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Menopause & migraines

  • By lauramc-daniel-shaver

    I’ve had migraines for thirty years. For the last eighteen years I have had transformed migraine. Now that I am going through menopause my migraines are worse. If you have gone through menopause what did you do that helped?

    Thanks

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  • By Becky

    When my mom went through menopause she stopped having migraines. When she was in her early 70’s they started back. She had an intestinal blockage and they came back. She is now 78 and getting botox.

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  • By Cindy Boily

    Laura, I wish I had an answer for you. From my own experience I know that changes in hormones affect migraines and obviously menopause affects your hormone levels drastically. Does anyone know which hormone affects migraines the most?

    Rebecca, I must say I have heard of and experienced a link between intestinal problems and increase migraines not sure what that is about but I find it interesting.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Laura,

    Welcome to the discussion forum. I’m sorry to hear your migraines have worsened along with menopause. I don’t know if it will make you feel better, but I have some numbers on migraine and menopause I’d like to share with you. When women go through natural menopause some find their migraines get better while other find the exact opposite. THe breakdown goes like this; when a women goes through natural menopause,67% of them find there migraines improve while 9% find their migraines get worse and about 24% of them find no change in there migraines.

    When a woman goes through surgical menopause 33% of women find their migraines get better but 67% of women find their migraines get worse. That is just about the opposite of natural occurring menopause.

    Fluctuating hormones can very problematic for some with migraine. Here is information on this from Dr. Marcus; https://migraine.com/blog/hormonal-migraine-the-basics/.

    I hope some of that information is helpful,

    Nancy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Rebeccapa,

    As Cindy mentioned intestinal issues can be part of a migraine attack. For some people, they can be strong ones. Gastric stasis, a delaying of stomach emptying is a problem for many of us. Here is a link on this for more information; https://migraine.com/migraine-types/gastric-stasis-migraine/.

    We can also have constipation and/or diarrhea and nausea and vomiting with migraine. These articles explain things; https://migraine.com/migraine-symptoms/nausea-with-or-without-vomiting/ and https://migraine.com/migraine-symptoms/diarrhea-and-constipation/.

    Not pleasant topics, but ones many of us experience.

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  • By AmyBabee

    🙁 was so looking forward to getting relief when I hit menopause; who knows the group I would fall in when it comes…praying its the 67% and not the 9% and 24%.

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  • By dogmom03

    Hi. I am 42. I only started getting migraines after I had kids. They were tolerable (as far as migraines go I guess) and I only got them around my period. My cycles have been like clockwork , 28 days every month. Then 1-2 years ago, they became very erratic. After many trips to my OB/GYN for exams and bloodwork of my hormones, along with a trip to an endocrinologist and bloodwork of my thyroid levels, they both have concluded that I am going through menopause ( I have not had a period for 3 1/2 months). They both think that the early start of my menopause could be a result of the chemo and radiation that I went through as a child with Hodgkin’s. I’m a little depressed because me and my hubby were going to try for one last child (we have 2). And I now have headaches daily and lower abdominal cramps. I guess my question is this: is there any recommendations on supplements I could take daily to help prevent them? And should I seek a second opinion or see another specialist? Thanks for any advice or input you can give me!

    Tracy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi dogmomo3,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your daily head pain and monumental changes you are going through. Let’s see what we can do to help you out.

    Are you by chance taking anything on a daily, or near daily basis to relieve your head pain? One problem we can run into if we take migraine abortive medications and/or pain relievers, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week is medication overuse headache, or moh. If we have moh our migraines may be more difficult to treat and we can end up in an endless cycle of pain. Here is information on this: https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    We have information on migraines and menopause that should be helpful in this link; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-and-menopause/.

    You may want to consider seeing a migraine specialist, who is a doctor board certified in headache medicine. These doctors treat migraine and headache disorder patients all day, every day. Here is information on this; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and if you want to look for a new doctor here is that information; https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    There are a range of supplements available to treat migraine. Magnesium, B2, CoQ10 and others. In this link, on the left side of the page, is information about supplements; https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/.

    Let me know what you think,

    Nancy

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  • By dogmom03

    Nancy:

    Thanks for all the helpful links. I have gone to a few headache specialists in the last 1-2 years. One at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Headache Clinic and the other one at the Cleveland Clinic Headache Clinic (which was a 3-4 hour drive). And I can honestly say nothing they did helped (the preventative meds they had me try or the pain meds they gave me). That’s not to say I don’t want to try another one, just not sure where?! I do want to try taking all the recommended supplements all together to see if that will hopefully help the amount and severity of migraines I’m having since I am pretty sure they are 99% hormone based. Thanks again for all the info!

    Tracy

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Tracy,

    Thanks for updating us! Migraines a menopause can be difficult due to the drop in estrogen, I’m sorry to say. 🙁

    It may be a good idea to start one supplement at a time – this way you’ll know when it starts working. If we start taking multiple supplements at the same time, we won’t know which one works when we feel better!

    A word on choosing a headache clinic, many advocates suggest choosing a specific doctor rather than a clinic.

    Hang in there and keep us posted, OK?

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