Difference Between Headaches And Migraines
In general, migraines are characterized by a throbbing or pulsing pain that occurs mostly on one side of the head. Accompanying symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, numbness or tingling, and vision disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights or having blind spots. They may also include sensitivity to light or sound.
Headaches, on the other hand, are characterized by a dull pain or pressure that occurs just at the forehand or throughout the top and sides of the head. There arent usually symptoms in other parts of the body.
Solution:For migraines, its really best to find the underlying cause, as they can be many and varied.
Poor Sleeping Patterns Or Insomnia
During both perimenopause and menopause, a womanâs ovaries stop producing as many progesterone hormones.
This is an issue because these hormones help promote sleep.
This can be highly unsettling, and according to the National Sleep Foundation, the disturbed balance in these specific hormone levels can cause difficulty in both sleeping and the ability to fall asleep.
In addition, lowered estrogen levels can make you more likely to be influenced by environmental factors, which can lead to disruptions in your sleep.
Common Causes Of Hormonal Headaches
Possible causes for headaches: hormonal imbalance, adrenal imbalance, thyroid imbalance
While most of us have headaches every now and then, many women feel plagued by them. Headaches can disrupt all aspects of your life sleep, work, and your personal time with friends and family. Having headaches can certainly keep you from doing the things you love in life, but it can also serve as a clear indication that something is out of balance in your body.
Because there are many possible root causes for headaches, finding the definitive source of your headaches can be difficult, but we do know that they can often arise during periods of shifting hormones, including the days leading up to your menstrual period, or the time leading up to menopause. Generally speaking, hormonal headaches occur due to imbalanced levels between estrogen and progesterone. This is why many women notice headaches right before their periods when progesterone naturally dips. Progesterone can also drop during perimenopause sometimes causing headaches as well. Taking steps to balance your hormones makes all the difference when it comes to avoiding hormonal headaches.
The more severe headaches were located behind my eyes. They lasted 48 hours with little relief. I had to try something! My headaches dissipated almost immediately one week after starting this approach. I am feeling better, and sleeping better too.
Common Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance
Knowing the signs of a hormonal imbalance in women can help you address the underlying cause and help get your hormones in balance again. Sometimes, all you need is to make some lifestyle changes to help your body produce enough hormones. Other times, you can use some natural remedies to help manage the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.
What Causes Migraines And Why Theyre Beyond The Common Headache
At this time, researchers dont fully understand what causes;migraines. Most studies suggest that they could be related to abnormal substances that are produced in the brain. When those substance levels rise, they cause inflammation. The inflammation leads to swollen blood vessels in the brain that press on nearby nerves. The result? Intense head pain.;
Abnormal genes may also have a link to migraines. These genes may control the way certain brain cells function and can lead to migraines.;
But what about the link between hormones and migraines in women? For many women, migraines take place around the time they have their monthly period. These menstrual-related migraines happen within a two- or three-day window before they start their period. Unfortunately, these migraine attacks may be more disabling than the non-menstrual kind.;
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Migraine Aura Causes: Symptoms Treatment And Remedies
An aura caused by migraine, silent or an ocular migraine usually involves some kind of troubles with vision. This blurry vision or flashes of light usually affect both eyes at the same time. The difference between this type of aura and the classical one is that most of the time it is not accompanied by the throbbing pain in the temples.
However, patients usually suffer from a lot of other irritating symptoms that usually last for an hour or so. These symptoms are not serious; however they can affect the quality of the patients life. Read on to learn more about migraine aura causes.
An ocular migraine with blurred vision affects both eyes and can cause troubles with reading, writing, driving and working on a computer. A retinal migraine is another type that usually affects only one eye and is a much more serious condition.
What Other Hormones Might Be Causing Misery
This research, showing the effect of estrogen fluctuations on the incidence of migraines, is a cautionary tale. Are there other hormones, of the lack thereof, which might cause illnesses or pain? Terri elaborates.
Testosterone is a good example.; It is a powerful brain hormone, she noted. Its known as an;androgen , and there are androgen receptors on every cell in our body.
Every system in the body is affected by any decrease in androgens. Thus, when there is a testosterone decline in men or women, that person can experience joint pain, depression, a lack of mental clarity, anxiety, insomnia and many other unhealthy conditions.
If migraines are causing you pain, lost work time and ruining your quality of life, your estrogen fluctuations might be causing this condition. Take this simple test to determine your hormone levels.
If you would like to listen to the complete interview with Terri DeNeui, just click on the podcast below.
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Treatment Menstrually Related Migraine
As you review these, remember that all medications have side effects, and you should discuss them with your doctor.
In general, MRM can be effectively managed with strategies similar to those used for non-MRM. Behavioral management is an important concept in menstrual as well as nonmenstrual migraine. Menstruation is one of many factors that put women at risk for migraine disease. Hormonal changes are just one of many potential trigger factors.
Most women living with menstrually related migraine are treated with acute medications. When attacks are very frequent, severe, or disabling, preventive treatment may be required.
Estrogen Might Sensitize Your Cells
Experts are still studying the role that hormones play in migraine.
But according to a 2018 study, changes in estrogen levels might sensitize certain cells in your body to migraine triggers. This might increase your chances of experiencing migraine symptoms.
The study relied on in vitro and animal models, rather than human research. More research in humans is needed to learn how estrogen and other hormones affect migraine.
Most women of reproductive age go through menstrual cycles. During those cycles, the estrogen levels in your body fluctuate. These changes in estrogen may contribute to the development of migraine symptoms at certain points in your life.
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Hormonal Imbalance + Migraines
Do you find yourself suffering from a headache every time you turn around, whether its right before a childs baseball game, or on a big day at work where youre expected to deliver a presentation for your group, or on vacation with your family at the beach?
Many women come to me asking how to manage these debilitating headaches that disrupt their life. There are different types of headaches, but migraines take the cake for shutting a person down from his or her normal functioning.
Migraines can be managed, and the key is to take control of how you manage your body.
Can Birth Control Relieve Headaches
Some people find that birth control pills help with their headaches.
Hormonal contraceptives can regulate the menstrual cycle. As hormonal levels become more consistent throughout the month, a reduction in headaches can result.
Some people experience headaches due to low estrogen levels in the last week of their cycle. This can happen, regardless of whether the person is taking hormonal birth control.
One type of hormonal birth control, called a 3-month pill, postpones this drop in estrogen from once a month to once every 3 months. Taking this type of pills can reduce the frequency of headaches related to low estrogen levels.
A birth control pill may contain a combination of hormones or a single hormone. Some people find that pills that contain only progestogen lead to fewer side effects.
A 2013 review of studies noted a small but well-documented increase in the risk of stroke among people with migraines who use birth control that contains estrogen.
However, results of a similar review from 2017 suggest that only people who have migraines with auras are at risk. It is important for a person to describe their migraines to a doctor when discussing birth control options.
A person who has migraines with auras and who takes birth control that contains estrogen may have a further risk of stroke if they:
- are over the age of 40
- have high blood pressure
- have a family history of stroke
Estrogen-free and low-estrogen pills may also decrease the risk of other side effects.
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Can I Use The Mirena Ius
The Mirena intrauterine system can be used for contraception, to control heavy/ painful periods, and to act as the progestogen component of HRT. One advantage is that it acts directly on the womb, with very little hormone reaching the rest of the body. This means that side-effects are generally very few. Another advantage is that if a woman has a Mirena, it is easy to adjust the dose of estrogen to suit her needs. Also, many women find that their periods become very light, or stop completely while they are using a Mirena. If migraine was linked to troublesome periods, this in itself can make migraine less likely to occur.
Hows A Menstrual Migraine Diagnosed What Tests Are Done
Your healthcare provider will want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:
- Describe the severity and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
- Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
- Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
- Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
- Talk about the activities, foods, stressors, or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
- Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.
- Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.
Its helpful to both you and your healthcare provider if you keep a migraine journal. Take note of what symptoms you get, how long your symptoms last, and what makes your menstrual migraine better or worse. You and your healthcare provider may be able to use that information to help you heal, and possibly prevent or anticipate your migraine.
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The Connection Between Migraine And Hormones
Many women report migraine headaches around the time of their menstrual cycle. Women with menstrual migraine and menstrual-related migraine develop headaches anywhere from two days before to three days after the start of menstruation. These attacks are usually more disabling than non-menstrual attacks. The connection is believed to be related to the hormone estrogen. When estrogen levels rapidly drop before menstruation, women have an increased likelihood to develop migraine headaches. The degree of fluctuation in the hormone, rather than the level itself, is thought to be the main instigator. During pregnancy, as estrogen levels rise and remain elevated throughout the pregnancy, migraine headaches improve for most women, and for some, they completely disappear. After pregnancy, however, the abrupt drop in estrogen levels may trigger headaches again.
During perimenopause, in the years leading up to menopause, migraine headaches may become more frequent and severe due to the uneven rise and fall of hormone levels during this period. Once women reach menopause, however, most experience improvement in their migraine headaches.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Menstrual Migraine
The symptoms of a menstrual migraine are the same as the symptoms for other types of migraines:
- Headache pain that ranges from dull to a severe throb.
- Feeling very warm or cold .
- Sensitivity to light, noise and smells.
- Tender scalp.
- Nausea and vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea or fever .
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What Causes Hormonal Migraines In Women
Doctors know that the hormone estrogen plays a strong role in triggering migraine in women. One in every 4 women will have a migraine at some time during their life. Generally, a migraine is triggered when estrogen levels rise and fall in a womans body.2
For example, many women have their first migraine around the start of their first period. Later, many women feel a migraine begin anywhere from 2 days before to 3 days after their period. Pregnancy and menopause are other common times when hormonal changes trigger migraines. Breastfeeding seems to prevent migraine during the postpartum period in some women.3
Hormonal Causes Of Headaches
Women experience headaches five times as often as men. Up to 30% of premenopausal women report headache pain, and 70% of these women report that most of their severe headaches occur just prior to menstruation.
The data make it difficult to deny the connection between female hormones and headaches, especially during perimenopause, the two to ten year period leading up to menopause. As menopause approaches, women’s estrogen and progesterone levels surge and dip prior to receding to a low level once she passes through menopause and no longer has a menstrual cycle. This estrogen imbalance is known to affect the brain in various ways, including the onset of headaches.
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Estrogen Excess & The Depletion Of Magnesium
Elevated estrogen levels lead to magnesium deficiencies. It is well-known that a deficiency in magnesium is a risk factor for migraines. Excessive estrogen, however, can also deplete magnesium levels by influencing adrenal function. The excess estrogen places the adrenals into sympathetic mode , leading to severe magnesium wasting .
Signs You Might Be Suffering From A Hormonal Imbalance
Most women experience pretty drastic physical changes when they hit their 40s and 50s.
But a lot of the time, these bodily shifts arenât even visible.
The substantial internal changes women go through reflect changes in their hormones.
While some of these symptoms might be caused by changes in diet, lifestyle and environment â like how insomnia can be caused by cigarettes â more often than not, these symptoms reveal a natural hormone imbalance.
In an exclusive guide below, we outline some of the general symptoms you should look out for if you suspect youâre undergoing hormone changes.
These symptoms may very well be a side effect of perimenopause, which is a period when estrogen levels and egg production decline.
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How Estrogen Levels Impact Migraines
The explanation for why drops and fluctuations in estrogen cause migraines is not completely clear, but there are several possible mechanisms.
Estrogen has a known impact on the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that modulates pain and mood. Estrogen also affects blood vessels and blood pressure, and blood vessel alterations are known to play a role in migraines as well.
It is likely that both of these factors, and possibly others, could mediate the estrogen-migraine connection.
Managing Migraine In Women Often Means Managing Hormones
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Prevalence of migraine among women is about three times that of men, and fluctuations in female sex hormones often play a role in the onset of the condition. Women are particularly vulnerable to migraine during the childbearing years, which are also generally the most active and demanding years of a womans life.
The evolution of migraine in women is related to big hormonal times of change. It picks up at menarche and rapidly increases in incidence and prevalence during the teens, 20s and going into the 30s and 40s,Jelena Pavlovic, MD, PhD, of the Montefiore Medical Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told Endocrine Today. In terms of burden, it culminates in the reproductive years, when women need to be the most productive, with young children and jobs.
Pavlovic talked to Endocrine Today about the mechanisms of hormonal migraine, how the condition is diagnosed, and the different treatments that may benefit patients with these debilitating headaches.
What types of hormonal changes are most likely to cause migraine?
How exactly do hormones affect migraine? Which hormones are involved?
This suggests that we need another trigger to come along and tip an already sensitive system over into migraine.
How should hormone-related migraine be treated during the different phases of a womans reproductive life?
For more information:
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Nava Health Experts Can Help
Here at Nava center, our mission is to improve your health and overall wellness so that you can function, feel, and look your best at any age. Schedule your appointment with one of our experts who will address your symptoms by getting to the root cause, instead of just putting a bandaid on a symptom. They will recommend treatment options that will be best for your body and health.