menopause, dizziness

joan1957July 7, 2007

I have been getting dizzy for almost a year now. Have been to ENT and otoneurologist. They say my inner ears are fine and say it is caused by menopause. The fluctuation of estrogen levels are constricting my blood vessels in my head. Sometimes these dizzy spells last minutes to hours. Any help out there would be greatly appreciated.

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I occasionally get dizzy, and it's because my blood pressure goes low. Talk to your doctor at your next visit.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Hi joan,
Boy can I relate! But I'm much more nauseous than dizzy. I've been to the Internal medicine doc and had a bunch of labs, a HIDA scan, and upper abd ultrasound, a colonoscopy, and when they were all normal, I went to the ENT who specializes in dizziness. I'm supposed to have some crazy tests in about 10 days, but I started thinking maybe its my hormones, since I'm still having intermittant ovary pain and PMS-like symptoms even though I haven't had a period in 3 years! So I'll see the OB/GYN first, then have the inner ear tests, and by then my GI doc will be back from vacation to see me about the nausea.........but I'm really thinking its my hormones. I feel too crappy in other ways for it to be just one thing going wrong.
Dizziness (and nausea) really stinks. I've had nausea for over 2 months now, every day. And now I'm having dizziness. Hopefully the OB/GYN will have some ideas......but I have the feeling she'll just shake her head and say "I'm really sorry you feel so awful". :(
Have you tried any medication? One doc prescribed antivert, but it makes me really tired. Another prescribed phenergan, but I've heard it makes you even more tired.
What kind of tests did you have for your inner ear? I'm not looking forward to those tests.
I'll let you know what I find out......maybe it will help the both of us.
I would almost be willing to take estrogen again, if it would get rid of this feeling!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 10:03PM
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The tests I had were MRI of my head, "spinning chair" test, they put you in a chair (strapped in) and spin the chair in different directions and different speeds and measure the movement of your eyes. It really made me sick. They inserted cold air then warm air into each ear and again measured my eye movement. Then different tests involving eye movement. They lasted about 2 hours. All my tests came back normal and so the dr. said my problem is more "systemic" and not in my inner ear. Since I had a hyserectomy in 2003 I was not aware that my hormones were going crazy. I had FSH done in February and it was 88 (post menopause level) .. in March it was 35 (pre-menopause level). I have been on a estrogen patch since May .. it is not working very well. Now my oncologist (I had a small bit of breast cancer removed in 2000) wants me to get off the estrogen ... it is dangerous for me. Now I don't know what I will do. I tried an anti-depressant in February (Lexapro) it made me sick. I spent the whole first day vomitting and gagging.
Let me know if you find anything out ... I am desperate. I am worse at work in front of the computer ... what about you?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 7:19AM
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Hi joan,
Sounds like you've had a rough few years! I went through something like I'm going through now back about 8 years ago, in the middle of my horrible perimenopause. I ended up having 2 sinus surgeries that helped alot. Are you sure its not your sinuses?
Even if your sinuses looked good on CT scan, I've discovered that when I have these "spells", my sinuses dry out like crazy. I started using a CPAP machine in April and the dizziness seemed to start then......but then again, I wrote down "dizzy" and "nauseous" in January and Februrary, so who knows??
Yes, those are the 2 tests I'm supposed to have for my inner ear. What fun.....
No, I'm not worse at the computer, but I have wondered if it causes dizziness at other times. I know there are people who are affected by computer screens.
Have you seen a regular neuro doc yet?
I'm wondering if some of us have problems with rising FSH our bodies don't like it or do weird things with it. I wish they could block FSH without using hormones.
I'm really nervous about those 2 ear tests. Is it totally dark in the spinning chair room? I have claustraphobia and complete darkness can trigger it.
I'd really like to cancel them, but I sure wouldn't want to pass on something that might help with this dizziness.
Have you ever had dizzy spells before in your life?
Were you motion sick as a child?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:39AM
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P.S. Joan,
Have you had labs drawn, like chem profile, thyroid, blood sugar, etc?
I have fibromyalgia....which developed after I had the flu and pneumonia and ear infections....and then I started through perimenopause. I've been reading that lots of people with fibromyalgia have dizziness. Do you have any other medical conditions?
How long have you been dizzy? I'm hoping its just a phase that will pass.......but its sure costing a fortune to figure out what it might be, in the meantime.
Sometimes I wonder if some of us are extra sensitive to all the cell phones, cell towers, and other wireless stuff around.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 10:03AM
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I had a similar dizzy episode about 3-4 years ago that lasted about 6 mos or so. They then told me I had Meniere's Disease. So when I started getting dizzy this time I went back to my ENT (ear, nose and throat) dr. after all these tests he told me he didn't think it was Meniere's after all. I live in the Boston area so I went to the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary where I was seen by an otoneurologist, that is where I had all the balance tests and yes the spinny chair test room is completely dark. They lower room darkening curtains. I really wasn't as bad as it sounds. I also had blood workup .. all test came back normal. I saw my primary care who did an FSH test which came back high (meaning menopause). She tried to put me on antidepressants which I could not tolerate, so next I saw an endocrinologist, she put me on estrogen (I apologize if I told you all this already). So here I am. with no help in sight feeling dizzy/off balance and nauseous daily. The only tests that came back irregular was the FSH test so that is why they say it is menopause related.
Yes, I did have motion sickness as a child and still do. I have been getting dizzy since about last October now.
The dr. at Mass Eye and Ear says it is possibly migraine related even without headache. I go to my endocrinologist on Tues. hopefully she will have some answers for me. But I think it is all trial and error to find what works.

Good luck and keep in touch.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 8:53PM
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Would you say the dizziness is worse than the nausea?
I think if I couldn't find anything to explain this, after seeing all the docs, I would turn to alternative medicine and/or acupuncture.
Its weird........I told my ENT (who specializes in dizziness) that I get dizzy when I begin to eat or drink anything. Does that ever happen to you? He mentioned that the vagus nerve can malfunction and cause those symptoms. Do you have any GERD? I guess the vagus nerve runs alongside the esophagus and can get irritated....and give nausea and dizziness.
I don't know about you, but I always have weird symptoms compared to everyone else. I find that I don't have the typical reactions to things.
And the ENT didn't think your crystals were off? I wonder if those exercises would help you, even though they didn't think it was inner ear.
Why don't you try some Pepcid for 2 weeks, and see if you feel better. Some people have GERD without heartburn, but their esophaguses are still irritated.
That's what I'm wondering about mine. And I'm thinking that vagal nerve irritation might be causing this.
Let's do stay in touch. Maybe one of us might learn something that could help the other. more thing....have you ever been bitten by a tick? Lyme disease can cause some funky things like dizziness.
Another thing...are you very salt sensitive? I get dizzy when I eat much salt. The doc says we have sodium pumps in our ears and alot of salt can cause dizziness.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 10:55PM
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This actually started with severe vertigo which was diagnosed as BPPV, I did have a problem with crystals in my right inner ear, had an eply maneuver to return the crystals to their correct place, then I went to vestibular rehab which involved exercises to force the brain to relearn balance. I was getting better for a couple of months then this imbalance and dizziness got worse. That is when I had the MRI of my head, all the balance tests including spinny chair and all came back normal. The dr. said there is nothing wrong with my inner ear, that it has to be something that he called "more systemic". My primary care did a FSH blood test and found me to be in menopause (in February) and in March a retest showed pre-menopause so the only abnormal tests I have had in the past year point to hormonal fluctation. The neurolgist at Mass Eye and Ear said in that case it could be migraine (without headache). Fluctuating estrogen can effect the blood vessels in your head and inner ear, neck and cause this imbalance and dizziness. I did try acupunture. I had about 4 treatments and started to feel better and then got really dizzy so I stopped. Not sure if it was hormones or acupuncture that caused it plus it was costing me $140.00 per week. I may go back or I may try massage therapy for my neck. I seems my neck gets really tight when I am dizzy especially when I am sitting at my desk at work and using the computer. the Dr. said it is my body tensing up all my muscles to keep my balance. I may try migraine medication and see if that helps. Google vestibular migraine and you can get some information about it. Most people complain about gaining weight in menopause and I keep losing weight because of the nausea and dizziness. I always seem to get the weird symptoms and have a really hard time taking medication, tylenol will knock me out so taking migraine meds really scares me.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 8:29AM
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Hi joan,
Poor you! I can SO relate with your situation. I'm sure you've probably checked your neck for pinched nerves, right?
How about your vitamins? Have you read up on which ones, when deficient, might cause your symptoms?
I honestly believe that some of us cannot physically handle menopause very well, because so many of our systems have become so dependent on our hormones.
I'm thinking FSH has some funky effects on some of us. I even wonder if we have some ovarian-type cells in areas we shouldn't have, and they react to increasing FSH levels too, when they shouldn't.
I just wish more research was done on this, but because it just affects aging women, I don't think they're interested. :(
To be honest with you, I've been afraid to use acupuncture for my various problems. I went through about 5 years during perimenopause of having horrendous headaches. In retrospect, I am very suspect of the PPI I was on, since now when I try to use them, I get a bad headache. I have a friend who is on MAO inhibitors for her migraines, and she tried acupuncture, and it worked for awhile, but then she had the worst headache of her life. So I'm afraid to have that rebound problem with acupuncture.
My whole body would go crazy with hormone fluctuations. One day I had an estrogen level drawn and it was something like 45. A few days later it was 440!! So I'm not sure testing those levels is helpful. Plus......some of us are fine with certain levels and some of us go crazy with them.
I'm sorry if I'm rambling. I have major thinking problems too!
When I was going through perimenopause, I had a hypertensive crisis type thing. My heart rate was about 110 at resting, and my BP went through the roof. I was eventually put on Toprol, a beta blocker, and everything calmed down. Last December I decided to come off the Toprol after being on it for 5 years, and my BP has been pretty good, but the rest of my body started going crazy. I started having lots of pains, GI problems, and now the dizziness and nausea. It makes me wonder if I need to go back on the Toprol......even though its not really meant for those symptoms. (unfortunately, the Toprol has its own set of side-effects that I hate). point is, perhaps there is a drug whose off-label use could help you?
I would do this:
1. figure out what vitamins you're low on

  1. make sure you don't have neck nerve problems
    3. Go on a test dose of an H2 blocker or PPI.
    4. Keep a really good food diary, in case your having food intolerance problems
    5. Maybe consider a beta blocker for migraine variants. When I was on Toprol, it was like a miracle, the way it took care of my headaches.
    Are you finding you have other symptoms anywhere in your body? your bowels? your nervous system?

I'm really pursuing my GI tract as possibly causing these problems for me. Do you have any stomach problems?
Our vagus nerve is very close to our esophagus and when irritated can cause some funky problems.
I have fibromyalgia, and was just reading that nausea and dizziness is common. Is it possible you have fibro too?
Again, please forgive me for rambling. I have ADD/fibro and am in menopause, so its sort of good that I can even talk at all! lol!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 1:18PM
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Hey Joan, One more thing I meant to mention........Several years ago, when I was in the throws of fibromyalgia and perimenopause, I started thinking I had Lyme disease. After testing and much talking to people and reading, I decided I didn't have it. But....there were alot of people on the Lyme forum who had neuro tingling in their heads and faces and dizziness/balance problems, etc.
Some of them could hardly be on the computer at all, because there was something about the computer screen that affected their nervous systems. I remember you saying that it bothered you too. Have you ever tried to stay away from the computer for several days or a week? I know it sounds impossible to do! I'd have real problems with it, but wouldn't it be interesting if you started feeling better??
Maybe computer screens are made differently now, but I know back then you could get a special filter/screen to put over the screen to stop some of the emissions. Maybe you could look into that.
Do you get worse in places like Walmart, with those flourescent lights? Those really bother me. I don't get dizzy, but I get hot and sick feeling and very confused. Lots of people with fibro have the same reaction to those lights.
Anyhow....something else for you to think about.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:59PM
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i have been menopausal for about 4 yrs now...severe hot flashes day and night, no sleep, palpitations, anxiety and now about 2 months ago I started having horroble dizziness..not of the vertigo type but out of body type...very uncomfortable...any one else have dizziness...
right before a hot flash I can feel the anxiety build then the flash then I am sure ready for this to be over..have tried Estroven doesnt work dont want to take HRT because of cancer risk....any one treat this with succuess..anyone try Amberen

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 7:54PM
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ALL this is what I've had for 5 years. I call it the dizzy -weirds because it's not true dizziness-- a weird feeling of surges of energy in my head, off balance, bouncing, a reluctance to look up as if something may come down and knock me down, occasional intense anxiety when trying to concentrate, exaggerated startle reflex, rare/occasional true sudden vertigo. God I am so weary of it. Some days I fight through it, some days not so bad, some days I resign to it and just cry. I have gone almost 11 months without a period. I am 53 and the only people I find with these crazy "symptoms" are here on the internet. Menopause is NOT a disease, it just feels like one! No HRT for me either. Was on BC. doctor took me off at 50. Estroven doesn't work or antivert either. I take fish oil, vitamin Bs, magnesium, calcium, flaxseed etc. etc. Kinda works, but my blood vessels and hormones are working their own schedule similar to when you go into labor and your body is running the show. But NOBODY told me about "dizziness" and menopause! I am weary of it all and must sleep now. BAWAP (Be As Well As Possible!) Oh yes Klonopin too (for anxiety and twitching condition I have)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:14AM
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Hi, girls.
I have much more nausea than dizziness -- isn't being perimenopausal wonderful? ha, ha.
One thing that helps me with my nausea (it can wake me up in the middle of my sleep, it's that bad!) is taking Bick's Yum-Yum pickles. I take about two tablespoons of those pickles and they cut the nausea feeling quite a bit. Maybe that's why pregnant women traditionally craved pickles? Well, this works for me.
Hope this will help someone!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:55PM
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I get episodes of dizziness as well but I think it could be actually a migraine. Migraines can cause dizziness and may very well be the only symptom. I had one last week, the night before I was dizzy dizzy and the next day I got the aura/migraine with NOT much head pain but it is still considered a migraine. Could all be hormonal as well since I am 48 and also have encountered horrible insomnia, gerd, anxiety!! What a mess..

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 7:02PM
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In reading all these posts, I don't know if I'm comforted or more upset. I have had fibromyalgia for years, and a hysterectomy 8 years ago. I'm 54, and just this month, the dizziness kicked in. It's very scary because I am out in public and feel ridiculous grabbing onto something nearby and trying to sit down until it goes away. It only lasts about 2 minutes, but it's happening more frequently the past few days. I had a hot flash just from the neck up during the last one. I'm just hoping it's only menopause. I do get severe migraines and take a very mild blood pressure med for those and Klonopin at night for the anxiety. I've been taking those for about a year now, so they shouldn't cause this irritating and frightening symptom. When it happens, I feel like I should run to the ER, but when it goes away, I just try to resume to my normal activities and hope it doesn't come back. I drive a lot and that's not a good symptom to have! I was on a hormone patch but I peeled it off today because dizziness is an uncommon but serious side effect. I'll see if it was the cause, but I've been on this mild patch for about 5 months.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 10:32PM
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I think years ago when video games first came out they found that some games were proven to cause neurological problems.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Are any of you that are getting dizzy taking HRT's. I was taking them for a few years and was having the same problem with getting dizzy. I finally went off the HRTs and the problem was not there anymore.

Due to not sleeping and other issues related to menopause, my Dr put me back on HRTs. I always took them with breakfast. Well the next thing you know I was having the dizziness again. The only thing that I had changed was going back on the HRTs.

Got talking to a friend that also went back on them, and I mentioned it to her. She informed me that her meds said to take them at night before bedtime, because they caused you to get sleepy. Well my med bottles never gave me that warning. Since then I only take them at night and get a good night sleep and no more dizziness.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 3:14PM
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I started weaning myself off the HRT a few weeks ago. Been getting a lot of headaches and nausea since then. Feel like the hot flashes are coming back too. It stinks!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 7:31AM
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