Menopausal women may have a broad range of concerns associated with their transitions. We often hear about things like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and weight gain, but one of the potential reactions we do not often hear about is dizziness. The physical causes for increased dizziness during menopause aren’t clear, but researchers believe that it may be due to changes in the blood vessels or nervous system when estrogen levels drop. Some researchers are investigating the possibility that dizziness during menopause is brought on or exacerbated by hot flashes. Whatever the cause, the fact remains that dizziness is, in fact, one of the many ways that your body responds to the changes of menopause, and it can put women at an increased risk for falling.
What makes menopausal dizziness harder to diagnose and treat is the fact that several other things that cause dizziness tend to be happening to women as they make their way through menopause. Here are some typical examples of things a menopausal woman may be experiencing that may cause dizziness and make menopausal dizziness harder to spot:
Arthritis – Arthritis in the neck or spine can cause dizziness and, of course, most women who are going through menopause are also at the age to begin to develop arthritis. Your bones and muscles, especially those in the neck and spine, work together to tell the brain the exact position of the body. Arthritis can disrupt the communication between systems and confuse the brain about where your body is in space, thus, cause dizziness.
Headaches: Headaches, particularly migraine headaches, can cause dizziness. Menopausal women are more prone to headaches than non-menopausal women are.
Inner Ear Problems: There are many different types of inner ear infections, and if you are suffering dizziness, you should ask your doctor to check for an inner ear problem. You may not know it, but the inner ear is composed of several very delicate parts. There are three incredibly tiny bones, there are hairs, there is a layer of fluid and more. Damage or infection in any of these areas can cause dizziness.
Stress: Yes, stress can and does cause dizziness. Nobody knows why, except that many times people under stress will unconsciously hold their breath or breathe irregularly. Stress may lead people to tense their muscles and hold that tension for extended periods of time; this can alter the pressure in the head and cause dizziness.
Menopausal women may experience dizziness for any of these reasons, or perhaps none of these are the culprit behind dizziness in a menopausal woman. If you are experiencing dizziness, consult with your physician.