How to deal with hormonal headaches and migraines
Many factors contribute to headaches in both men and women, including family history and age. Unfortunately for women, the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which play key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, can also trigger headache related chemicals in the brain. Gynecologist Patricia Seal, MD, said this is why women are more prone to headaches or migraines than men.
“Steady estrogen levels can improve headaches, but levels that dip or change actually make them worse,” said Dr. Seal
What should you do to treat a headache or migraine?
Dr. Seal shared treatment and prevention options for hormone-related headaches or migraines.
- Ice. Wrap an ice pack in a towel to protect the skin and apply it to the painful area on your head or neck.
- Relax and breathe. Relaxation exercises and breathing techniques can also help to dull the pain.
- Drink more water and limit alcohol intake. Inadequate hydration can lead you to develop a headache.
- Get a massage. Releasing trigger points can often help as they relieve bands of tight muscles, which can lead to headaches.
- Take an over-the-counter medicine. Anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen sodium or ibuprofen, can make headaches go away within 30 minutes.
- Try a prescription. There are prescription medications available that can help with migraines. Talk to your doctor about your options.
In addition, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, not skipping meals and exercising regularly.
“All women are different, and one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to the cause and treatment of migraines,” said Dr Seal.
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