For years, my patients going through menopause have complained of migraine headaches. But for some reason, research has never been able to back up what I’ve known for years, and what women have been experiencing for ages: Migraines are, indeed, a symptom of menopause. That is, until recently.
A new study, part of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study, reviewed data from 120,000 U.S. households. Researchers found that frequent headaches (10 or more a month) were 50-60 percent more common for perimenopausal and menopausal women.
What Causes Menopausal Migraines?
Migraines in menopausal and perimenopausal can be traced back to the same villain as the hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings and other menopausal symptoms: hormones. Lowered estrogen levels and other fluctuating hormones can trigger headaches and migraines.
Treating the Person, Not the Headache
Women suffering from menopausal migraines can breathe a sigh of relief that there are treatment options to help ease migraines. But like everything else, the effective approach depends on each individual person and her medical history. Some may respond to exercise, healthy diet, acupuncture or relaxation methods. Hormone replacement may be a good option for some.
If you are suffering from menopausal migraines, please let me know. Together, we can work toward an effective treatment plan for you.