Question: What causes dizziness before period? Is dizziness before period a sign of pregnancy?
Toward the end of your menstrual cycle, there are a lot of annoying changes that you may experience. While some of these changes are mild and may not affect your physical and emotional well being, it is possible that some women with have severe period symptoms.
Common symptoms that happen prior to menstruation are belly cramps, back pain, throwing up, increased yearning for sugary food, body weakness, nausea, confusion, and mood swing.
These symptoms differ from woman to women, and if you are unlucky, you may encounter dizziness before your period starts.
Dizziness is the feeling of lightheadedness, turning, spinning or a perceived feeling of your surroundings spinning around you. If your period is yet to begin and you feel dizzy, its normal you will be worried.
First of all, dizziness may happen to some women before period. This due to hormone fluctuation, and effect of prostaglandins. Hormone fluctuations are responsible for the premenstrual syndrome that affects 3 out of 4 women.
Having said that, dizziness before period may be due to severe health issues. Your brain acts on information from your eyes, sensory nerves, and inner ear to determine your balance. If there is an abnormality, infection, or inflammation of your inner ear, it may cause you to feel unstable and dizzy.
Other serious causes of dizziness are low blood sugar, low blood pressure, vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, iron deficiency anemia, migraine, side effects of medications you’re taking and dehydration.
Another concern for women, especially those who are trying to conceive fast, is the possibility of being pregnant. If you’ve never experienced being dizzy, you may think dizzy spell before period may be an early pregnancy sign.
The truth is, in early pregnancy, it is possible for you to feel fatigued, sick, weak and dizzy. However, dizziness is an unreliable way to tell if you are pregnant or not.
During pregnancy, dizziness can happen, and it is due to vasodilation of your blood vessels. Because of weak and expanded blood vessel, blood flow to the brain drops causing dizziness.
However, these changes usually occur in the first and second trimester of pregnancy, and if you are yet to see your period, being dizzy is a very unreliable way to tell. It is best to take a pregnancy test.
This article explains causes of dizziness before period, and why your dizzy spell/episode may be due to something more serious.
What causes dizziness before period
Like already mentioned, most women experience PMS symptoms before their period. If you only feel dizzy for a short while, it is possibly nothing serious. However, persistent dizziness for hours may signify a serious problem.
Here are common reasons why you feel dizzy before your period?
1. Your menstrual period is about to start
If you feel a cyclical pattern of dizziness before the start of your period, then likely, you new episode is because your period is near.
Dizziness happens before period due to effects of your hormones – estrogen, progesterone, and prostaglandins.
Usually, within few days to your next menstruation, your body builds up the level of prostaglandins. This lipid compound causes the contraction of your uterus with pain.
In some women, especially women with severe menstrual cramps, prostaglandins level are highly elevated. High levels of prostaglandins can affect your GIT (gastrointestinal system) causing frequent passage of watery stool. If it affects your brain, you may feel dizzy.
If you always feel dizzy, talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause.
How to tell my dizziness could be period-related?
PMS dizziness happens in a cyclical pattern. That is, at a particular time in the month, you will feel like fainting, dizzy or body weakness.
Some women will experience lightheadedness two weeks before their next menses. Others may experience dizziness just a couple of days to their period.
If you are experiencing dizziness all the time, its possible you have vertigo. Vertigo is feeling unbalanced with your environment spinning around you. You may also feel like you’re turning and this is triggered by head movement or sitting upright.
There are different reasons you will feel this way, though benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the commonest cause. BPPV happens after sitting up or head injury.
Other causes of vertigo are vestibular nerve infections, accumulation of fluid in your inner ear (Meniere’s disease) and migraine.
If you feel dizziness is intense and lasting hours, you need to see your doctor for a quick examination.
3. Low blood sugar levels
Low blood sugar levels can affect your balance and may your feel weak and dizzy before your period. Physiologically, your body needs you to eat for sugar supply. After eating, sugar is utilized for production of energy. An enzyme produced by the pancreas, insulin, helps drive in sugar into your body cells.
Before period, food craving is a typical experience for women. Taking sugary drinks elevate your blood sugar levels and sets off a corresponding increase in insulin.
Because of insulin rise, sugar is quickly utilized with a sudden fall of your blood sugar. This can cause you to feel dizzy.
4. Low blood pressure
Having a low blood pressure can cause hypoperfusion of your brain cell. If your brain cells do not get an optimal supply of oxygen and blood, you will have dizziness.
In some women, taking some medications such as antihypertensive pills may unexpectedly lower your blood pressure. If this happens, you may also feel dizzy too.
5. Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is relatively common affecting more than 1 billion people in 2015. Women and children are more likely to have the illness.
Iron deficiency means your body store of iron is low resulting in anemia. Anemia means you have lower than normal red blood cells number.
What causes iron deficiency anemia?
If you are not taking food rich in iron, you are likely to have iron deficiency. Another reason for iron deficiency anemia is uterine fibroid that affects about 75 percent of women. Women with uterine fibroid experience considerable loss of blood. This can cause dizziness.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are pale conjunctiva, body weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing.
To prevent iron deficiency, taking food rich in iron is a way to start. Iron-rich foods are liver, lentils, dark chocolates, canned sardines, and red meat.
Is nausea and dizziness before period a sign of pregnancy?
If you are experiencing nausea and dizziness before your period, its possible you are pregnant. However, it is highly unreliable.
The truth is, pregnancy before period is difficult to detect. In some women, they may experience early signs – Breast changes (enlarged sore boobs), waist pain, nausea, fatigue, avoiding meals, food cravings, vomiting, implantation spotting, frequent urination, and mood changes.
If you feel dizzy with these symptoms, there is a chance that you could be pregnant. The only reliable way to be 100 percent certain is taking a pregnancy test.