Is Estrogen to Blame for Migraine Pain?

A fluctuation in your hormones could trigger a headache

If you are one of the 28 million Americans suffering from migraine pain, you might feel as though you're doomed to a lifetime of throbbing headaches. With the female to male ratio at 3:1, there is a clear gender bias when it comes to migraines, a disparity that mainly has to do with hormones.

There seems to be a significant connection between estrogen levels and the onset and presence of migraines. Fluctuations in estrogen seem to affect the central nervous system and the rise and fall of estrogen may trigger a migraine. Although the first attack is quite often during the teen years, with the onset of menstruation, migraine frequency and intensity seem to peak when a woman is in her 40s.

How to cope with menstrual migraines
Migraines that are linked to your menstrual cycle usually occur without an aura and their timeframe is usually during the two days before or two days after menstruation begins. Most women who suffer from migraines will have them throughout the month, but a small group of women will exclusively have these menstrual migraines.

You can reduce menstrual migraines by creating a therapy plan that targets migraine prevention, which provides rescue medications that immediately intervene during early onset of an attack and identifying common triggers like stress. Steering clear of sodium and MSG can also help to prevent PMS bloat and migraine pain.

Migraines during pregnancy
Some women experience a reduction of migraine attacks during pregnancy due to hormonal shifts. Others may notice an upswing in the number of attacks. It's important to work with your obstetrician and headache specialist to determine the medications that are safe to take for prevention, rescue and the pain associated with migraines during pregnancy. There are also lifestyle changes you can make to optimize the joy of pregnancy while minimizing the likelihood of a migraine attack.

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