Migraines and Menopause

May 27, 2015

shutterstock_166877519Going through the “change of life” is hard enough for a woman. Sudden hot flashes. Wild mood swings. Surprise periods. Weight gain for seemingly no reason. There may even be a sullen teenager at home to handle. Plus, if you are like many women, the cherry on top of all the menopause symptoms is migraines.

Of the 38 million Americans who suffer from migraines, most are women. In fact, there are three times as many women who have migraines than there are men, according to an oft-cited 1991 study. Doctors have long been hearing perimenopausal and menopausal patients complain of headaches.

Then, in 2014, a study by the Headache and Facial Pain Program at the University of Cincinnati finally found evidence of a link between menopause and migraines. According to the study’s leader, Dr. Vincent Martin ,”In women who have migraines, headaches increase by 50 to 60 percent when they go through the perimenopause and menopausal time periods.”

So, if you are one of the women who falls within that statistic, you are probably wondering: what are some headache remedies for this natural phenomenon? Experts believe that fluctuating hormone levels (estrogen, especially) and their effect blood vessel dilation have a lot to do with it.

While it may be hard to get rid of a headache once it starts, many specialists have advice for preventing migraines in the first place Dr. Mark Hyman, a physician and author dedicated to changing health through the gut, offers some solutions to help keep hormones in check on his website drhyman.com. He suggests avoiding alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and refined carbs, while sticking to whole foods, especially colorful fruits and vegetables, and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Flax and soy are recommended, as well as the supplements B6, magnesium, and herbs such as Vitex.

Some other ideas to consider:

  • Stress can trigger head pain. Get regular exercise even if it’s a brisk walk through your neighborhood each day. Yoga, in particular, can be beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
  • Eat throughout the day. Skipping meals and letting your blood sugar dip then spike can cause migraines, as well.
  • Talk to your doctor about hormone therapy or painkillers to ease the symptoms and discuss the possible side effects.

If you have taken all necessary measures and migraines continue to plague your day-to-day well being, you may want to consider an Omega migraine procedure. Board certified physicians can help you determine if this could be your life-changing alternative to pain.

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