Have you had that experience when you were watering your plants, and your world just turned all of a sudden? Did you ever have that hurting sensation when your head feels like it is almost going to break because of the intense pain? If you are in middle age and answered yes to both those questions, then those could be symptoms of headache and dizziness accompanying your menopause.
What are Headache and Dizziness?
If you have sessions of headache and dizziness during your menopause, you should know that you are not alone. But, how do you know if it was a headache or dizziness that you have experienced? Is it possible to experience both symptoms at once?
Headache is that painful sensation when you feel like your head is going to split apart. The intensity of a headache varies in every situation. It could vary from mild to severe pain in one or more parts of your head. Studies show that 30% of women have experienced at least one episode of headache in their entire lives, but the intensity and frequency of the symptom could worsen as the woman ages. And, according to the the WHO fact sheets, 47% of all adults worldwide suffer from headaches each year.
Dizziness is that event when you feel like you are losing your balance or there is a turning or whirling feeling in your head. Sometimes, the feeling of being dizzy could give you that impression as if you are about to faint at any minute. This is a common symptom during menopause as well.
Both headache and dizziness could occur in separate episodes, but they could also happen altogether. The occurrence of these symptoms is very varied, and the degree of each is different, depending on the person experiencing it. Both the symptoms happen even before the menopausal years of a woman. However, it could get worse during menopause.
Why do they happen during menopause?
During menopause, the hormonal levels tend to go lower than the usual amount needed by the body. These hormonal changes could, in turn, cause a woman to feel a headache or get dizzy. The estrogens are required by the body to dilate the blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow in all body parts, especially the head and the brain.
When estrogen levels become depleted, there is a high possibility of blood vessel constriction. This makes it hard for the blood to pass through the arteries freely. In this case, blood circulation gets disrupted. Next, the blood vessels try to contract and expand to accommodate the flow of the blood. The contraction and expansion could cause the blood vessels to swell and move the nerves around them. The pressure placed on the nerves because of the swollen blood vessels causes pain during a headache.
The cause of dizziness in menopause has the same path as the cause of headache. However, it does not involve the nerves in this case. What happens when you get dizzy is, there is an insufficient blood supply to your brain cells. This is also due to the constriction of vessels as the estrogen levels are getting low. The blood in your arteries carries the oxygen to your brain. If the blood vessels get constricted, there is not enough oxygenation to the brain. This could cause you to get dizzy.
Although these symptoms happen, there are things you can do to prevent them. If they are already happening, you can also look for ways to treat them.
How do I prevent them?
To prevent headaches and dizziness during menopause, it would help if you can watch your diet. Certain food items have been reported to cause you to get dizzy or feel a headache. It would be best to avoid food with nitrates and nitrites (both are substances found in food and beverages and are often used as a color preservative in many food items including red processed foods such as bacon, bolognas, hotdogs, and salamis.), Tyramine (a substance found in fermented or aged food items such as cheese, smoked fish, some kinds of beer, and meat that have not been properly kept cold.) and Monosodium Glutamate or MSG (This is a food additive that is mostly used in fast-food preparations, packed food items, and Asian cuisines to enhance flavor) because they have been found out that they can trigger headaches. Healthy eating would be a good thing for you, not only for the prevention or management of headache and dizziness, but to have good health as a whole.
The next thing you can do is to avoid the possible triggers of headaches and dizziness. Very bright or blinking lights, too loud sounds or strong scents could actually trigger a headache. Sleep deprivation and stress could also cause it. If a person is dehydrated, he may also experience headaches and dizziness.
There are times when stress causes headaches and dizziness. In this case, a good rest and uninterrupted sleep would be a good way to combat and prevent headaches and dizziness. Also, keeping a good relationship with your family, friends and anybody will help prevent headaches and dizziness. When you have a good relationship with the people around you, you tend to get angry less and, therefore, less pressure and less stress on your part. To avoid headaches and dizziness due to dehydration, it is good to drink water regularly. Most experts advise drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day.
It was mentioned above that certain substances in food items could trigger headaches and dizziness. To help you manage these symptoms, it would help if you can keep a journal or a diary. The diary will help you identify which things will cause your headache & dizziness. Your diary could include the activities you had during the day, how you felt, and what food and beverages you took. If you have inhaled or smelled something, that may also be included in your diary. This way, it will be easier to look through what caused your headache and dizziness and so that you can avoid them in the future.
It is also best to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Both practices actually cause vasoconstriction or constriction of the blood vessels. In general, it is best to practice a healthy lifestyle to avoid headaches and dizziness from happening, especially during menopause.
Where do I get help for headache and dizziness?
At times, when headaches and dizziness are not prevented, you need to treat them appropriately. There are home remedies and herbal approaches that you can use to treat both symptoms. The experts actually suggest using the safest and most organic items first.
Since headache and dizziness are both caused mainly by estrogen deficiency, consumption of phytoestrogens are actually very helpful. These are items that can work as estrogens when introduced into your body. They are also prescribed by specialists. You can learn more about phytoestrogens in this website as well.
If all else fails, there are other methods like BHRT (Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy) and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) that you can get from the market as well. These are hormonal replacement methods that are mainly aimed to address problems or symptoms related to menopause.
It is important to remember to avoid self-medication. If you are to take synthetic medications, always get a doctor’s advice before administration.
What are your techniques to address headache and dizziness? Share your experiences below!