How to Survive Menopause Migraines
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How to Survive Menopause Migraines

Menopause migraines are caused by a sudden or gradual reduction in reproductive hormone levels. There is only one proven cure for pain relief.

Menopause migraines occur when estrogen and progesterone levels drop below normal during menopause. Some women suffer from menopause migraines gradually as the female body moves through a slow, reduction in reproductive hormones with age. Other women are forced into instant menopause because of a surgical intervention such as a hysterectomy. Whether menopause migraines are associated with natural or surgical menopause will not matter when migraines begin.

Symptoms of Menopause Migraines

Menopause migraines present with the same symptoms as traditional migraines. Sensitivity to light, irritability and nausea are common. Unlike the typical migraine, pain is often associated with diminished estrogen and progesterone levels common during menopause. Over the counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may help curb pain briefly, pain may return within two to four hours after taking over the counter pain relievers.

Natural menopause is characterized by a gradual reduction in reproductive hormones. Women nearing their 50s may note changes in vaginal lubrication, mood and headaches early on, but attribute symptoms to aging. In some cases, menopause migraines are diagnosed as another form of migraine and treated as such. Commonly prescribed migraine medications may help ease pain, but they will not cure the root cause of menopause migraines.

Surgical Menopause and Menopause Migraines

Women going through surgical menopause may not have the benefit of a gradual process of increasing pain associated with other menopause symptoms. Typically, women are given hormone replacement therapy immediately after the removal of ovaries to prevent menopause symptoms from setting in. Once home, they have the option of continuing hormone replacement therapy or attempting to treat menopause symptoms naturally with homeopathic herbs or supplements.

There is only one known cure for menopause migraines – hormone replacement therapy. Natural replacement of hormones is not a perfectly science though some women report finding relief from supplements like black cohosh. These supplements are not reviewed, studied or approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. There are also very few clinical studies supporting the use of supplements and herbs like black cohosh for alternative relief of menopause symptoms other than hot flashes and mood changes.

Reducing Cancer Risk Associated with Hormone Replacement Therapy

For women who are post menopausal, gynecologists can prescribe the lowest dose of estrogen as a starter dose. This can reduce the risk of cancer and other side effects of hormone replacement therapy. Older women tend to have lesser risk due to the length of time spent on hormone replacement therapy. Younger women who have gone through surgical menopause can spend 25 years or more, depending on the woman’s age when the hysterectomy was performed. The younger the patient, the more apt the gynecologist will be to start hormone replacement therapy at the lowest possible dose. Relief from menopause migraines can take as little as 30 to 45 minutes after hormone replacement therapy has begun.

An alternative option to hormone replacement therapy is weight loss. Fat cells store estrogen. When fat is used for energy, as is the case during weight loss, the estrogen is released into the bloodstream and thus may reduce the pain from menopause migraines.


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