Dizzy spells are sometimes harmless, but if they occur regularly, they might be a symptom of osteoporosis.
That’s because people who suffer from osteoporosis are more likely to suffer from vertigo, according to a study printed in last month’s journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Vertigo is an inner ear disorder that leads to the sensation of spinning and motion even when standing still. It’s associated with loose calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear.
The study included more than 200 people suffering from benign positional vertigo without any known cause. Those people were compared to another 200 people without any history of dizziness. Osteoporosis sufferers proved three times more likely to have vertigo compared to people with normal bone density. Participants who suffer from osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, were twice as likely to have the condition.
The link between vertigo and bone disease was even stronger for women than for men. Women far outweigh men as osteoporosis sufferers, and they usually start experiencing vertigo symptoms around the time that menopause sets in and estrogen production ends. But researchers haven’t determined if estrogen plays a direct role in the onset of vertigo and noted that men with osteoporosis are also at increased risk for the condition.