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.
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.