Menopausal dizziness is normal and does not usually indicate a medical problem. However, unexplained dizziness should be discussed with a doctor because the symptom can be a sign of something more serious.
Women are more likely to experience dizziness during menopause, possibly due to the aging process and changes in hormone levels. Dizziness is not a disease but a symptom of something happening inside the body.
This article discusses the potential causes and treatment of menopausal dizziness.
What causes dizziness during menopause?
Researchers are still not clear about the link between dizziness and menopause. Here are some possible explanations:
Menopause symptoms appear during perimenopause, the transition to menopause. This phase begins when periods become irregular.
Perimenopause lasts 4 to 8 years until menstruation has completely stopped for a year and menopause is complete. Women typically reach menopause between age 40 and 58.
During perimenopause, the ovaries decrease their productions of estrogen and progesterone, the hormones responsible for maintaining the reproductive system.
These hormones also play a role in the activity of other organs, including the brain, the heart, and the pancreas.
Sudden drops and changes in fertility hormone levels can lead to dizziness by impacting the following:
The inner ear
The brain senses balance through the otoconia, an organ of the inner ear made up of tiny crystals called otoliths.
At least one study demonstrates a link between estrogen loss and a weakening of the otoconia in females experiencing benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a disorder defined by episodes of dizziness that occur during movement.
The body’s metabolic system breaks down food into simple sugars called glucose and delivers it to cells, which use the glucose for energy. Estrogen plays a role in maintaining this process.
When the body’s estrogen levels drop, cells throughout the body may not receive enough glucose. This can lead to fatigue and dizziness.
Hormonal changes during menopause can also lead to heart palpitations, where the heart seems to pound or skip a beat. The irregular heartbeats can trigger dizziness.
Estrogen helps the brain understand the body’s position in its surrounding environment.
When estrogen levels fall, the brain may become disoriented, leading to a feeling of imbalance or spinning.
The aging process can cause the inner ear and other body systems to stop working as well as they used to.
This loss of function may be made worse by the hormonal changes associated with menopause.
Dizziness is sometimes a symptom of a menopause-related condition, rather than a direct symptom of menopause.
Changes in fertility hormones can trigger the following conditions, leading to dizziness: