A large percentage of headaches among females are caused by ever-fluctuating estrogen during menstrual years. This can occur prior to, during or even midcycle menstruation.”, ScienceDaily reports.
Dizziness During Period
Let’s first discuss what dizziness is – it is defined as feeling lightheaded or as though you’re going to loose your balance. Most episodes of dizziness tend to subside within a few minutes, but they can last longer.
Typical symptoms of dizziness include:
- blurred vision
- hearing loss
- difficulty walking and speaking
- irregular heart beat
Nausea During Period
Nausea refers to a feeling of sickness with the urge to vomit. Premenstrual nausea, as well as period nausea, are two common conditions that can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life.
Causes of Dizziness & Nausea During Period
During the menstrual cycle, hormone levels rise and fall in an effort to prepare the lining of the uterus to thicken for ovulation and then shed if pregnancy doesn’t occur. For many women, these hormone fluctuations can really affect their body and can even exacerbate other health conditions.
Some women suffer from period headache, while others have conditions that can cause heavy bleeding, tiredness, nausea and dizziness among an array of other symptoms.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS occurs due to the production of progesterone and estrogen in the early stages of the menstrual cycle, prior to period bleeding. Over 200 symptoms of PMS have been identified. Common symptoms before period include breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, acne, back and thigh pain, fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, dizziness and nausea.
Many women suffer migraine attacks during their periods – these types of migraines are classified as an “episodic neurological disorder”. During a migraine attack, sufferers experience symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, numbness and tingling, as well as difficulty with thinking. Initial migraine attacks usually occur around the age of 14, and this often coincides with the onset of the woman’s first menstrual cycle.
Occasionally, women may experience migraine-related vertigo and dizziness that is provoked by menstrual cycle hormonal changes.
Deficiency of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C and/or vitamin D can lead to nausea and dizziness during period.
Fibroids can result in excessive bleeding during menstruation in some women. Excessive bleeding can lead to anemia, resulting in dizziness as well as other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, fatigue, rapid heart beat, headaches, pale skin, leg cramps and insomnia.
Menorrhagia refers to heavy menstrual bleeding and is a common cause of iron deficiency anemia that can lead to dizziness, as well as other symptoms such as those mentioned above.
Hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar and during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle can cause dizziness and nausea. Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include fatigue, uncontrolled shaking, sweating and an intense craving for sugar.
Meniere’s disease is a complex, progressive disorder of the inner ear that is characterized by symptoms including dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and hearing loss. This condition can be aggravated by a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Dysmenorrhea refers to painful periods and is believed to be caused by prostaglandin production during the menstrual cycle that causes contraction of the uterus, resulting in nausea and abdominal cramping as well as headaches and possibly vomiting.
Endometriosis occurs when the cells of the lining of your uterus grow outside of the uterus. This condition can cause nausea, diarrhea, rectal pain, bloating and debilitating abdominal pain.
Excess Stomach Acid
Hormonal imbalances during the menstrual cycle can result in the production of excess stomach acid, which can contribute to the nausea a woman may experience during their period.
Tips to prevent and treat dizziness & nausea during period
Because there are so many underlying reasons why you might be suffering from dizziness and nausea before or during your period, it’s best that you keep track of your symptoms to help identify the underlying causes of your symptoms. In the meantime, however, you can some of these tips to help prevent and treat dizziness and nausea during your menstrual cycle.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dizziness. A good rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water each day.
- Don’t skip meals. Try to avoid skipping meals as doing so results in a drop in blood pressure and glucose levels, which can lead to dizziness and nausea, as well as headaches, falls and fainting.
- Pass on the sugary drinks. It’s important to avoid sugary drinks, including soda and juice, because they cause a spike in blood glucose levels followed by a quick drop in levels, which can lead to dizziness. They can also worsen other PMS symptoms, such as headaches and bloating.
- Opt for tea (ginger or mint). Ginger tea is an excellent choice of beverage as it helps to calm your stomach, which tends to decrease nausea, and can help to prevent dizziness. As a bonus, it can also help to decrease period cramping. If ginger tea isn’t appealing to you, you can try mint tea. The menthol in mint tea is the active ingredient that can help to reduce nausea.
- Eat nutritiously. Before and during your period pay close attention to what you’re eating – aim for a diet rich in lean protein, and fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure that you’re consuming a balanced diet that is rich vitamins and minerals.
- Take a multivitamin. Taking a high quality multivitamin before and during your period can help to minimize symptoms of dizziness and nausea by ensuring that you have sufficient levels of iron, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin D.
- Lie down. When you feel an episode of dizziness coming on, try lying down for a few minutes. Afterwards, drink a cup of water and try some deep breathing exercises.
- Use a hot water bottle. Applying a hot water bottle to your abdomen increases blood supply to your uterus and helps to control abdominal cramping. Once the cramping is under control, you may notice that your nausea subsides too.
- Take pain meds. If your nausea is being caused by period headache or period cramping, you can try to get the pain under control by taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Once the pain subsides, you may notice that your nausea subsides as well. In cases where your pain is cause by endometriosis, a strong prescription pain reliever may be needed.
- Take an antacid. If your stomach is upset, try taking an antacid to help combat excess stomach secretions that occur during your period.
- Consider Oral Contraceptive Pills. For some women, taking oral contraceptive pills may help to reduce unwanted period symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea, as they help to regulate the hormonal balance during your menstrual cycle.
Don’t let dizziness and nausea during your menstrual cycle impact your life.
Try using some of the tips mentioned in this article to get your symptoms under control so you can start enjoying your life all month long.
If these tips don’t provide relief, it may be time to book an appointment with your physician to discuss other treatment options that may be available for your condition.
More useful resources
- Periods and dizziness. Why do you feel lightheaded at this time of the month?
- How to Stop Dizziness During Your Period – It’s Really Easy
- Dizziness Before Periods: Is It Normal?
- Dizziness During Period: Causes and Home Remedies
- Dizziness before and during period - Forum Discussion
Videos on the topic of dizziness and nausea during period