35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Dizziness & Vertigo

by Magnolia on February 4, 2013

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Unlike hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, dizziness and vertigo are two symptoms of perimenopause which are not discussed very often, although many women, myself included, suffer horribly with it.

During my years of perimenopause, I had several episodes of dizziness and vertigo.  One of the more memorable episodes occurred one day when my son and I were walking outside together.

Without warning, I began to get dizziness and lose my balance, stumbling sideways across the yard.  I clutched and snatched at the air – as if somehow I could save myself – trying to keep from falling.

It didn’t work.  I fell flat on my face onto the ground.

By the time my son came to my rescue, I was fine.  He helped me up, dusted me off, and it was as if it never happened.  Since then, I’ve had several episodes of serious vertigo.  The last episode occurred in 2008, and was so severe, I couldn’t walk, I was nauseous, and could only lie on the floor wailing for someone to help me.  Convinced I was having a stroke, my husband took me to the ER.

After many months of subsequent doctor visits, tests, and medications – all of which remained inconclusive – it was suggested I may have Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear condition which causes loss of balance, vertigo, and dizziness. I was given the medication Meclizine to take when the symptoms came on. It was effective in helping me manage the symptoms.  But, I still had no clear cut answers as to the actual cause.

dizziness and vertigo are symptoms associated with hypothyroidism>

The problem with both dizziness and vertigo, is that they can be traced to so many other conditions. So, when women complain of these symptoms during perimenopause, hormone imbalance is usually not thought to be the cause.

I’ve done many searches on dizziness and vertigo in perimenopause on the Internet over the years, both general, and on medical and research university websites. To date, I’ve turned up very little information. There are plenty of sources which at least acknowledge that women complain about these symptoms during perimenopause, but beyond that, they do not offer much explanation as to the source of the symptoms.

However, I ran across an E-How article recently which caught my attention. While I certainly wouldn’t make E-How my go-to site for research on perimenopause symptoms, I was intrigued by the article because of the recent posts I did last month on hypothyroidism.

According this article, which you can read right here, dizziness and vertigo are symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.  Given that so many women suffer with hypothyroidism during perimenopause, and that a lot of women also complain of dizziness and vertigo during perimenopause, could it be that hypothyroidism is the culprit?

I don’t know, but I’m asking.

The article referenced The Merck Manual of Health and Aging as a source.  I happen to have a current edition of The Merck Manual of Medical Information, but did not see any references to hypothyroidism in the dizziness and vertigo section. I remain intrigued nonetheless.

Dizziness and vertigo will be the subject of blog topics for the month of February here at The Perimenopause Blog.  Given the lack of good information available on the subject, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to explore this topic for an entire month. However, this little E-How article has changed all of that.

I have also reached out to BodyLogicMD for their opinions on the subject.  I haven’t heard back from anyone yet.  As soon as I do, I will post their response.  In the meantime, I have a renewed interest and enthusiasm for this subject.  With so many women complaining of dizziness and vertigo in perimenopause, somebody needs to be talking more about it.

Why not me?

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{ 247 comments… read them below or add one }

SuzieQ August 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm

I LOVE YOU!!!!! Thank you for your blog!!!!!

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karen August 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I was researching for my friend who at present
is having the same symptoms. The doctor are running tests to find the reasons . Reading your blog really help. Thank you

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Heather August 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Oh Thank you for blogging about this…I too have felt dizziness and vertigo often recently.
My GP has considered blocked nasal sinuses and also am going to have an Epley Manoevre to see if this helps, but just yesterday and today my dizziness vertigo spells have came on and I simultaneously came over extremely hot and nauseous. Sometimes my vision is affected and I just have to lie down and close my eyes.
I am going to ask my GP who is very lovely and a lady herself… to see if this could help in finding me a solution..
Thank you again..oh and BTW I also have Myxoedema ( underactive Thyroid)
cheers from Heather

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Carolyn August 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I was just talking to my daughter about this. She has had many tests for dizziness but everything comes back OK. She asked me today if I thought perimenopause could have a connection to the Vertigo. I didn’t think it had, but found this great blog which also questions the connection. My daughter thinks she is going through the early stages of perimenopause. Thank you for looking into this. She is having the FSH test soon and I will also recommend a thyroid test.

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Plotus September 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Healthcare is such a “practice” of finding out what is the cause and there are not always clear cut answers. Doing your own research or coming across pages like this are for me, better than going to a clinic which only seems to play guessing games for the most part. Ladies, you know your bodies best. Research, ask and then do what feels right for you. I don’t think there is one answer fits all. Thank you for sharing here because it helps ease the stress. I have been experiencing vertigo for a week now. Dizzy upon laying down, upon rising. It is always present yet less when I am sitting up. I recently brought a new kitten into the house, I workout three times a week weight training and recently slipped and fell back into my bathtub, felt no injury at the time or in the week following, I also had a menstrual cycle two weeks ago after not having one for 7 or 8 months, have been in water much which could have settled in my ears causing an infection or block, I travel a lot which could have also plugged my ears. All these things just mentioned coincide with possible matches that could be at the root for the vertigo symptoms. I am typically ultra healthy so I felt a bit puzzled when it first showed up. I practice natural health so I am researching. I am not falling down, just dizzy and it is not always unmanageable. I am continuing to research holistic ideas. My intuition tells me it may be my inner ear or allergy to the kitten as I have been sneezing. I have never been sensitive to foods or animals yet I know as we age, things change.
It is such an uncomfortable feeling to be off equilibrium within our bodies. Especially when normally active. Look to other peoples experience like those here and do your own investigation. Don’t just do what you are told to do. You and your body are full of innate wisdom. Women’s bodies, Women’s wisdom by Christiane Northrup MD. is a classic and a great book to start looking at taking charge of your health. Physical and emotional. I wish the best outcome for everyone looking for their answer to be uncovered and for full relief of symptoms.
Taking Ginko Biloba and other natural hormone balancers can surely help. I normally take an oil called progessence and also dong quai that has been used for thousands of years to balance the female system. Even with what I am experiencing now, I feel these things help. I am confident this too shall pass. Thank you for the great article and for a place to share.

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Diane September 3, 2014 at 7:34 am

I have had at least one “episode” a month since I’ve been thrown into this wonderful cycle of life called Menopause. My worst was about 4 months ago. Identical to what you wrote…had to grab onto something to prevent me from falling, nausea and that awful bedspin feeling. It last about 30 minutes. I always wondered if it was connected to menopause. I was diagnosed years ago (the perimenopause stage) with hypothyroidism so I’m sure its all connected.
Thank you!

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Jane September 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for writing about this! I also have been struggling with vertigo for about a year and a half. It comes and goes. I have hypothyroidism and have taken synthroid for over 25 years. I am also experiencing perimenopause. So this hormone connection makes sense. The only relieve I have found is once when a PT did the bppv maneuver to move crystals back in the right place. I have been trying to figure out what makes the crystals move out of place. After reading this I am planning on tracking when I get the vertigo. If it is at the same time each month then I have more to prove this connection. Thanks again!!

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Keri September 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm

47 years old, still having periods but VERTIGO every month starting at about the 10th day before each period. I’ve had it consistently for 3 years. It’s driving me crazy! Thanks for your article. Going to GYN doc tomorrow! I will ask for thyroid testing. I have no doubt whatsoever that it’s hormone/pre or perimenopause related.

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Jackie October 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

I’ve had vertigo 24/7 for 2 1/2 years :( I can relate to all the posts I read. Its very frustrating and depressing. I’ve been to several Ent’s, neurologists, chiropractors, accupuncturists, functional medicine dr, hypnotherapist, physical therapy, Gyn, etc.
I eat the paleo diet, exercise when I can and take supplements. I’ve had an MRI, cat scan and ear evaluations. I think and feel I’ve covered all my bases, yet I cannot find relief. No one can give me a straight answer. I also suffer from migraines and hypothyroidism. If you have any advice for me, I would love the help. Thank you.

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Cindy December 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Jackie, Given your history of migraines, you may have what I have- Migraine associated Vertigo (MAV). I have had very sporadic issues my whole life, but now it is TONS worse during perimenopause. I have begun to seek treatment for this. For now, I use my Klonopin (a benzodiazepine) that I normally take as needed for anxiety (which I have also had my whole life). The klonopin does help somewhat, but is not perfect. I am going to a neurologist, and will probably get put on Verapamil or a Beta Blocker. We’ll see. When I don’t have outright vertigo, I have ear ringing and a sense of imbalance, but that is not all the time. Also a very sore tight neck.

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s October 13, 2014 at 7:35 am

Ive been dealing with this for a few years now. .after exhaustive research on adrenals, hypothyroidism, sex hormones, i believe it has to do with the water BALANCE in thebody, ie aldosterone which control the sodium potassium pump, it can bind to prgesterone receltors when theres notoigh prgesterone which drops duringmenopause, premenopause. dehydration. which is actually low pot andor sodium. maybe havethose checked, shouldbe 4.2 and 142. supplument celtic salt and prescription potassium. i still havemt doind m balance yet but i HAVE in the oast but lost it due to weaning. goodluck. battling, the hadache, yet agai for over a mot staight. it is always due to bowel movement, loss of water AFTER my cycle. aldosteone rises 10 days before tour period, causing you to holsonto sodium and waste outpotassium, them drops. i think i need more flroinef or salt to het rid ofthe headhe, sick of drugging kver with imitrex. so sic i cat type straight, sorry. hope you van decipher? maybe someprogesterone? progetsreone alwaysmakes e break out. estrogen clears my skin up. testosteronemakes me have morivation. ugh, to explan this t doctors for the sceipts is another battle i say wtf? to. why so warlike for what should be simple health balancing?

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aba October 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm

am hving this problem. even experience it today. dont know what it is. but am 40 years cld it be perimenopause?

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Linda Ford October 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I am 52 years old and have been experiencing perimenopause for a couple years, but it has gotton worse. I have dizzy spells, and roaring in my ears with pressure. My menstrual cycle are either 2 days long, or 10 days long. Usually with one day of extremely heavy flows. This month I’ve had 2 periods this month. I just got diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. This has really been affecting the quality of my life! I’ve had to change my work schedule because of this!

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steph December 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I am so glad i came across this,was starting to feel like a hypochondriac,Dr fobs me off and so many different causes suggested… Light headedness’ like feel detached…sore breasts hot sweats, increased acid and heart burn, palpitations, just want to feel me again. Had partial hysterectomy done 18 months ago… Had all heart checked all fine, endoscopy showed reflux disease… Bloods tests to be done to check hormone levels, just hope something is done soon. Instead of keep offering tablets i don’t need.

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Shawn December 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I am so glad that I came across this blog … I am in my mid 40’s and have been experiencing vertigo often. I know that I am perimenopausal just because of ALL of the many symptoms, which vertigo is one. Honestly, I HATE this, as sometimes I feel so out of control. I can’t control what’s happening to my body! Thank God for this blog, I’ve gotten so many questions answered. My doctor suggested a mild anti-depressant for some of the symptoms I’ve been having, anxiety, flashes, mood swings, my body shape is changing. I was a pretty active woman, served 9 years in the US Army, so I led a pretty healthy lifestyle. Today, I am not my youthful self. Yet I am glad that this too chall pass. :)

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keia December 14, 2014 at 9:05 pm

My name is Keia I am 36 I keep having servere vertigo attacks where I have to be taken to hospital and admitted. I keep get hot flashes…vomiting… Feels faintish..and headache and like the world is spinning…. can someone give me advice…its driving me crazy..

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stephanie greisen December 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I’m so happy to have found this blog I’m 50 and have been experiencing the the same kind of headaches and dizziness. Im going to have a complete lab panel drawn to check all of my levels and will follow up with a specialist that deals with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy:) Im definitely feeling poopy:(

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