Menopause and Migraines
According to the North American Menopause Society, about 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, and 70 percent of sufferers are women. If you deal with migraine headaches, then you know how debilitating they can be. Unfortunately, you may experience stronger symptoms as you age. Menopausal women often report more intense headaches, and recent studies suggest a strong correlation between hormone fluctuations and migraines. Fortunately, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy may alleviate your symptoms.
Women and Migraines
Women are much more likely to suffer from migraine headaches than men. In fact, the U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that women experience these devastating headaches three times as often as men. If you’re unfamiliar with the differences between migraines and a typical headache, then here are some associated symptoms of migraines:
- Mental confusion
- Temporary loss of peripheral vision
- Vision disturbances, such as floating lines and bright spots
- A numb or tingling sensation in your face and hands
- Disturbances in sensory perception, including smell, touch and taste
Severe throbbing pain, to the point of nausea and vomiting, may also accompany migraine headaches. Those who suffer find little relief from standard OTC medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Instead, frequent migraine sufferers usually must take prescription painkillers or make substantial lifestyle changes to avoid triggers. A migraine attack can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
The Role of Hormone Imbalance
For some women, migraines can lessen with age, but it’s more common for migraine sufferers to report more frequent and more intense symptoms as they approach menopause. The primary culprit is hormone imbalance. As women get older, the ovaries stop producing estrogen at the same levels that they once did. Hormone depletion can wreak havoc on your body, especially for those who deal with migraines. A study published in January 2016 found that the chance of “high-frequency” migraines increased by 60 percent during perimenopause, which is the transitional time when women stop having regular periods.
When estrogen is low, migraine sufferers are more likely to have intense symptoms. Shifting hormones account for a variety of menopausal symptoms, but estrogen depletion isn’t solely to blame according to researchers. Overuse of medications for issues like back and joint paint can also contribute to migraine frequency, duration and intensity. Finding a more natural way to deal with migraine symptoms and menopause could combat this issue.
How Pellet Therapy May Help
Hormone replacement therapy has been used for decades to treat the symptoms of hormone imbalance, but the most popular versions available today are synthetics. The problem with synthetic treatments is that they come with dangerous side effects. For women who suffer from more intense and longer-lasting migraines as a result of menopause, there’s a better option available: bio-identical or natural hormone replacements in the form of pellet therapy.
Pellet therapy is a form of bio-natural hormone replacement, a concept that’s been in use since the late 1930s. Pellets, which are derived from wild yams, are placed under the skin, mimicking the function of the ovaries in producing estrogen. As a time-released treatment option, you can expect a steady flow of hormones when you need them. There are far fewer side effects, and the result is improved mental, physical and emotional well-being. If bio-identical hormone replacement therapy sounds like the right fit for you, then talk with your doctor about your options for menopause relief.