Can Your Menstrual Cycle Cause Dizziness?

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Like water, the blood flow through blood vessels can go down due to gravity. The impact of gravity can be very significant when your change your position from lying down to standing. But your body has its own mechanism to cope with this problem.

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Typically, the smooth muscles of blood vessels can contract automatically to minimize the blood flow go into the legs when you are standing.

But sometime progesterone of menstrual cycle can affect this mechanism. As a result, the blood flow to the brain is slightly affected because more blood that goes into the legs – and you can have lightheadedness.

Heavy menstrual bleeding and iron deficiency anemia

‘Heavy’ is a word of subject for too much blood that you lose during menstruation. If this occurs, you are at high risk of having anemia which then can lead to iron deficiency.

Typically, iron deficiency due to anemia can go so mild and you may not notice it. But if it gets worse, some symptoms such as dizziness and extreme fatigue can present [5].

Iron is important mineral for your body. If you have lack of iron, your body can get lack a substance in red blood cell that has crucial function to carry oxygen. In other words, your body needs plenty of iron to distribute oxygen throughout your body [6].

If certain parts of the body don’t get plenty of oxygen, the problem can occur. For instance, if your brain doesn’t get adequate supply oxygen, lightheadedness is one of common early symptoms that can occur.

In addition, while heavy bleeding can cause iron deficiency, it also can be potential to cause low blood pressure. Both iron deficiency and low blood pressure can be a great combination to trigger dizziness (particularly lightheadedness).

Poor diet

It’s undeniable that foods that you eat can affect your overall health. And the iron deficiency problem due to menstrual bleeding (particularly in the case of heavy bleeding) can get worse when you don’t get plenty of dietary iron before or during period.

When you lose blood, you also have lost some iron from your body. For this reason, you need to get extra iron from your diet to replace what you have lost.

The following is the table for the recommended dietary allowance for iron [7]:

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Recommended_Dietary_Allowance_for_iron

The mark ‘*’ for infants is AI (Adequate Intake). It is used when the information to set RDA is not known or if there is not enough information.

Even when you have normal or light menstrual bleeding, but if you have iron deficiency before your period, you risk of having dizziness is still high. So again, make sure to get plenty of dietary iron!

There are many foods high in iron. These include white beans, lentils, spinach, oysters, soybeans, clams, etc.

If your dizziness /other symptoms related with your period don’t improve or if they get worse – see a doctor for more advice!

Citations /references:

  1. www.webmd.com/brain/tc/dizziness-lightheadedness-and-vertigo-topic-overview?page=2/
  2. www.webmd.com/brain/tc/dizziness-lightheadedness-and-vertigo-topic-overview/
  3. www.academia.edu/1900508/
  4. www.sharecare.com/health/menstruation/cause-me-to-get-dizzy-before-menstrual-period/
  5. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/basics/symptoms/con-20019327/
  6. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/basics/definition/con-20019327/
  7. www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/iron.html/

All of these references accessed on Jan 2014

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