Does Menopause Cause Dizziness?
Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It typically occurs around the age of 45 to 55, although the exact timing can vary. Menopause is defined as the point in time when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. During perimenopause and menopause, hormonal changes, such as a significant decline in estrogen and progesterone levels, can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including dizziness.
Oestrogen plays a role in regulating blood pressure and blood flow. As oestrogen levels decline during menopause it can lead to changes in these parameters and can cause dizziness. Dizziness during menopause has also been linked to vasomotor symptoms including hot flushes and night sweats, these can lead to dehydration and in turn dizziness. Anxiety is seen to increase adrenaline which can trigger dizziness.
There are many challenges and disruptions dizziness can cause in the daily lives of menopausal women including reduced mobility, impaired concentration, emotional impact, increased injuries and reduced quality of life.
Types of Dizziness
There are 3 different types of dizziness that can be experienced during menopause, including:
Light-headedness: This is a common type of dizziness experienced during menopause. It is characterised by a feeling of near-fainting or almost passing out. Women may describe it as feeling woozy or having a sensation of floating. Light-headedness often occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the brain, leading to a temporary loss of consciousness. It can be triggered by hormonal changes, dehydration, or sudden position changes, such as standing up quickly.
Vertigo: Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness characterised by a false sensation of spinning or rotational movement. Women experiencing vertigo may feel as though they or their surroundings are moving or rotating when they aren’t. Vertigo can be quite disorienting and is often associated with inner ear issues or disturbances in the body's balance system. Menopausal vertigo may be linked to hormonal fluctuations or other physiological changes.
Disequilibrium: Disequilibrium refers to a feeling of unsteadiness or imbalance. It is not characterised by a spinning sensation like vertigo but rather a general sensation of being off-balance. Women experiencing disequilibrium may feel like they are about to fall, even though they may not actually be falling. This type of dizziness can result from changes in muscle strength and coordination, joint issues, or compromised postural control, which can be associated with the hormonal fluctuations and physical changes that occur during menopause.
Natural Remedies to Help Manage Menopausal Dizziness
Herbal supplements and remedies as well as vitamins and minerals can play a crucial role in managing dizziness. Here are some natural approaches and their benefits:
- Ginkgo biloba is an herb that has potential to improve blood circulation and enhance cognitive function. It can help to improve blood flow to the brain and may help reduce light-headedness and unsteadiness.
- Ginger is a natural remedy known for its anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be beneficial in reducing dizziness especially where this is accompanied with nausea. Ginger can be consumed fresh, in a tea or in a supplement.
- Vitamin D play a crucial role in maintaining bone health and hormonal balance. Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for maintaining proper neuromuscular function, neurotransmitters and hormones which can prevent dizziness and falls.
- Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in muscle function and relaxation as well as supporting the function of neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals between nerve cells (neurons). Magnesium also helps to stabilise blood sugar, regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation. This is a crucial mineral for reducing dizziness.
Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is super important for managing dizziness, especially in perimenopause. Here are some key dietary recommendations:
- Hydration. Dehydration can exacerbate dizziness and other symptoms, it is essential to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to maintain proper blood volume and circulation. Staying hydrated helps prevent low blood pressure, which can contribute to dizziness.
- Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet should include a variety of foods to provide essential nutrients. Whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats are essential components of a balanced diet.
Maintaining a stable blood sugar level is fundamental for reducing dizziness. A diet high in quality protein such as wild caught fish, pasture raised eggs, grass fed beef and organic beans, healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, fatty fish and olive oil, and whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa can help to promote blood sugar control. These foods slow the absorption of glucose to help slow down blood sugar spikes.
Here is a list of foods and drinks to limit or avoid that can trigger dizziness:
- Caffeine: excessive caffeine intake, found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks can lead to dehydration and overstimulation causing dizziness.
- Excessive salt: High sodium intake can increase blood pressure and can contribute to dizziness.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can have dehydrating effects and can lead to reduced blood volume and potential fluctuations in blood pressure.
- Don’t skip meals: Skipping meals can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. It's important to maintain regular, balanced meals to prevent drops in blood sugar that can result in dizziness.
Managing menopausal symptoms, including dizziness can be significantly improved through lifestyle modifications. Regular physical activity offers numerous benefits including improved blood circulation, enhanced balance and coordination, and stress reduction. Exercise also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and can improve blood pressure.
Stress and anxiety can exacerbate dizziness during menopause. Incorporate stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga into your daily routine. These practices promote relaxation, help stabilise blood pressure, reduce tension, and improve emotional well-being, ultimately helping to alleviate the impact of stress on dizziness.
Quality sleep is essential for managing menopausal symptoms, including dizziness. Ensure you have a consistent sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleep environment, and practice good sleep hygiene. Adequate and restful sleep can help reduce fatigue, stress, and the risk of dizziness episodes.
To minimize the risk of dizzy episodes, be mindful of potential triggers. Avoid extreme temperatures, as sudden temperature changes can affect blood pressure. Protect your eyes from bright lights and stay hydrated to prevent potential triggers related to dehydration.
When Should You Seek Medical Guidance?
If you experience menopausal dizziness, we encourage you to book into our online clinic to see one of our Naturopaths to discuss how we can help you further. If dizziness is becoming an everyday thing and taking over your life, we highly suggest visiting your general practitioner.
Managing Menopausal Dizziness
Menopause is a significant transitional phase marked by hormonal fluctuations and a range of symptoms including dizziness. Managing dizziness during menopause can be effectively achieved through an array of natural remedies and lifestyle changes. These strategies include staying hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management techniques like deep breathing and yoga, consistent sleep schedules, and being mindful of potential triggers such as extreme temperatures and bright lights. Herbal supplements like ginger and ginkgo biloba, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium and vitamin D, can also play a role in symptom management.
Navigating menopause, with its associated symptoms like dizziness, may seem challenging, but it's important to remember that you have a wealth of natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments at your disposal. You are not alone in this journey. By making informed choices and seeking support when needed, you can enhance your comfort and confidence during this phase of life. Embrace these tools and remember that you have the strength and resources to manage dizziness and other menopausal symptoms, ensuring a smoother transition and a brighter, more empowered future.