Its Not All About Hot Flashes And Mood Swings
I found my misconceptions about menopause were pretty common: its something that only happens to old women. Shell stop having her menstrual period for twelve months, then maybe have a few hot flashes, become grumpy and irritable, then eventually move on into old age, taking up knitting and drinking copious amounts of tea with her friends
This oversimplification and disregard for the immense impact menopause has on a woman is thankfully becoming discussed more regularly and with it, women are becoming more aware of other seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause and is when women are most symptomatic. Perimenopause can range from three to ten years, for some being an easy transition but for the majority of women, around 85 percent, a challenging time of symptoms both physically and mentally that cause a shift in quality of life.
I was thirty-eight when I had my last child and pretty much from that time onwards, started to feel generally shitty for a week or so each month. I know now that this was the start of my perimenopause.
I had never had PMS, but each month before my period, which had shortened to twenty-one days, I was slammed with crushing fatigue and allergies. The allergies, I have since learned, are directly related to our histamine response in perimenopause .
The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause
The average age of menopause is 51. Menopause refers to a period in a womans life when she stops having a menstrual period. Many people think that a woman stops having her period overnight when in reality, menopause is a process that can last for years.
The period leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. Most women begin perimenopause in their 40s. Some women may experience so few symptoms that they do not realize they have entered perimenopause . However, for others, symptoms can be severe and life-altering.
There are a total of 34 symptoms that can signify the arrival of menopause, which range from mild to disabling in nature.
Why Does Menopause Cause Dizziness
The exact causes of dizziness, like so many menopause symptoms, are unclear. However, during the menopause, your body goes through huge hormonal changes. These can result in a variety of symptoms including dizziness.
Oestrogen and progesterone are the female hormones that change the most during the menopause, and are the reason behind most of the symptoms. As the levels of these hormones change they can have an effect on circulation and blood vessels, resulting in bouts of dizziness as blood pressure fluctuates.
There are other symptoms of the menopause that can also make a woman feel dizzy, including anxiety, hot flushes, stress or panic attacks. The root of these problems can usually be assigned to hormone fluctuations as well.
In some cases, dizziness may not be related to the menopause, but be triggered by another medical condition or health problem such as low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low iron levels, dehydration, viral infections or ear infections. If this is the case then you will need to seek medical advice to clear the problem.
What Does Dizziness In Menopause Feel Like
The sensation of dizziness for menopausal women can be a feeling that everything is spinning, a loss of balance or feeling as if you are going to faint. It may occur as the result of another menopause symptom such as a panic attack or anxiety, where your breathing and heart rate levels become rapid, disturbing the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Can Menopause Cause Dizziness And Light
While not as well-known as hot flushes and night sweats, dizziness during menopause is actually more common than many people realise.
So this week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause I thought I would take a closer look at what causes this troublesome symptom, as well as some simple steps which can help you recover from a dizzy spell.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do my symptoms indicate that I might be going through menopause?
- My menstrual cycle is irregular. Could it be caused by something other than menopause?
- Im uncomfortable and/or dont feel well. Is there a way to safely treat my symptoms?
- Ive heard that soy products or herbal supplements may help. Are these effective? Are they good options for me?
- Am I a candidate for hormone replacement therapy?
- What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
- Am I at risk for heart disease or osteoporosis?
- Do I need any tests, such as bone density screening?
- Now that Im going through menopause, what changes, if any, should I make to my diet and exercise?
Heres To Treating Menopause Dizziness
At the end of the day, dizziness is not typically a sign of something more severe,* which is a good thing. But we know this doesnt make it any less annoying. Hopefully, the combination of knowledge, some new lifestyle choices, and a check-in with your doctor will make you feel more in control of your dizziness. Youve got this.
*It is not Gennevs intention to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Gennev urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.
Have you taken our menopause assessment? Join over 100,000 women to learn more about your symptoms and where you are in the menopause journey.
Menopause Transition: What’s Normal
Did you know the menopausal transition known as perimenopause begins four years before a womans final menstrual cycle? Its true. Hormone production from the ovaries often starts to change when a woman is in her 40s, and thus the time between periods begins to shorten. Some women have menopausal symptoms clustered around the time of menses. Others do not. Its important to know that perimenopausal symptoms are common and usually diminish with time.
- Muscle and joint aches
Mood changes can include tearfulness, irritability, anxiety and even panic attacks. These symptoms can last four to five years on average from the first hot flash. About 10 percent of women will continue to have symptoms into their 70s. Often, symptoms are most severe when a woman is still having periods, which can be heavier or lighter during this time. Eventually, she will skip periods for a few months until they stop altogether. A woman is considered postmenopausal if she has not had a period in more than a year. On average, this occurs around 51 years of age.
Some medications used for depression may help with menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy is another option that can be considered, although there are health risks, including blood clots, breast cancer, gall bladder disease and stroke.
Topics in this Post
Addressing Menopause And Hrt Related Health Complications
Q1. I am a 50-year-old female going through menopause. I had a complete hysterectomy and have been on HRT since then. I have been having dizzy spells and have had a complete checkup. I’ve heard that dizziness can be a part of menopause – is this true? Why is this, and what can I do to stop the dizziness?
Dizziness, which wasn’t previously talked about as a menopausal symptom, has more recently been found to be associated with menopause. Symptoms such as dizziness and nausea, not traditionally considered menopausal symptoms, have been reported by some women to increase after menopause. However, the link between dizziness and menopause hasn’t been well studied, and only a weak association has been found so far. Because there isn’t a strong association, such as with hot flashes and night sweats, you can’t assume the dizziness is related to menopause. If this is a new symptom for you, you should see your doctor and have it evaluated because it may be due to some other cause.
However, if your dizziness is severe, continuing, or a true room-spinning vertigo, be sure to seek further evaluation, especially if it’s worsening. You shouldn’t assume that such a symptom is related to menopause.
There are also other causes of hot flashes and night sweats, such as some medications and underlying health conditions . See your doctor about these possible causes; don’t assume that your symptoms are all related to menopause.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Menopause Center.
How To Talk With Your Doctor About Heart Palpitations
Lewey emphasizes the importance of talking with your healthcare provider if you have heart symptoms that youre not expecting or that are particularly bothersome. For the women in this study who experienced moderate to severe distress from their palpitations, Im curious how many of them actually spoke to their healthcare provider about it, because we know that women are less likely to seek care, says Lewey.
Sometimes it may just take a quick phone call or maybe it will require further evaluation, but its important to communicate with your doctor about these symptoms, she adds.
When To See A Doctor
For most women, a visit to the doctor is not necessary to treat dizziness at menopause. However, if you are having other symptoms such as fainting, chest pain, trouble breathing, changes in speech or vision, or hearing loss, you should see a doctor as your dizziness may stem from a problem other than hormone decline.
To learn more about treating dizziness and other menopause symptoms with hormone therapy, contact Renew Youth today.
How Does Menopause Affect Heart Health
People are more likely to develop heart disease after menopause. Lower estrogen levels may be part of the cause. It also could be that other health issues that are more common as people get older. These include gaining weight, becoming less active, and developing high blood pressure or diabetes. You can reduce your risk of these health problems by eating a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. It also helps to stay active and maintain an appropriate weight.
Hot Flushes And Night Sweats
The hot flush is experienced by up to 80% of those going through the menopause and is the most common symptom. Often accompanied by extreme sweating , a hot flush is caused by changes in hormone levels upsetting the part of the brain that regulates temperature. Basically, your body thinks it is overheating even when it isnt, and things like hot drinks or alcohol, eating spicy food or sitting in the sun can exacerbate symptoms.
A night sweat is a hot flush that happens at night the sweat is a chemical reaction that opens up the blood vessels in the skin causing a feeling of sudden heat. Sweat is released to dispel that heat.
Hot flushes usually last from three to five minutes and can vary in severity. Some women find them nicely warming but around 20% are instantly drenched and scarlet in the face. This can impact on work, social occasions and disrupt sleep.
Hot flushes usually continue for about two years, but some women continue to have them post-menopause.
Did you know? Whilst we all know about hot flushes, did you know that anxiety and low self-esteem can get much worse around menopause?Dr Jane Davis
Tips for managing hot flushes
Dizziness During Menopause Treatments
Treatment of dizziness often depends on the underlying cause. Because the most common cause of dizziness during menopause is hormonal fluctuations, treating this root cause often provides relief. It is generally recommended that patients begin with the least invasive approach to dizziness treatment.
Lifestyle changes and self-care are often the first steps in treating dizziness associated with menopause. Eating healthy, drinking enough fluids, and exercising regularly can help to reduce episodes of dizziness. Women who become dizzy when they stand up should take precautions to avoid getting up too quickly or making sudden changes in posture.
While these lifestyle changes can help, they are unable to treat the root cause of dizziness in menopause: hormonal changes. Fortunately, approaches in alternative medicine are available to treat the hormonal causes of dizziness during menopause. Often, the best approach to treating dizziness during menopause is one that combines alternative medicine with lifestyle changes.
An Introduction To Dizziness And Menopause
During the menopause, women may experience brief, unexpected moments of dizziness, which can make them feel unsettled for a time, even after the sensation has eased. There are three types of sensation that can be experienced with dizziness: the feeling that everything is spinning or whirling; a feeling of loss of balance; or a feeling as if you are going to faint.
Dizziness may occur as a result of another menopause symptom such as anxiety or panic attacks. If suffering from these symptoms, breathing and heart rate levels become rapid and unsteady. This change in breathing can disturb the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, causing dizziness.
Dizziness And Loss Of Balance
Dizzy, belted out Tommy Roe and his Wrecking Crew. Its also one of our favourites, describing a surprisingly common menopause symptom! During a dizzy spell, you may experience unexpected light-headedness, disorientation and loss of balance, which although brief can be disconcerting and a big deal for some.
How To Repair Your Blood Pressure System
If your symptoms improved after adding the salt to your diet, youll now need to repair the neurological blood pressure mechanism to your brain. This is done by reducing the number of carbohydrates youre consuming on a daily basis. Follow these instructions:
What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause
When you think of a woman going through menopause, you might think of symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or mood swings.
These symptoms receive a lot of attention due to the fact that there are over-the-counter and prescription drug remedies designed especially to target them. However, the symptoms of menopause are actually far more complex than these companies let on!
In total, there are 34 different symptoms that can be attributed to menopause. A woman going through menopause might experience some or all of these symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.
Read on to learn more about the menopause process and how it might affect a womans health and well-being.
Alternative Medicine For Dizziness
Alternative medicines involve minimal risk, and can treat dizziness at the root of the problem, which is hormonal imbalance. There are two different types of alternative medicine; phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements
Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, like black cohosh, ginkgo biloba and dong quai contain plant-based estrogens that can help relieve dizziness caused by hormonal imbalance.
These herbs are not recommended for long-term use, because they may decrease the body’s ability to produce estrogen naturally.
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements are good natural supplements that can be used over a longer period of time, because they do not contain estrogen. Instead, Macafem nourishes the endocrine system and encourages the body to produce estrogen on its own.
These supplements can be considered the safest and most natural way to treat the underlying hormonal imbalance behind dizziness, and can be taken throughout a woman’s life, as they support the body’s natural hormone production.
If changes in lifestyle and alternative treatments are not effective in providing relief from dizziness, it may be necessary to take medication to manage dizzy spells.
Menopause And Blood Sugar
Menopause and blood sugar don’t mix well. Our friends estrogen and progesterone also dabble in regulating your blood sugar. So, when the body produces less and less of these two hormones, fluctuations in your blood sugar can occur, likely leading to dizziness in some women. This is why you need a good understanding of hormones and nutrition.
Bppv And Oral Contraceptives
A previous study reported that recurrent BPPV was related to oral contraceptives . It has been postulated that oral contraceptives may induce disturbances in the water and electrolyte balance, variances in endolymph pH and abnormalities in carbohydrate or lipid metabolism, which may cause otoconial degeneration and subsequent otoconial detachment and BPPV .
Sexual & Other Health Considerations
The loss of oestrogen at the menopause can lead to problems like vaginal dryness and lack of libido.
Did you know? It is normal to get less wet with sex. This is called vaginal dryness. It is very common. Dr Jane Davis
Vaginal dryness can be incredibly uncomfortable and impact on quality of life. It may include your vagina feeling sore in general or during sex, it may cause itching or an increased need to pee. It could even lead to urinary tract infections . This can lead to general discomfort but also affect your enjoyment of sex.
As well as vaginal dryness affecting interest in sex, you may experience a drop in libido around menopause. This can be caused by changing hormone levels or your general mental wellbeing.
As mentioned above, a lack of oestrogen can also affect the bladder, meaning you need to go to the loo more often or increasing incidence of UTIs.
You may feel embarrassed to discuss these symptoms with your GP, but theres no need to suffer in silence, there are treatments out there which can change your life.
Did you know? You can still get pregnant once your periods have stopped. The simplest approach may be to assume youll need contraception up to your 56th birthday. Dr Jane Davis
Tips for managing
Did you know? Vaginal oestrogen is a brilliant solution and is very safe for most people. It plumps up the vaginal skin allowing it to produce your natural lubrication again. Goodbye sandpaper sex. Dr Jane Davis
Ask your GP about
Sudden Drop In Blood Pressure
The autonomic nervous system helps the body regulate the shift in blood pressure when we stand up. As we get older, this system may deteriorate, causing a temporary drop in blood pressure when we standknown as orthostatic hypotensionresulting in lightheadedness. This may be a long-term problem, but there are medications to treat it, such as midodrine and fludrocortisone , so this too warrants a trip to your doctor.
Factors Associated With Dizziness
Women were defined as experiencing dizziness if they scored 1, 2, or 3 on the second item in the MHR-QOLs physical health domain, indicating that they suffered from the symptom once a week or more frequently. Women with and without dizziness were then compared for age, menopausal status, body composition, cardiovascular parameters, basal metabolism, physical fitness, physical and psychological symptoms of menopause , and lifestyle characteristics. Next, the factors that significantly differed between these two groups at the univariate level were selected as the explanatory variables for a multivariate logistic regression analysis that was conducted to identify the factors that are independently associated with the response variable of dizziness using a stepwise variable selection procedure .
Skipping A Beat Heart Palpitations
Does your heart unexpectedly start to race or pound, or feel like it keeps skipping beats? These sensations are called palpitations. Palpitations can appear out of the blue and disappear just as suddenly and can have many triggers and dehydration is one of them.
Researchers found that the heart rate changes are an average of three beats per minute for every 1% change in body weight resulting from dehydration.
What happens in your body when it lacks water is actually a change in electrolytes leading to a low blood pressure which puts extra stress on your body while your heart needs to beat faster to keep up with the stress.
Now that you know more about symptoms of dehydration, what are the chances that many of the symptoms that you blame on menopause is just your body craving for more water?
If chugging several glasses of water every day seems like a torture to you, here are some ideas to improve your water drinking experience:
Hyperventilation And Feeling Light Headed
In people with anxiety, lightheadedness is often attributable to hyperventilation.
When your body experiences anxiety, it triggers the fight or flight system, which is the reflex designed to prepare your body for rapid action in order to evade threats. One of the symptoms is breathing rapidly. It’s not 100% clear why breathing fast is advantageous from a biological perspective, but the most likely reasons include:
- Breathing quickly helps your heart move blood around the important muscles and organs.
- Breathing quickly reduces carbon dioxide in the bloodstream so that when you start to run you can handle the creation of more Co2.
That latter point is important. Studies have shown that by hyperventilating and depleting yourself of carbon dioxide, you can do things like hold your breath for longer, and potentially run away from predators or other threats. .
People often mistake hyperventilation for breathing too little oxygen. However, the opposite is true. In reality, hyperventilation is the act of breathing out too much carbon dioxide. Every time you exhale you breathe out Co2, and when you exhale too quickly, you breathe out more than you create. Eventually, your body is left with too little carbon dioxide in the bloodstream as a result of hyperventilation.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Risk Factors Unique To Perimenopausal Women
- Department of Neurology, Chungnam National University Hospital, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea
Many investigations have found common occurrences of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in women, and clinical experience has shown that BPPV can develop due to increased hormonal fluctuations, especially during menopause. Therefore, knowledge about neurochemicals and their involvement with BPPV is imperative for the management of neurological issues in women. This review will discuss appropriate gender-based considerations of BPPV based on experimental and clinical evidence. The studies describe 2 lines of evidence regarding the association of perimenopause in women and the development of BPPV: experimental evidence: the existence of estrogen receptors in the inner ear, otoconial malformations in osteopenic/osteoporotic rats, changes in otoconin 90 caused by hormone replacement therapy, and impaired calcium absorption following estrogen deprivation corrected by estrogen replacement therapy and clinical evidence: epidemiological aspects, osteoporosis and estrogen deficiency. Future studies are necessary to validate the effects of hormonal replacement therapy and phytoestrogen in women with recurrent BPPV.
The Correlation Between Menopause And Vertigo
Vertigo is described as a strong feeling of dizziness, one that may cause you to feel as though everything around you is spinning and loss of equilibrium.
In a 2012 study conducted in Japan, 413 women who complained of vertigo were chosen to help scientists determine if there is some relation between the development of vertigo and the onset of menopause. Of the 413 women, who were aged between 40 and 59 years, only 73 had experienced the onset of menopause. Amazingly, the instance of vertigo in the form of Menieres disease in that group of 73 was much higher than in the group of remaining subjects, whilst vertigo caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo was about even between the two groups .
Because Menieres disease, which is an inner ear disorder linked to an abnormal volume or composition of inner ear fluid, is caused by physiological factors , its assumed that the same chemical and hormonal changes that occur in women during menopause are those that may also cause disorders such as Menieres disease.