Menopause and pregnancy are the two main stages of life that are linked to mood swings, but are migraines a side effect? Mood swings are reported by almost half of all women during the menopausal transition. There are many reasons for mood swings, and many side effects that come with it.
What Are Migraines?
Basically, a migraine is a severe headache that can be a debilitating condition and comes with nausea. They last anywhere from four hours to three days and women are three times more likely to suffer from them than men.
Symptoms of migraines can be: sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting, and nausea, and are often the result of normal activity. It's important to remember that hormones often lead to migraines, and the fluctuation in estrogen levels during menopause and ovulation can make you more susceptible to them.
Here is a list of the causes of migraines:
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Certain foods
- Physical exertion
- Environmental factors
- Sensory stimuli
- Sleep disorders
- Certain medications
What Is the Link Between Mood Swings and Migraines?
In fact, migraines are not one of the common symptoms of mood swings and the truth is that a migraine is more likely to cause a mood swing than the other way round. During menopause, your estrogen levels are reduced and, along with many other signs and symptoms, this can cause migraines, which in turn lead to a change in mood.
Mood swing symptoms are: emotional, sadness, depression, unmotivated, irritation, impatience, aggressiveness, and stress. While you may have both at the same time, it is more likely a migraine will leads to a mood swing.
What Can I Do about Migraines?
Once you have a migraine, the first thing to do is act as quickly as possible. When you feel it coming on the quicker your response the easier it will be to deal with. Go and find a cool, quiet, and dark place, so you can switch off and relax. Some things to have with you could be:
- Tiger balm. Putting a little on your fingertips and rubbing it on either side of your head can relieve pain.
- Honey. Spoonfuls of honey every 15 minutes are known to relieve migraines.
- Mustard. Getting strong mustard and smelling it is thought to be a way to deal with migraines.
For further information about how to handle mood swings effectively, follow the links below.
- "Adult Mood Swings". The Health Center. www.thehealthcenter.info.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- "Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Molecular Psychiatry. www.psycheducation.org.