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How are headaches and hormones related?


Women are endowed by nature with some real health advantages, but suffer from a very unpleasant sensation of headaches, especially migraines. Many factors contribute to headaches for both men and women, including family history and age. However, women often perceive a relationship between headaches and hormonal changes.

1. What hormones cause headaches?


For some people, headaches are hormone-linked, meaning an underlying health condition that affects hormones in the body is the source or cause of the headache.
1.1 Thyroid hormone and headaches People with low thyroid hormone levels are considered hypothyroid. Since the thyroid gland is involved in a number of metabolic processes in the body, symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely in number and severity but it can include weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, and applesauce. fertilizer . In addition, people with hypothyroidism may also suffer from headaches related to their thyroid condition. This headache is similar to a tension headache, it also feels like a band around the head and is usually not sharp, like a migraine. Headaches due to hypothyroidism are also persistent but resolve within two months after thyroid levels are normalized.
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1.2 Estrogen and Headache The hormones estrogen and progesterone play a major role in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. They can also affect headache-related chemicals in the brain. Steady levels of estrogen can improve headaches, while a drop or change in estrogen levels can make headaches more intense. While fluctuating hormone levels can affect headache patterns, we don't have to tolerate it at all. They are completely treatable, possibly preventing hormone-related headaches.
Many women suffer from migraines that are triggered by a drop in estrogen just before they start menstruating. This is called a menstrual migraine. The symptoms of menstrual migraines are the same as those of non-menstrual migraines but are often more intense and less treatable.
Menstrual-related migraines can be treated in several ways. Conventional migraine treatments are often effective for treating menstrual migraines. These include:
Applying ice: Hold a cold cloth or an ice pack over the painful area on the head or neck. You should wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect your skin. Do relaxation exercises: Try relaxation exercises to reduce stress. Biofeedback: Biofeedback can improve headaches by monitoring how the body responds to stress. Acupuncture: Acupuncture can improve headaches and help you relax. Over-the-counter pain relievers: Your doctor may recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others). These medications can provide immediate pain relief. Triptans: Your doctor may prescribe triptans, drugs that block pain signals in the brain. Triptans usually relieve headache pain within two hours and help control vomiting. NSAIDs with triptans: Some women may use a combination of NSAIDs and triptans to relieve pain from menstrual migraines. Other prescription pain relievers: Sometimes your doctor may recommend other prescription pain medications, such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45). They cannot be taken in combination with triptans.
NSAIDs
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1.3 Stress hormones and headaches Stress is a major headache trigger and can predispose a person to a new headache disorder or worsen an existing headache disorder. Stress can also trigger the transition from episodic to chronic headaches. Although the exact way that stress affects each person's headaches is unclear, it is likely caused by the "stress hormone" cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands (small glands located on top of the kidneys) when a person experiences stress. Cortisol has a number of effects on the body, such as increasing heart rate and raising blood sugar. It can also cause headaches through a complex interaction with the nervous system.
1.4 Glucose, Insulin, and Headaches A drop in glucose levels that can occur from not eating or taking too much insulin can trigger a hypoglycemic migraine. Also, some people get headaches when they stop eating, even if their glucose levels don't drop too low, and this is known as a fasting headache. Interestingly, scientists don't think that fasting headaches are actually caused by low glucose levels, but rather from some other process like stress in the body caused by fasting. A fasting headache is a feeling of pain all over the head and is usually not the throbbing pain of tension headaches. The treatment for a fasting headache is to eat, but it can take up to 72 hours after eating to take effect.
There is also a link between chronic migraines and insulin resistance, especially in overweight or obese women. Insulin resistance means when the body produces insulin but it is not used appropriately to lower blood sugar and it causes type 2 diabetes.
The link between migraines and insulin resistance is not clear. It can make people with insulin resistance more prone to obesity and increase inflammation in the body. This inflammation can then make the body more susceptible to migraines, and research has found that overweight and obese women get migraines more often than women of normal weight.
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1.5 Headaches due to changes in estrogen levels during pregnancy Estrogen levels rise rapidly during early pregnancy and remain high throughout pregnancy. Migraines often improve or even go away during pregnancy. However, tension headaches often don't improve because they're not affected by hormone changes. If you have chronic headaches, ask your doctor about medications and therapies that may help during pregnancy before you become pregnant. Many headache medications can have harmful effects on an unborn baby.
After giving birth, a sudden drop in estrogen levels, along with stress, irregular eating habits, and lack of sleep can trigger a return of headaches. Caution should be exercised about which headache medications can be taken while breastfeeding. Your doctor can tell you what medicines you can take while you're breastfeeding.
1.6 Headaches from changing estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause For many women with hormone-related headaches, migraines can become more frequent and severe during menopause. menopause and the years before menopause because hormone levels rise and fall irregularly.
For some women, migraines improve after menstruation stops, but tension headaches often get worse. If headaches persist after menopause, you can continue to take your medication and use other therapies. Hormone replacement therapy, sometimes used to treat perimenopause and menopause, can cause headaches in some women and may improve headaches in others or cause no changes. any change. If you're taking hormone replacement therapy, your doctor may recommend an estrogen skin patch. The patch provides a steady, low level of estrogen that is less likely to aggravate a headache. If hormone replacement therapy worsens your headache, your doctor may reduce your estrogen dose, change it to a different form of estrogen, or stop hormone replacement therapy.
Some women are more sensitive to the effects of hormones. If headaches disrupt daily activities, work or personal life, ask your doctor for help.

2 Solutions for hormone headaches

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2.1 Prophylaxis If there are a few debilitating headaches each month, your doctor may recommend prophylactic treatment with NSAIDs or triptans. If your menstrual cycle is regular, it may be most effective to take a preventive headache reliever starting a few days before your period and continuing up to two weeks after your period begins. If you get migraines during your menstrual cycle or have irregular periods, your doctor may recommend taking a preventative medication every day.
Your doctor may also consider monthly injections of a calcitonin gene-related monoclonal antibody (CGRP) to help prevent headaches, especially if other medications aren't effective. Doctors will likely consider any other medical conditions to be able to determine the most appropriate medication. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, not skipping meals, and exercising regularly can also help reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of migraines.
2.2 Use Hormonal Contraceptives Hormonal methods of contraception, such as the Pill, patch, or vaginal ring can change an existing headache pattern. Headaches may improve or get worse, or sometimes stay the same. For some people, hormonal contraception can help reduce the frequency and severity of menstrual-related migraines by minimizing the decreased estrogen associated with the menstrual cycle.
Using hormonal contraception to prevent menstrual-related migraines may be appropriate for women who have not used other methods. If you experience migraines while using hormonal birth control, talk to your doctor.
Tips for using hormonal contraception:
Use a monthly pack of birth control pills with fewer inactive days (placebo). Eliminate placebo days entirely from most months by taking the long-cycle estrogen-progestin oral contraceptive (Camrese, Seasonique, others). Use a birth control pill with a lower dose of estrogen to reduce the drop in estrogen during the placebo days. Take NSAIDs and triptans on placebo days. Take low-dose estrogen pills or wear an estrogen patch on placebo days. Use an estrogen-containing skin patch on placebo days if you are using the birth control patch. Take the minipill as an alternative to the estrogen-progestin oral contraceptive. The minipill is a progestin-only oral contraceptive (Camila, Ortho Micronor, others) that is an alternative to the oral estrogen-progesterone oral contraceptive if estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives cannot be taken due to other conditions. Vinmec International General Hospital with a system of modern facilities, medical equipment and a team of experts and doctors with many years of experience in medical examination and treatment, patients can rest assured to visit. and hospital treatment.

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References: mayoclinic.org, verywellhealth.com

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