A woman who reaches the next level of womanhood can rejoice in saying farewell to the mess and pain of her monthly menses. Now say hello to menopause, a new chapter in a mature woman's life cycle. No more tampons, no more bloating, no more premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Unfortunately, this new change isn't without its discomforts, including dizziness and nausea.
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Mens is Greek for monthly, and pausis means stop. This is the time in a woman's life when her ovaries produce less oestrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are essential for reproduction, so when a woman stops producing them, the body will change in subtle ways. According to The North American Menopause Society, menopause occurs when a woman goes 12 months without a menstrual period.
Menopause symptoms will not be the same for every woman. Dawn M. Olsen of Menopause A to Z says some dizziness related to menopause symptoms are caused by changes in the blood vessels of the nervous system due to lower oestrogen levels. Symptoms like hot flushes and migraine headaches can lead to dizziness and vertigo. Some women struggle with depression, irritability, frustration, mood swings and anxiety, all of which can cause bouts of lightheadedness.
If a menopausal woman suffers from arthritis in the neck or cervical spine, the arteries going up the back of the neck leading to the brain can become compressed and constrict the flow of blood carrying hormones. This will also lead to dizziness.
Severe dizziness can create a sensation of swaying, falling or spinning, which may cause nausea. The condition will be worse with motion. Menopausal fatigue brought on by insomnia and night sweats can create a kind of motion sickness.
A decrease in oestrogen, the hormone primarily responsible for fat distribution in women, can cause bouts of nausea. Progesterone, a significant hormone produced by the ovaries, is essential in balancing electrolytes and sugars. Reduced levels of this hormone during menopause can create an imbalance of this process, resulting in nausea.
It's not a good idea to automatically assume a symptom like dizziness is associated with menopause, says Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. It could be an unrelated condition, like a tumour, or a side effect of other medications, including blood pressure medicine and even hormone replacement therapy.
If you become dizzy while driving, riding a bike, crossing a street, walking down stairs or using a knife while cooking, you could hurt yourself or someone else. Severe cases of dizziness or nausea may require medical attention.
If you're feeling dizzy, lie down until it passes. Keep yourself well hydrated and don't skip meals. Dizziness and nausea symptoms of menopause can lead to loss of appetite, but if you don't receive the proper calories and nutrients for energy, you'll only worsen your symptoms.
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