Hormones and Migraines: Is There a Link?

Written by AnaLise on December 17, 2008 – 12:14 am -

Researchers have been looking for causes of migraine headaches for years, and they have found some solid causes.  They have also found that with the wide variety of migraine causes, they are all different and affect each migraine sufferer differently.  In addition, there seem to be more and more migraine causes discovered, and these are triggers for some migraine sufferers, yet don’t do a thing for others.  It seems to work like allergies – different people have different problems with different substances.

As for migraines, there is yet another trigger that is linked to them.  That trigger is hormones.  There has been ongoing discussion about whether or not hormones trigger migraine headaches, but there has been no true clear cut answer in the past. 

The latest information is that hormones are definitely linked to migraines in some women.  Usually the migraines occur just before, during or after ovulation or a woman’s monthly period.  The reason for this is that during those times there can be a drastic fluctuation in hormone levels. 

What can be done to help women who are dealing with this situation?  It’s bad enough just to have to deal with all these monthly issues without getting debilitating migraines in addition.  Researchers and physicians have an answer and an effective way to either eliminate or diminish these terrible headaches.  They suggest that migraine medication be prescribed to women so that the medication can be taken before the hormone fluctuations cause their migraines.

If you are a woman who is dealing with migraines that seem to be triggered by hormones on a regular basis, talk to your doctor and see if thre is medication that can bring you relief from at least the headaches that come with the rest of the monthly barrage of symptoms.

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A Silver Lining for Migraines?

Written by AnaLise on November 10, 2008 – 11:20 am -

As anyone who has suffered even one debilitating migraine knows, these headaches can be horrible beyond description.  They have been described as everything from a hot sword going through one’s head, a vice at the back of the head, neck or eyeball that just keeps tightening, and various other descriptions of very painful experiences.  Just the descriptions alone can make most of us wince with pain at the thought of these headaches.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel and even a silver lining regarding migraines.  The light at the end of the tunnel is that researchers are finding more ways to fight migraines, more triggers to focus on – to help people avoid them, thus eliminating these headaches – and more treatments for migraines.  Medication is better and more specific.  Gizmos and gadgets that actually work are being invented, including electromagnetic and other instruments that work on the nerves and the transmission overload that often causes migraines. 

The silver lining is one of those catch 22 situations, but it is still quite important.  Researchers think they have discovered a link between migraines and lower breast cancer.  They have recently estimated that women who suffer from migraines have about a 30% lower chance of getting breast cancer than those who do not have migraines.

Doctors and researchers attribute part of the connection between the lower incidence of breast cancer and high incidence of migraines to the fluctuation in hormones that can be involved in both issues.  The cancers that are being prevented are estrogen sensitive, so researchers are working hard to provide a link between the hormones, migraines and low breast cancer percentages.

Though his is the silver lining and excellent news, researchers are reminding us that these are very preliminary findings.  There will be more research to come.


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Confusing Migraines for Other Problems

Written by AnaLise on September 25, 2008 – 6:37 am -

There are a lot of myths surrounding migraine headaches.  It used to be that doctors didn’t believe they were real – they were a figment of your imagination, especially if they were suffered by women.

There were also many ideas about what to do to help relieve the symptoms of these debilitating headaches.  There was ice, aspirin, and a few other ideas, including somehow trying to get some sleep.  Of course, usually the doctors that suggested these ideas probably never had a migraine headache themselves.

Some of the health issues that migraines are confused for are eye problems, for one.  Sometimes eye problems cause headaches, and often, the misdiagnosis results in the individual getting glasses only to find that the headaches continue.

There’s always the old “it’s just a sinus headache” answer.  People talk about sinus problems and allergies as the cause for the headaches, but even with the normal sinus remedies, the headaches still persist.

Hormones are also another easy thing to blame for migraines.  Sometimes they are part of the cause of headaches, however, when hormones are erroneously blamed for migraines, not only are the migraines not eliminated with hormone treatment, but, in addition, the hormone treatment can do harm – long lasting harm – to the body.

Additionally, the fact that a person is under stress is often singled out as the cause of a migraine.  Often, medication is prescribed and may take the edge off; however, usually the headaches do not stop.

As a result of all of the misconceptions migraines can often continue, increase in frequency and worsen over time.  Ignoring the debilitating headaches is not a good option.  If you find yourself at the point where your routine is disrupted on a regular basis or you can’t stand the pain any longer, it’s time to get help from a professional who is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of migraine headaches.

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