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Study Makes Case for Migraines as Menopause Symptom

July 21st, 2014

Recent study the first to prove the frequency of migraine attacks increases at menopause.

For many, many years, women have been telling their doctors that migraines increase just prior to and during the onset of menopause. Now, a new study finally proves this anecdotal evidence to be true, leading at least one expert to conclude that migraines should be considered a menopause symptom.

The study was conducted by Dr. Vincent Martin, a co-director of the University of Cincinnati Headache and Facial Pain Program, as part of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study. Researchers collected data from 3,603 female migraine sufferers ages 35 to 65. After breaking the women into groups based how often they got migraines and what stage of menopause they were in, the researchers found that peri-menopausal and menopausal women were 50 to 60 percent more likely than pre-menopausal women to be frequent migraine sufferers with 10 or more migraine days per month.

Declining or fluctuating estrogen levels in peri-menopausal and menopausal women are believed to be responsible for these results. As another study author, Dr. Richard B. Lipton, pointed out, this conclusion is consistent with what pre-menopausal women experience as well—migraine headaches worsen during menstruation, a time when estrogen temporarily declines.

However, it would be simplistic to assume that migraines in menopausal women can be treated with estrogen alone. As an expert not involved in the study pointed out, other changes in hormonal rhythms are also taking place during menopause and could very well be contributing to the problem. This expert, Dr. Andrew Charles of the Headache Research and Treatment Program at UCLA, did recommend hormone replacement as a possible therapy for women experiencing worsening migraines at menopause.

When treating any menopause symptom, it is important to have levels of all vital hormones tested and adjusted, not just the specific hormone known to play the biggest role in that symptom. This not only helps to provide the best possible relief, but also helps to protect women’s overall health. For example, replacing estrogen without progesterone would be dangerous, so it is vital to always replace these two hormones together.

At Renew Woman™, we provide comprehensive treatment options for the relief of menopause symptoms. We help women understand the complex interplay of vital female hormones that are at work in their bodies during menopause and how this affects how they feel. Our treatments can be individualized to suit your unique lab results and symptoms. Please contact us today to learn more.

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