Menopause and Dizziness
by: Cathy Taylor
Unfortunately during menopause, the explosive symptom of dizziness is all too common. You know the feeling – a spinning sensation inside your head ripping down through the rest of your body making it impossible to be at peace. Or the inability to get up quickly not unlike the sensation you have when just hopping out of a roller coaster. In extreme cases, you may feel as if you are on the receiving end of a knock out blow to the head.
Away from menopause, dizziness can be attributed to a variety of factors – most notably fluctuations in blood pressure, low blood sugar and viral infections. When it comes to menopause, anxiety and particularly hyperventilation, migraine headaches, and panic attacks can all cause bouts of debilitating dizziness. Some women suffer so much from this symptom that they become agoraphobic because they should they leave the house, they fear becoming faint and dizzy.
For starters, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and this is one of the first things that need to be checked by your doctor before you do anything else. Estrogen affects the nerves as well and if not enough is produced, it can leave you feeling “frayed” at the edges. Progesterone is produced in the brain as well as serotonin and if this hormone is lacking, your ability to feel calm can be affected. And, when not enough estrogen is being supplied to the brain, dizziness and other related feelings can result.
Tinnitus, another infamous symptom of menopause, can also contribute to feelings of dizziness. The constant ringing, whooshing, and chirping of the ears can disorient you. Combine that with various other symptoms like migraine headaches, hot flashes, night sweats, and panic attacks and you have a formula for being unbalanced. Women who are suffering from panic or anxiety attacks during menopause are more likely to hyperventilate and this rapid breathing can easily cause dizziness, giddiness or feelings faint.
Some women report that not eating properly including skipping meals can also cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, first sit or lie down and breathe deeply and slowly. This eliminates hyperventilation, especially if you breathe deeply into a paper bag. If you are feeling fatigued, try cutting out sugar and caffeine and drink lots of water. Walk around the block instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Do a new activity that gets you moving tai chi or yoga. Both of these exercises get your energy moving as well as calm you and release tension from the body. Sometimes menopausal symptoms are aggravated because at this time in many of our lives, the demands on us are increased significantly. We may have grown children who are in college, getting married, or just leaving home. Possibly our parents who are ailing and maybe even some of our friends. Often our relationships are shifting and roles are changing. If you are the type of person who has difficulty with change anyway, this can become an even more difficult transition.
See your doctor to determine the cause of your dizziness. If it is related anxiety, you may need medical assistance. On the other hand, your symptoms may be handled simply with self-care and alternative healing.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.
About The Author
Cathy Taylor writes frequently on mid-life issues for women and men particularly menopause, and a copy of her book can be found at http://www.howtoconquermenopause.com.
To read a sample of this book go to http://www.everythingmenopause.com/currentissue.html
This article was posted on September 13, 2005