Menopause is considered to be the time in which a woman seizes to menstruate. This would take place during middle or late 40s and may vary slightly from person to person. It is an event that is associated with many symptoms among which headache or migraine headache can be a common complaint.
Relationship between hormones and headache:
According to research, the female body will undergo hormonal changes during a menstrual cycle and the two hormones that fluctuate accordingly would be estrogen and progesterone. These hormones seem to have the ability to interact with chemical entities of the brain and make way for the development of a headache. As the scientists believe, a low level of estrogen is the biggest culprit in causing headache before the start of a menstrual cycle or in the middle of it at the time of ovulation. Similarly, the same phenomena take place following menopause or else during the time of transition when heavy fluctuations of body estrogen levels tend to take place.
How does it present?
Many women explain the headache symptoms related to menopause as being confined to one side of the head, throbbing, associated with nausea and vomiting and may give rise to visual disturbances such as the appearance of halos when looking at bright objects. Thus, the symptom complex that is seen during this time is considered to be a migraine type of headache and for many women, the stabilization of hormonal levels following menopause would give relief from the above symptoms. But, for the rest, it may persist and would require long term treatment strategy to prevent its occurrence further.
What are the treatment options available?
When looking at treatment options, over the counter pain relievers as well as prescription pain relievers, specially used in migraine type of headaches, can be taken. A physician may recommend these drugs either as a prophylactic treatment or else as a way of managing the symptoms during an attack. The decision would be made depending on the frequency of the symptoms as well as its influence on the persons daily activities.
Apart from pain relievers, these patients would also benefit from undertaking relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga while as with any other type of migraine, avoiding trigger factors would also be of paramount importance for its prevention.
As discussed before, since the low estrogen levels are playing a major role in its occurrence, hormonal replacement should play a vital part in managing headaches that doesn’t get relieved to usual medications and appropriate selection of the candidates to undergo this type of treatment is immensely important to avoid any other complications due to hormonal treatment.