Hormone Therapy For Migraines
Hormone therapy not only helps women adjust to the physical changes that come with menopause, but it can also improve migraine symptoms. Studies have demonstrated that those taking hormone replacement therapy experience fewer headaches than those without. It may reduce hot flashes and night sweats that might be triggering your headaches as well.
Migraine is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately three times as many women experience migraines than men due to hormonal fluctuations during different life stages.
Dr. Jelena Pavlovic of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York states that during puberty and menopause, sex hormones can fluctuate drastically, leaving women particularly susceptible to migraines during these critical years of their lives.
To determine if you may be at risk for hormone-related headaches, keep a daily journal of your headaches and other menstrual/reproductive symptoms. Your doctor can then work with you to create an treatment plan that addresses the source of your discomfort.
You can prevent hormone-related headaches by eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. Additionally, you could try relaxation techniques, biofeedback or acupuncture for added relief.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and estrogen supplements may reduce the frequency and intensity of hormonally-triggered headaches. If you are dealing with a persistent, severe, frequent or recurrent migraine that is not responding to medication, it is essential that you see your doctor.
Hormone-triggered headaches can occur at any point during your menstrual cycle, but are especially prevalent during the drop in estrogen just before your period. To combat these headaches, take oestrogen gel or a patch before and during your period for prevention.
Other methods involve avoiding foods high in fatty acids. Eating healthier can also lower your blood pressure and promote better sleep quality.
If your headaches appear to be linked to your menstrual cycle, you may have perimenopause syndrome. When this condition develops, the irregularity of your periods causes more migraines and may even make them more frequent.
The National Migraine Centre notes that some women are especially sensitive to hormonal changes in their bodies, and if not addressed, can experience more intense or frequent headaches caused by these changes. This is especially true if these headaches are accompanied by other menstrual symptoms like cramps or heavy bleeding.
Another way to prevent migraines is by altering your lifestyle and how you think about stress. For instance, increasing vitamin B6 and C intake as well as decreasing inflammatory foods like red meat or processed cheese may make you feel less stressed and more relaxed overall.
Consider altering your sleeping patterns and reducing alcohol consumption, according to Pavlovic. These changes can help you feel more alert and reduce pain levels.
For further details about migraines, you can visit the National Migraine Centre website. Its resources are free and accessible to everyone.