Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to Deal with Dizziness at Menopause?



In spite of the wide public awareness on menopause symptoms, many women are going through menopause have no idea that dizziness is often a one of these symptoms. Affected women know about more about hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, and other wide-known medical conditions, but do not consider dizziness as a common problem, associated with menopause as well. Keep in mind that what makes this particular symptom so fascinating is that it could be directly or indirectly related to the change of life. That means dizziness could be caused by the changes in the body themselves or from medication being taken for other symptoms. Regardless, menopause and dizziness can be difficult to handle and if the problem persists, it should be checked by a doctor.

Dizziness is frustrating and in some cases, it could be dangerous. For instance, if the woman was driving a car and suddenly felt overwhelmed with dizziness or vertigo (sensation of swaying, falling, or spinning), she could momentarily lose control and cause an accident. Therefore, while it might sound like no big deal, for some women, dizziness might not be just disturbing, but also life-threatening. For this reason, you should not overlook and dismiss this symptom but look for appropriate solutions to help. As mentioned, menopause and dizziness could be the result of multiple hidden medical conditions.

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Types of Dizziness Associated With Menopause

There are three distinct types of dizziness, you may experience during your menopause:
1. Vertigo. Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall.
2. Disequilibrium.  Disequilibrium means that you feel off-balance or unstable. Usually is spells as a problem with walking. People with disequilibrium feel unsteady on their feet or feel like they are going to fall.
3. Pre-syncope (Light-headedness). Pre-syncope is the term used when you feel as though you might faint or black out. It is commonly felt by standing up too quickly or by breathing deeply enough times to produce the sensation.

In 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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Risk Factors

Arthritis

For some women going through the change of life, they experience significant bone loss that leads to osteoarthritis. In this case, the arthritis, especially when in the neck or cervical spine, could cause dizziness. Typically what happens is that the arteries traveling up the back of the neck going to the brain become compressed. When this occurs, blood flow to the part of the brain controlling hormones is reduced or restricted, thus dizziness.

Hormones

Dizziness can occur when there are changes in the blood vessels of the nervous system caused by reduction of estrogen levels. Often in this case, the woman will also experience hot flashes and night sweats. Another side effect of menopause is migraine headaches, again leading to dizziness. Then, women often struggle with mood swings, depression, frustration, irritability, and anxiety, all contributors of menopause and dizziness. Women will also experience such dramatic hormone fluctuations that they actually go into panic attacks, which often includes dizziness.

Hyperventilation

Stress or anxiety can trigger shallow breathing, which can cause your arteries to constrict. This loss of blood to your brain and extremities can make you light-headed and can cause your hands and feet feel to be numb. Taking long, slow, deep breaths may reduce the dizziness.

Tinnitus

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.

Malnutrition

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.

Low blood sugar levels

If you are dieting rigorously, or just busy and not paying attention to mealtimes, you may have a drop in blood sugar that makes you feel light-headed. If this is common for you, schedule frequent snacks containing some protein with complex carbohydrates — such as cheese and whole-wheat crackers.

Medications

In addition to physical causes, there are some medications and herbal remedies, to include hormone replacement therapy, that do not work well in some case. In fact, one of the side effects listed for many menopause treatments is none other than dizziness.

Other Factors

Among other contributing factors are:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Cold and Flu
  • Viral infection
  • Heart problems
  • Stroke

The most important thing to remember is that while menopause and dizziness is normal, dizziness can also be a sign of something much more serious, such as a tumor. Therefore, any woman going through the change of life that finds herself dealing with excessive dizziness or an overload of any associated symptoms should not take any chances but arrange visit to a primary physician to rule out anything other than menopause.

Menopause Dizziness Treatment

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.

Assuming no other cause is found and your dizziness is mild and tolerable, the symptom is probably not dangerous and you don't need to do much. You can consider some lifestyle changes: For example, be sure to stay well hydrated and get enough sleep — being dehydrated and not sleeping enough can worsen dizziness. Also, be careful when rising from a lying to a standing position. Another thing to consider is whether you've started taking any new medication, prescription or over-the-counter. Blood pressure medications, for example, can cause light-headedness and dizziness. So, some elements that cause dizziness can be alleviated, at least slightly, by behavioral changes. 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.

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 simply assume that such a symptom is related to menopause and should be considered as inevitable evil.

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Prevention and Controlling Tips

There are some easy techniques that may help to prevent or control dizziness if that is happening:
1. Drink Liquids. The body must be well hydrated at all times. Many dizzy spells occur at times when there are low levels of water in the body. Drinking at least eight glasses of water each day will help to keep yourself healthier and free from dizziness.
2. Lessen Salt. Eating less salt will act in the same way as staying well hydrated. It will control blood pressure and reduces the chance of experiencing dizziness. A diet low in salt will prevent fluid from accumulating in the ears. A great tip to prevent a menopausal woman from getting dizzy is to make sure that salt levels are in balance.
3. Keep Energetic. Every person requires an adequate amount of rest. Sleeping at least eight hours every night will help to maintain a solid level of energy each day. Changing the lifestyle is the best way to combat signs and symptoms throughout menopause.
4. Examine Medication. A doctor may prescribe certain medicines to help alleviate the problem. It is important to think about other pills that you may be taking at the same time. There may be certain interactions within the body that are leading to troubles with dizziness.
5. Stop Smoking. Everyone is aware that smoking is a bad habit that negatively affects the health. During menopause, it is very important to quit smoking to prevent dizziness. Along with this bad habit, a person must lessen their intake of alcohol as well.
6. Breathe Fresh Air. Enjoying the outdoor air always helps a person feel better. It is not good to stay trapped inside all of the time. Fresh air makes a person feel happy and may prevent person from getting dizzy. During menopause, reading and watching television are two activities that trigger dizziness.
7. Regular Exercise. Exercise is the key to maintaining a healthy body, a positive mental state, and controlling an imbalance in hormones. Regular exercise lessens stress which is a major cause of dizziness throughout menopause.
8. Hold Ears and Shut Eyes. When a person is experiencing a dizzy spell, it may help to hold the ears and to close the eyes. It is a way to stop an attack before it becomes too serious.
9. Hot Water. Something that prevents and alleviates dizziness throughout menopause is taking a hot bath or shower. A hot shower will energize the body and better equip it to handle all problems. This may end them at the heart of the problem.
10. Become More Stable. If you feel a dizzy spell coming on, you must try to stabilize yourself right away. Take a seat or stand completely still if you are in motion. Ask a coworker to bring you a chair. Rest is important to treat the dizziness brought on by menopause.
11. Focus. After you have managed to stabilize yourself, it is vital to get rid of the disorientation. Bring your full attention to an inanimate object, like something on the wall or at your desk. Anything will help except a ticking clock. Placing focus on one item will help your body to maintain its equilibrium. In no time, dizziness and blurry vision should go away.
12. Breathe. When a dizzy spell comes on suddenly, it is important to stay calm. The best way to relax is to concentrate on breathing. Slowly inhale and exhale. This is a form of meditation. It can help to regulate the mind and alleviate dizziness brought on by menopause.
13. Consult a Physician. It is always smart to try natural lifestyle changes in hope of preventing menopausal dizziness. However, they may not always produce the desired effect. If this is the case, it may be smart to consult a doctor. Many adults often complain of dizziness and they look for ways to prevent, lessen, or end the problem.

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