrium. Low blood pressure and other cardiovascular system changes can also lead to dizziness.