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Menopause and Dizziness:  What Does it Mean?


Menopause and dizziness often go together.  You can get relief, and there are even some natural remedies.


I had an experience with menopause and dizziness a few years ago that really scared me.  I woke up one morning and the room was spinning, almost as if I was drunk, but I don't drink.  It didn't go away, even when I lay down.  


After a half hour or so, I decided to call a medical professional.  Heart disease runs in my family, and I was concerned that I might be having a stroke or something.  I couldn't reach a nurse, so I ended up calling an ambulance. 

 

Even though the tests the paramedics gave me came out okay, they wanted to take me to the emergency room.  So I reluctantly went, and spent the next five hours being stuffed with drugs and undergoing various tests.  


Finally the doctor diagnosed it as vertigo.  I asked him what that was and what caused it.  He gave me a couple of potential causes, but then said, “really, we don't know what causes it.”  Although his response was frustrating, I loved him for saying it.  It is a rare doctor that will admit he doesn't know something.


After a few hours, the dizziness went away.  I don't know if it went away on its own, or because of the anti-nausea drug they gave me.  Fortunately, it's been several years now and it never came back.


Many studies have been done on menopause and the various common symptoms associated with it, but few people realize that menopause and dizziness often go hand-in-hand.  Dizziness, also known as vertigo, is not one of the well-known symptoms of menopause nor have very many studies been conducted for it. 


Dizziness is not a pleasant thing to experience no matter what the cause is – swaying, spinning, and possibly falling down are all very uncomfortable and unsettling for anyone.


Causes


Menopause and dizziness can occur along with panic attacks and hot flashes.  Some causes of dizziness include inner ear problems, cardiovascular problems, side effects of medications, low blood sugar or low blood pressure, and stroke.  For common symptoms of stroke, see below.


If you are experiencing mild cases of dizziness, you may choose to work through the bouts, but some women are not so lucky - they end up with severe vertigo. 


In these cases, you need to have your doctor check you out to be sure that it is just vertigo, and not something more serious.


Dizziness could be a side effect of a drug, in addition to a symptom of a brain tumor or other causes, such as those mentioned above.  There is one study that found women with hot flashes tend to have more incidence of dizziness than women without hot flashes.


What You Can Do


There are medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, for dizziness.  I don't know how well they work.  Acupuncture is recommended by some.  Use of lavender essential oil may help, by inhaling it when you are dizzy. Also, if you know any anthroposophical doctors, they may have remedies that will work.


Unfortunately not that much is known yet about causes of dizziness (outside causes mentioned above), or how to prevent it or treat it.


Of course, the regular advice for improving your health can't hurt, especially getting enough good quality sleep, eating well, and de-stressing as much as possible.


Know the Signs of Stroke


First of all, stroke is an emergency.  Every minute counts.


  • Face – uneven smile, facial droop

  • Arm – arm numbness, arm weakness

  • Speech – slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding


If you suspect stroke, call 911 and get to the hospital immediately.








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