Everything You Need To Know: Dizziness In Menopause - Elektra Health

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Dizziness

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SYMPTOM

Dizziness

Dizziness is a common symptom of the menopause transition. Dizziness refers to any type of spatial disorientation or lightheadedness and can happen during perimenopause all the way through to postmenopause. Below, we break down the science behind why.

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    The science

    Dizziness, according to the United States National Library of Medicine, is defined as… ”a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness.

    It’s often used interchangeably for terms such as:

    • Vertigo: the sensation of feeling off-balance (like the world is spinning)
    • Presyncope: the sensation that you’re going to faint (but you don’t)
    • Disequilibrium: the sensation that you’ve lost your stability and are going to fall

    Although one specific cause for dizziness among menopausal women hasn’t yet been established, several hypotheses have been proposed.

    Anxiety

    There is an established, bi-directional relationship between dizziness and anxiety. In order words, dizziness can cause anxiety and anxiety can cause dizziness.

    To learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of anxiety, refer to our complete guide.

    Inner ear changes

    Declining levels of estrogen during menopause may cause changes in our “otoconia,” the inner part of the ear that helps us maintain balance. This explains why there’s a higher prevalence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (otherwise known as BPPV…much easier to remember!), a type of vertigo characterized by short, frequent bouts of dizziness, among older women.

    Migraines

    The hormonal fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone which begin during perimenopause can amplify both the frequency and duration of headaches and, in more severe cases, migraines. And for some, migraines don’t necessarily cause pain, but rather, they manifest as dizziness. These are called vestibular migraines, and are treated similarly to the regular type.

    To learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of headaches during menopause (as well as how to differentiate between headaches and migraines), refer to our complete guide.

    Physiological changes

    There are certain physiological changes that occur during a hot flash (or flush, for the British) / night sweat, specifically increased heart rate and heart palpitations. Blood is then directed towards the skin, which can cause a drop in blood pressure and symptoms of dizziness.

    Of course, there’s a possibility that symptoms of dizziness are NOT related to menopausal hormonal changes but are instead caused by things such as low blood sugar or blood pressure, medications, inner ear disorders, or neurological conditions (just to name a few), so it’s important to seek medical help if symptoms worsen, persist, or affect your quality of life.

    What you can do

    We’re all about equipping you with the know-how to understand your symptoms, and we especially emphasize the specific, tangible ways to manage them. Our goal is to empower YOU to take charge of your menopause journey, starting today.

    A quick note about product recommendations…Elektra Health is not paid to feature any products. We just like them and think you might too, though we can’t guarantee any results.


    Lifestyle

    Nutrition & Diet

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

    This will help maintain blood volume and blood pressure. You want your urine to be pale and clear — that’s a sign of sufficient hydration.

    Snack smart

    To avoid drops in blood sugar, it’s important to have high-protein snacks at the ready. Avoid ones with high sugar or refined carbs since it’ll just lead to a blood sugar spike…and crash. No, thank you. Stick to 100-calorie packs of raw almonds or carrots and hummus instead.


    Holistic Practices

    Don’t rush when you’re standing up! Slow and steady wins the race here, since getting up too fast can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, which leads to dizziness. The official terms for low blood pressure triggered by standing up are “orthostatic hypotension” or “postural hypotension.”

    Because anxiety can cause dizziness as well, it’s important to take the necessary steps to manage stress, whether that means getting out in nature, cultivating a meditation practice, journaling, getting high-quality sleep, prioritizing downtime with family and friends, or making time for self care. For more on the science behind these lifestyle changes, refer to our anxiety guide.


    We’re always keeping an eye out on emerging research and the latest clinical studies. Subscribe to our weekly Elektra Digest for the latest, science-based info direct to your inbox. Something work well for you that’s not listed here? We want to hear it! Shoot us a note at [email protected] (We’re human, promise.)


    Disclaimer: This information is for general educational purposes, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem.

    As with anything you put into your body, taking dietary supplements can also involve health risks. You should consult a medical professional before taking supplements and inform your doctor about any supplements, as well as any medications you already take, since there may be interactions.

    References

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    Learn more

    Hot flashes SYMPTOM
    Hot flashes
    Anxiety SYMPTOM
    Anxiety
    Headaches SYMPTOM
    Headaches

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