Light headed / dizzy

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Light headed / dizzy

Postby Desperate Debbie » Sat May 15, 2004 1:17 pm

I am 49 years old , and have the depression , mood swings , shorter and heavier periods than in past , breast changes/tenderness , slight hot flashes ( like a wave of heat and all of a sudden sweaty and hot ) , headaches , visual disturbances , "foggy brain" , anxiety , yada yada yada . These symptoms really don't freak me out , BUT today ...
I feel like crying. Last year , I began to have "light headed" feelings with afternoon tension headaches that come and go , not true dizziness , more like my sense of balance was off . I also experienced sensitivity to light . Especially sunlight . Crashing fatigue followed a bit later . I've been to the Family Dr. numerous times since then , I had every blood test they could come up with , nothing. Thank God... But still my symptoms persisted . The Dr. said he didn't need to take a blood test to know that I am in the pre-meno stages . ( So he says ) The nurse suggested that maybe a B complex vitamin would help. A friend of mine recommended Lydia Pinkham ( A multi supplement of Calcium , Vitamin C , black cohosh and iron ) supplements . I began to eat healthier because I use to be a junk food junkie - and took a one a day multivitamin for women along with 2 Lydia Pinkham tablets in the morning. At night , I would take a B complex with dinner and 2 more Lydia Pinkham tablets . After about 2 weeks , I did begin to feel better , and then by week 3 , I almost felt like myself again. I have been on this exact regimen since then ( June 2003 ).
This week I began to have those horrible light headed feelings again. AND it is truly interfering with my daily life ! This time , the light headed feelings will not go away. They are with me when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night ! I have increased my dosage of Lydia Pinkham to 3 times a day but to no avail. They just aren't working for me anymore , they say due to the ongoing changes we go through , so does our body's needs . HELP ! What can I do or use to get rid of this horrible light headedness ? It is driving me crazy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/i][/b]
Desperate Debbie
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Postby pamibe » Sat May 15, 2004 3:54 pm

Welcome to the forum, Debbie!

I think you're right in guessing that your hormones are fluctuating to such a degree that the pills aren't helping any more. But I don't know if MORE would be BETTER. Oftentimes that's not the case.

Maybe someone could suggest another alternative? Bio-identical hormones or another supplement?
I was lucky and the lightheaded feeling didn't bother me too long.

Hope you're feeling better...


Postby drjudy » Sun May 16, 2004 10:37 am

Dear Debbie,

I think lightheadedness is one of the worst symptoms to have--it's impossible to function normally in any way at anytime that you're experiencing that one. I hope you find a solution soon.

I have a few thoughts. I think your episodic lightheadedness last year differs from what you are experiencing now. Those symptoms sound like migraine equivalents--neurological symptoms with light sensitivity followed by fatigue--all that's missing is the headache. Migraines, with or without an aura (which is the neurological symptoms like dizziness, flashing lights, numbness in one side of the body, etc.) and with or without a headache are very common at times when our hormones are wildly fluctuating.

However, migraines don't go on and on, so this all day everyday stuff your having now must be something else. Most common explanation would be that you are suffering an inflammation of your inner ear balance-sensing mechanism. This may be viral or who knows what, but typically hits hard with days to weeks of show-stopping dizziness/lightheadedness, then slowly gets better. Far less likely, your migraines have caused some changes in the posterior part of your brain that is also involved in balance and spatial orientation. Another possibility is a panic reaction to all the various body changes your going through with a heightened sensitivity to the abnormal sensations you are experiencing.

I think another trip to the doctor is in order as this is different than last year. If this persists much longer, a consultation with an ear specialist, and/or neurologist would be appropriate. I suspect you have nothing serious going on, but this stuff is seriously affecting your life and needs attention.

Don't despair, this can be had. Please be assertive in getting the care you need. Meanwhile, you might try one of the over the counter motion sickness medications, such as Dramamine, for symptom relief. Although these meds. can make you tired, they will help. Try one half a tablet for starters. Also ginger, in capsules or a tea made from the roots can stabilize your head a bit.

Best wishes,
One HOT Woman!
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Interesting symptoms

Postby SallyJ » Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:32 am

I found the original post to be interesting becaseu I have suffered migraine headaches since childhood, most of these are caused from a serious sinus headache triggering the migraine. If I catch the sinus headach, it does not trigger the migraine, but if I don't, the migraine always follows.

I have always also suffered many sinus infections. In March, I was so disgusted about being on anti-biotics for over two months to get rid of a sinus infection I went to the Dr. and said enough. He sent me to the EN&T specialist. While waiting to get into to see them, I developed dizziness, imbalance, (I was actually falling over), I was unable to drive for a while. I never felt right in the head.

The ENT put me on a regiment of an anti-biotic and a popular steroid (can't think of the name, makes little kids who take it fat), about my second day, I felt better than I had ever felt. As the doseage went down, I didn't feel so well, but those symptoms never occurred again. As another part of this therapy I was to undergo allergy testing. I never felt I had alergies, but agreed to go. I have been around people with allergies, but I never have symptoms like they have.

I gave a great deal of thought to allergies and began to notice more things about myself. One thing that I had noticed about 6 or 7 months ago was that about 10 minutes after I got to work every day, my nose started to run. I thought it was someting there bothering me. Then for about a week, I felt like crap and did not put on my makeup in the morning, and noticed that my nose did not run. I experimented and sure enough, found that at home when I wore my makeup, runny nose. I have been wearing this same brand of make up for 10 or more years and never noticed this problem.

I went for the allergy testing and tested positive for everything they tested me for. I found this to be unusual for myself.

I have always had sensative sinuses, pumping gasoline will give me an instant headache, but now I find that I am even more sensative to smell. I have recently had to leave two social gatherings becasue of some woman's perfume. I used to be able to at least tolerate them scent. Now I can't even do that.

It was suggested that I undergo allergy shots. I haven't started them yet.
But I do know that since I have started to have hot flashes in May, I have had only one migraine headache, which is unusual for me. I usually have at least three or four a month.

Dr. Judy, you know I am searching for answers as to how I am suddenly in menopause, could there be a link to this sudden allergy, starting with the dizziness, disorientation, etc. I experienced before seeing the ENT and menopause?

Another question, do the physical symptoms of perimenopause or menopause come in stages? Like some side effects of medicine, there are usually three or four, and you may experience all of them, one at a time for a day or two, one side affect just replaces another and then the body is adjusted to the med and you are fine? Could the migraines I have been accustomed to be diminishing and are being replaced with the hot flashes? I always, since I started having my period could count on at least one migraine the day I started my period, and sometimes one a couple of days before that. I always also erupted with a facial cyst each month. I have had to have several of these lanced, like about 5 of them. I am thinking about it now, and I did not get one of these cyst, new nodule or inflamed existing nodule in quite a few months. I'm beginning to think that this has started before the nausea episode.

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Postby VanessaFarrell » Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:44 pm

I also get the lightheadedness and feeling not quite right. I've tried all kinds of natural things and didn't get any relief. Dr gave me all kinds of tests and the only thing that came up was low hormones (like that was a surprise?) LOL. He said it was caused from anxiety I was having, and gave me some Xanax, I can't believe how much that has helped me. It gets rid of the lightheadedness. Xanax is addicting so you have to take it sparingly. But I have to be honest about it, for me Xanax is a miracle!
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Postby Zero » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:51 am

One of my readers ask me to get her response to Debbie:
I have a possible solution for "Desperate Debbie" regarding her feelings of lightheadedness, but don't know how to get this to her, so I'm sending it to you in case you can reach her again.

It's possible that the lightheadedness is caused by fluid buildup in your ears, Debbie, like mine was. I won't go into all the medical jargon (like being diagnosed with endolymphatic hydrops) but here's what helped me: cut out the caffeine and lower your sodium intake, both of which are healthy ideas for us anyway! I also got a prescription for daily allergy medication (Zyrtec) which helped mine go away. The doctor also suggested that walking would help re-set my sense of balance, and it did. Try this and see if it doesn't help your symptoms, too.

Postby MariaEl » Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:52 pm

Hi, I am kind of happy to see your letters about dizziness. I am being treated for high blood pressure but also had to quit taking HRT. I have been dizzy for four months to the point of really interfering with my enjoyment of life. Before that I was just a dizzy blonde. I have been blaming the HP drugs but my doctor can't seem to come up with any explanation. We never considered menopause. Now I am wondering if this is the cause. So, let me know what helps and what I should consider. I also get a lot of pressure in my head. It has been so difficult deciding what is from surgery (carotid artery), high blood pressure and menopause. Maybe I will never know. Any help is appreciated. Maria
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Postby mjiminez » Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:35 am

Hi, everyone. I am new here, but this seems like a great board! I swear, and this is the truth, that I have had EVERY symptom of menopause TWICE! Well, I had thought I had them all, but am now being bothered by this dizziness and loss of balance thing. I didn't even know this was one of the syptoms of menopause until I found this board! I have had panic attacks since I was fourteen and have been taking Xanax for many years. With the panic attacks, I am always dizzy, but have started becoming dizzy occasionally when arising. This has literally scared me to death! Along with being diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, I have a little bit of hypochondria thrown in there and I was certain I had a brain tumor when this first started! I don't have this every day when I arise, but enough to scare me. When I'm already awake, I can handle it, but when I am simply getting out of bed, it scares me. Does anyone know of anything that can be done to alleviate this? My sister, who is a nurse, said to wriggle my legs and toes before arising, but is there anything else anyone knows of? Also, does anyone know what causes this? Is it a sudden drop in hormones? Any help would be appreciated and once again, thank you for letting me join you. It's nice to be here.
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Postby wendie » Mon Jul 26, 2004 4:22 pm

Hi! I've ploughed my way through all the replies to 'Desperate Debbie' and was interested to hear the MD say it could be due to ear problems. When I started having symptoms, I'm now 47 years old, and have only recently (past 2 years) had 'proper'menopausal symptoms, They went through all that rubbish with me. I had courses of Anti-Biotics, Sinus medication etc. and nothing helped, but I keep a diary, always have, and found that these dizzy spells, palpitations,headaches,etc.etc. all occurred in the 2 weeks prior and during my period. Once I was over my heavy blood loss, and coming to the end, I wake up fine every morning. It might pay off for Debbie and others to begin keeping a diary, as all the really lousy symptoms can correspond with the two weeks after ovulation, when Oestrogen levels are disturbed. Around 10 weeks ago, I finally felt as though I wanted a proper diagnosis,as the palpitations and dizziness were bothering me. I had all the usual blood tests, and the only problem they found was proof that my menopause had begun. I started taking a supplement designed for menopausal women, omega3 fish oil, linseeds on my breakfast porridge, Red Clover Blossom, I upped my daily dose of Evening Primrose Oil to 4000mg, and have a glass of soya milk in the morning. So far, so good, remember girls, supplements can help enormously as well as a healthy diet.
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Postby hotpatootie » Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:50 am

Man the allergy part of your problem really hit home with me, I use to have lots of allergies as a child and they have seemed to come back. Runny nose and sneezing attacks, which is really fun if you have a full bladder, metal that touches my skin breaks me out in a rash, cheap jewlery, snaps on Levis...gee isn't that too bad can only wear gold or silver. Also when I hit meno my blood pressure started climbing so now on BP meds and a few years ago my thyroid quit working.....GAWD what next, haven't even looked into the allergy problem, cuz now with the BP meds and the Thyroid meds, I really don't want to take any other pills....then there are my bunions.........opps!!! Guess I better find a Bunion Support Group for that one.....
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Postby levi » Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:46 am

Hi , Only joined the site today and I am very interested in knowing how debbie is now. I too am in the throes of dizziness, muzzy headaches and panic attacks. I have been prescribed 3 soluble aspirin with 1 domperidome upto twice aday accompanied by a beta-blocker twice a day. This is making me very tired,I see my GP again in a month
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Postby KayB » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:08 pm

I did a search and found this question so thought I'd post here even though the original topic is a few years old....

Like many who post on this board, I have felt so out-of-whack since all this started... Things that never used to go wrong do and at least now I know about perimenopause!! However, I never want to attribute things to "just perimenopause"... I've had my gallbladder removed, which alleviated a LOT of symptoms.. I believe the GI issues I've had are hormonal as I also had an upper GI and small bowel study and everything was fine.. Since I revamped how I do things, this seems to be much more minimized.

The latest is lightheadedness and what I call "almost headache and almost dizziness." Last week I had what I believe now to be flu as I had all the classic symptoms.. Things alleviated on Friday a bit to where I could do things but Friday afternoon (almost one week ago now) I began to feel lightheaded and shaky.. My hands are always cold and my body temp is usually between 96.8-97.2 (a lot better than the 103-104 it was when sick last week!)...

When I went in to the doctor the first time she thought it might be due to eating too many carbs and I think she was right, so I'm trying to get more protein in... But it's still happening.. So I went back yesteray and a different provider tapped my sinuses and looked at my ears and said I still had lots of fluid and asked if I'd been sick lately-I told her about the flu. She thinks that's what's causing the lightheadedness.

I am trying to believe her--yesterday I was fine most of the day and it hit at 730, right after dinner. I am able to function and go about doing things but I feel funny.. I have had two bouts where I could tell my heart rate was increasing--one time it got up to 96 bpm and the other time (this morning) 90 bpm. Normal for me is 68-82 give or take depending on what I'm doing.

This morning, I was at the computer and could feel the heart rate increase and I checked my bp--it was up to 143/80 (normal is about 125/70 for me--give or take). The lightheadedness really increased and while I didn't feel sick, I had the sudden urge to use the restroom and had not quite diarrhea but close to it (don't know if that's coincidental or not)... The bp came back down within 5 minutes to normal levels.

Most of the time I feel lightheaded and a bit shaky, yet thankfully am able to function. I've never had this before really...

I am wondering if this really is due to inner ear fluid left over from the flu, or hormones or something else... My lab work has come back all fine. My blood glucose is normal, CBC is normal, urinalysis is normal, cholesterol normal, HDL/LDL are both right where they should be. Right now my hands are very cold....

Before I head back to the doctor tomorrow, I am just wondering if anyone thinks this COULD be hormonal. I am the type who reads too much into things so I don't want to go overboard and worry too much.

Thanks all...
Last edited by KayB on Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby KayB » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:13 pm

PS I should add the two times my heart started beating faster it gradually went down to normal about 5-10 minutes later (give or take)...

The lightheadedness always seems to be there but most of the time I can function and ignore it and sometimes it's worse than at other times.
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Dizziness Lightheadedness

Postby Graceisblue » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:30 am

About 7 weeks ago I decided to go cold turkey from caffeine. Since then I have experienced dizzines, lightheadedness, a feeling as if someone is pressing down on my head with a hammer. Together with sudden whooshes of feeling you are going to pass out.

I have to say though that the palpitations have been much better since stopping the caffeine.

I'm not sure if the cold turkey caffeine has set off some hormonal imbalance. I am 56 years old, and this all seems a mystery to me! But after talking to 3 or 4 people they all report the same things.

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Postby minniepauz » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:50 am

Welcome to the forum Grace! I experienced the same things when I went on the Atkins diet several years ago. For the first week I felt horrible, then it started getting better. I've been caffeine free for about 4 years now. Here's something I found that explains the withdrawal:

Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.

If you still feel bad, maybe a visit to your doctor would set things straight. Had you been experiencing any hormonal symptoms before?
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