perimeopause and vertigo???

angelita_hibiscusOctober 18, 2007

Hi. I am turning 50 in November. Physical activity is part of my daily routine. I excersise, walk 4 to 8 miles a day, eat healthy and have overall good health.

I have 3 grown children and had none of the typical symptoms during pregnancy. No morning sickness, no food cravings, etc. All 3 pregnancies were "symptom" free with the exception of my growing belly. Easy and quick deliveries. Cramps or irregular periods were not something I ever experienced either.

I have been most fortunate with regards to the usual female problems...until about a year ago. I was out gardening when all of a sudden I lost my balance and fell over. It was nothing serious and I thought nothing of it. This feeling of vertigo continued and after about 2 months I decided to have it checked out. All of the usual tests were performed including CT scans and MRI's. Everything was "normal". This problem has persisted and is only getting worse. It can come on suddenly and with a vengence. It doesn't matter if I am lying down, sitting, standing, walking or running. It can last as short as a few minutes to several days. It is not a dizzy feeling but rather a feeling that I am walking on a boat that is rocking back and forth. I believe it is more like vertigo.

It just occured to me that it may be a symptom of perimenopause. The only other changes I have noticed is my periods are heavier than usual and I do get cramps, wheras I have never experienced cramps before. My memory has also been affected. I can't remember something that happened 5 minutes ago. I used to pride my self on my ability to remember things. Not any more. When all of this started I did go to my OBGYN and she dismissed all of these things. She told me not to worry about them . Now I am wondering if I need a new OBGYN. The research I have done indicates that perhaps these are symptoms of perimenopause. Can anyone suggest some literature of websites? Any help would be most welcome. Thank You.

Warmest Regards,


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Hi Angelita,
It's only fair that you are finally suffering from something. hahaha Just kidding!!
What were your tests of? Did they include sinus films?
Also....did you go to an ENT who specializes in dizziness? You may have benign positional vertigo.
But....I had alot of dizziness during perimenopause. I also started having alot of sinus problems, so I'm not sure where the dizziness may have come from.
You weren't on a ship recently were you? Did you hit your head at all? Do you have migraines? Do you have any other symptoms at all, when you're dizzy?

I had a heck of a time with feeling like I was going to fall over. It finally passed. But.....real room spinning dizziness started happening to me last spring (in menopause). I had just started using a CPAP machine and thought it was that. I had a big ENT/dizziness workup and that was normal. I also had some labs run. I also had a colonoscopy (not for the dizziness). But I got nauseous and dizzy for 2 months. It finally went away and I realized that it was from GI tract being so cleaned out from the colonoscopy. I took probiotics and ate alot of yogurt, and the nausea and dizziness went away.
But one interesting thing I have noticed since.......I get dizzy when my GI tract is a little overwhelmed......mostly from too much salt or carbs. We have a sodium pump in our ears, and if you eat alot of salt, it can make you dizzy.
I'm sorry if I've only confused you, but it could be a number of things.
I think if I were you, I would see an ENT who specializes in dizziness. They can run tests to determine if its coming from the brain/eyes, etc.
But....I think its entirely possible that its a perimenopause things. So many weird things can start happening then. is a big menopause site you might check out. I tend to get lost in there, but there are tons of women there, sharing their experiences. Good luck to you. I know dizziness is no fun!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 7:43PM
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Hi Angelita. Do you experience any sounds in your ear or loss of hearing around the time the 'vertigo' comes on? If so, you could be developing Meniere's disease. But if not, perhaps this is just another variation of something I describe in a post to a thread further down the page (from Aug. 23rd), titled "Does anyone peri have this weird head feeling?"

Like you, I am in good health and take no medication. I'm almost 52, but my hormone levels show I'm not starting menopause yet and I have no symptoms other than the occasional feeling I'm going to fall over or pass out. However my doctor does believe this weird feeling I get is peri menopause related, because blood pressure, blood sugar, and all head and heart scans are normal. She simply feels my hormone levels haven't dropped enough to show up in my blood work yet, but that my weird 'almost pass out' symptoms are probably triggered by sudden fluctuations.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 5:35PM
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Hi Angelita.

I feel really lightheaded and like I am passing out, when I am a bit dehydrated.

I work in the garden a lot, and when I feel faint, I know its time to drink water then I recover.

All the best to you

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 2:48AM
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Can someone explain what an ENT is? (Mentioned by Catherinet above). I am experiencing vertigo also, this past few months accompanied by stuffy nose (related??) and a flu-like feeling. I just turned 50.

And, catherinet, could you explain what you meant about having a sodium pump in our ears??

Many thanks.

One tip: I found that EFT sometimes helps. That stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. Hard to explain. Something about tapping on the energy areas of the body and concentrating on things that block you emotionally.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 7:39PM
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ENT is Ear Nose & Throat doctor. As for the sodium pump, I am not sure.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:08PM
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I'm 52 and have also experienced some vertigo since entering perimenopause. I have two kinds of vertigo--one is benign positional vertigo, which is not uncommon in women over 50. It happens when you turn your head in a certain direction. Mine is right-side and tipped back. It makes you feel like the world is spinning (not dizzy or light-headed). It will settle in a few seconds. It is caused by brain "debris"--basically calcium deposits that float (usually unnoticed) in your head that have somehow gotten into your inner ear canal and are brushing up against the fibers that control your equilibrium. It can be "cleared" if you find someone who knows how to do it. I went to a hearing and balance center. They were very familiar with it. Mine came back about six times, but I now can clear it myself.

The other kind of vertigo I've had has been more general sort of dizzyness upon movement. I'm convinced this is related to hormone changes. (Also, once a person has had benign positional vertigo, she is more prone to vertigo--you have to "retrain" certain parts of your brain.)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:11PM
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I am 47 and have been pre-menopausal for nearly 12 months. I had a severe bout of dizziness about 2 years ago, I had a brain scan and was sent to an ENT doctor, he diagnosed me as having BPPV (Benign Paroxismyl Positional Vertigo), I have heard alot of cases very similar, doesn't it seem funny though that so many of these cases seem to be with women who are heading into or already in menopause. I would feel better if I thought this dizzy or vertigo problem would go when I actually finish with menopause (but will it?) not by what my doctor says, he thinks it has nothing to do with menopause and people with it just have to live with it. I hope not, it's horrible, I have been sleeping on 2 or 3 pillows at night because if I lay down flat I will get very dizzy. Any comments or suggestions are most welcome.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:15AM
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Hi Linda,
Sorry for your problem. Dizziness is awful.
Do you think you need a second opinion? Did you fall and hit your head before the dizziness started? Is there an ear-dizziness expert in your area? the doc I went to specialized in dizziness.
Sometimes, it can be a problem with the otoliths in your inner ear. They are little pieces of gravel that help keep our balance. If they have gotten shaken out of place, you can remain dizzy. They are able to manipulate your head to get them back into place.
I had sooooo much dizziness during perimenopause. It did seem to be related to my sinuses. I've heard alot of women going through perimenopause complain about their sinuses.
I had a dizziness work up a couple years ago too. It started up after I had a colonoscopy. Long story short, it seemed to be caused by my GI tract losing all the good bacteria during the clean-out. After a couple months on a probiotic, the dizziness went away. I have since realized that when I abuse my GI tract, I get dizzy. Go figure.
Anyhow......if I were you, I would get a second opinion.
I can't make any promises, but I would be encouraged if I were you, that this might all correct itself, as you finish with perimenopause and stop having big fluctuations in your hormones.
Good luck Linda!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 7:56PM
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Hi Catherine,
Thank you for your suggestions, I will get a second opinion for sure. The ear nose and throat doctor that I went to was the doctor that diognosed my problem as being BPPV, he did some manuvours which did seem to correct my dizziness for about 10 months but then I had another bad attack and have had it ever since. He said what you said (that the crystals in the inner ear are disloged and this causes the inbalance). My GP is the one that says (it's just something I have to live with and has nothing to do with menopause). It's just that I have heard so many women saying that they have some form of dizziness and alot of them also seem to be suffering from menopause. I must say though, finding this site and other women with similar problems makes me feel not so alone, especially when I get such positive feedback to my questions like you have given. Thank you so much, I really do appreciate it. I will definately post any updates I receive after some upcoming tests. Thanks again, Linda.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:49AM
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Hi again Linda,
I found this post on the Health forum. It talks a little about the exercises for dizziness. Thought you might get something out of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: dizziness exercises

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Same happened to me. Dr said there was pressure on my right ear and she had me to wash my nasal cavaties out with a neti-pot. After a day of doing this my vertigo stopped. I dont have hot flashes but the night sweats are terrible. For the last 2 weeks I wake up soaked and then freeze. I never know when I'll have a period mainly just spot for a couple of days then it stops and the spotting starts again. I'm 50 and this has been going on for about a year. Each month is different. But the night sweats are getting worse. The lady that cuts my hair is 70 and she still has hot flashes...nice to know huh??

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 9:33AM
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The feeling like you are on a boat all the time is called Mal de Debarquement syndrome. Here is a support website for it: I had it last year for about 2 months after a few days of hectic travel (which is what most often starts this syndrome), then it cleared up. It happens most often to women in their 40s which tells me that it is probably hormonally related. I am now also experiencing occasional bouts of vertigo that I am sure are connected with my perimenopause. I will turn 50 in a few months.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:18PM
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I get this too along with that foggy headed in a daze feeling. So much is going on with my body right now, even my hair has changed which i did not expect.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:52PM
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