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ABC’s of Menopause: Dizziness

Everything You Need to Know & How To Take Back Control.

Mia West
December 12, 2023
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

Menopause is the “gift” that keeps on giving. With 34 associated symptoms that can easily be ascribed to a myriad of other health conditions, it can be impossible to know if what you’re experiencing is tied to menopause without a hormone test. Each week this series will break down symptoms to empower women to take back control of their health and enjoy some relief.

My head is spinning from learning about all the potential menopause symptoms women can suffer from. Or, is this another menopause symptom? Yes, it most certainly is. From occasional lightheadedness to full-blown vertigo accompanied by nausea, menopause-related dizziness can literally knock you off your feet. In this article, we unravel the latest medical mystery and provide practical strategies to steady your footing.

What Triggers Dizziness in Menopausal Women?

While more research needs to be conducted, scientists speculate that dizziness during menopause is linked to hormonal fluctuations impacting the vestibular system—the body's balance control center. Estrogen, a key player in regulating various bodily functions, including protecting the inner ear functions of hearing and balance, can experience significant drops during menopause. This hormonal shift can result in a destabilized vestibular system, leading to dizziness, vertigo, and an unsettling sense of imbalance.

Experts also suggest menopausal hormone shifts change how our bodies respond to insulin, resulting in blood sugar imbalances that can spark a dizzy spell. Menopausal women are also prone to migraines, heart palpitations and sleep challenges that lead to extreme fatigue, all of which can result in feeling wobbly.

How Do I Know if My Dizziness is Menopause Related?

Distinguishing menopause-related dizziness from other potential causes requires consultation with a healthcare professional. Menopause shares symptoms with various other health issues, making it challenging to pinpoint the root cause without thorough evaluation. If you're within the menopausal age range and experiencing dizziness, seeking medical advice and hormonal testing is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.

What Else Causes Dizziness?

While menopause can induce dizziness, several other factors can contribute to this disorienting symptom:

  • Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake can disrupt the delicate balance of fluids in the inner ear, exacerbating dizziness.
  • Blood Sugar Fluctuations: Unstable blood sugar levels, often influenced by dietary choices, can contribute to episodes of lightheadedness.
  • Medications: Certain medications may have dizziness as a side effect, such as a high dose of blood pressure medicine. 
  • Inner ear conditions that can cause vertigo - a debilitating condition that people describe as if the world is spinning around them.
  • Orthostatic hypotension also known as presyncope - a drop in blood pressure upon sitting up or standing that causes lightheadedness
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiencies: This is a common side effect of B12-deficiency Anemia, as it's needed for your brain and nerves to work properly.
  • Vestibular Migraine: Those prone to migraines may experience dizziness as part of their symptoms.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Managing menopause-induced dizziness may involve a comprehensive approach to address its multifaceted origins:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Balancing hormonal levels, particularly estrogen, through HRT can alleviate menopause-related dizziness and associated symptoms.
  • Hydration: Maintaining adequate fluid intake supports inner ear function and helps counteract dizziness.
  • Dietary Adjustments: A balanced diet rich in nutrients and low in triggers such as caffeine and processed foods can contribute to overall well-being.
  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in physical activity enhances circulation, promoting balance and reducing the frequency of dizziness episodes.
  • Stress Management: Practices like meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques can mitigate stress, a common exacerbating factor for menopause-related dizziness.

When Should I See A Doctor?

Persistent or severe dizziness warrants medical attention and should not be ignored. A healthcare professional can rule out underlying conditions and explore tailored interventions. Consulting with a specialist experienced in hormonal health can also provide valuable insights into managing dizziness, along with all other symptoms tied to menopause.

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About the Author

Mia West

A former journalist, Mia brings a high energy approach to communications rooted in insights, culture and brand DNA. She is driven by helping brands crystalize their story and foster meaningful, emotional connections with audiences. Over the years she has collaborated with prominent brands such as Petco, Keurig Dr Pepper, Jaguar Land Rover, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble Beauty, as well as many others in the retail, health & wellness, beauty, lifestyle, and sustainability realms. A California native, she lives in San Diego with her family at the beach.

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