Types of Dizziness Associated With Menopause
There are three distinct types of dizziness: vertigo, disequilibrium and pre-syncope. Vertigo refers to the sensation that the room is spinning or whirling. Disequilibrium means that you feel off-balance or unstable. Pre-syncope is the term used when you feel as though you might faint or black out.
Although dizziness is not as regular a menopause symptom as hot flashes or irregular periods, it is incredibly annoying and can result in dangerous situations, and thus must be prevented if possible. To understand menopause dizziness, one must have a better understanding of its causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.
Symptoms of Menopause DizzinessIn addition to the symptoms described above, menopause dizziness may also present itself with symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, nausea, visual disturbances and a general feeling of lightheadedness.
Risks of Dizziness
If you are experiencing pre-syncope dizziness, the primary risk is that you might lose consciousness and fall, possibly injuring yourself. Even if you don’t black out, however, dizziness can have a significant effect on your quality of life, making you feel nervous and uncomfortable, never certain when another episode might occur.
Causes of Dizziness
The differing types of dizziness are associated with differing causes. There are several factors that combine to give us our natural sense of balance. Our sense of sight, combined with a more subtle sense called kinesthesia or proprioception (an awareness of where our body is located and how it is moving), help keep us stable in relation to the world around us. The inner ear also contributes to our balance control. Our nervous system provides constant information about the body’s location and movement through nerves in the muscles, joints and skin. Finally, the cardiovascular system contributes to this necessary information. All of these symptoms must be working in concert to provide us with the sense of stability we normally take for granted.
Disturbances in the inner ear or problems with vision are not commonly related to menopause. Our sensory system and cardiovascular functioning, however, can be affected by hormonal imbalance. Dizziness can also be associated with such menopausal symptoms as hot flashes, migraine headaches, anxiety and panic disorder.
Menopause Dizziness Treatments
Some elements that cause dizziness can be alleviated, at least slightly, by behavioral changes. If your vascular system has become sluggish due to hormonal changes, you might feel lightheaded upon standing up suddenly, so slow, careful movements may help. Keeping hydrated also aids the circulatory system. Yoga has also been shown to help the body maintain proper balance.
However, because the root cause of menopausal dizziness is usually an underlying hormonal imbalance, treatments that allow the body to rebalance hormones are the most effective and enduring solution.
Menopause Dizziness FAQ's
Q: How do I know if dizzy spells are related to menopause?
A: If light-headedness, balance problems or dizziness have onset during menopause, hormonal imbalance is a likely source. However, because persistent dizziness can be a symptom common to many health conditions, some quite severe, you should always inform your physician about any dizzy spells you encounter. If dizzy spells have preceded menopausal symptoms or occur in conjunction with other symptoms not related to menopause, consult your doctor as soon as possible.