Many women going through menopause suffer from horrible headaches and even migraines. If experienced chronically, these headaches can make living day-to-day life especially difficult.
Take some time to find out what you can do about headaches during perimenopause, including effective management and prevention options.
What Is the Relationship between Perimenopause and Headaches?
Over 30% of women will suffer from perimenopausal headaches.
Headaches and migraines that occur during perimenopause are often related to changing hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone, which influence blood vessels.
Estrogen works to dilate blood vessels, while progesterone constricts them. It is the process of dilation and constriction that affects the brain and scalp's blood flow and, therefore, causes headaches.
What Other Factors May Cause Perimenopause Headaches?
As with normal headaches, there are factors that can trigger or worsen headaches during perimenopause. These include:
- Lack of sleep
- Strong smells
- Bright or flashing lights
- Skipping meals
Managing Perimenopausal Headaches
Along with avoiding certain triggers, like caffeine or alcohol, there are different ways menopausal headaches can be managed.
Keep your blood sugar up by minimizing unhealthy carbs and fats in the diet; eating smaller, more frequent meals; and making sure you eat enough fiber. Going too long without sustenance can trigger hormonal headaches and migraines.
Also, practice self-care by drinking water to avoid dehydration; resting in a quiet room with a cool cloth on your head; massaging your head and neck muscles; or taking a hot or cold shower or bath.
How Can I Prevent Perimenopausal Headaches?
Anti-depressants are commonly prescribed to relieve PMS and perimenopause symptoms, but may have side effects, including headache, drowsiness, and sexual dysfunction.
The importance of a healthy diet cannot be underestimated when it comes to preventing headaches during perimenopause. Incorporate soy-based foods and other phytoestrogenic foods into your daily diet as they contain plant-based estrogens that can restore the estrogen the body has lost.
Lifestyle adjustments may also help soothe menopausal headaches. It's important to maintain a regular sleep schedule and try to minimize stress in your life. Some women also find massages and stress-relief techniques help them feel less anxious and with less neck muscle tension.
For increased effectiveness, combine these efforts with alternative medicine that stabilizes hormone levels naturally, thus reducing the incidence of perimenopause headaches.
Find out more natural and effective treatments for headaches so the pain will stop disrupting your daily routine.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). New ways to manage migraines. Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/new-ways-to-manage-migraines
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Headaches and hormones: What's the connection? Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-daily-headaches/in-depth/headaches/art-20046729
- MedlinePlus. (2017). Managing tension headaches at home | Managing migraines at home. Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000421.htm | https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000420.htm