Menopause brings with it many different symptoms. Some of these are simply an annoyance while others are overwhelming, which can be the case with menopause and headache. For many people, they will experience what is known as a peri-menopausal migraine. Typically, this will get better as the woman ages. However, studies show that for about 47% of all women heading into the change, headaches and menopause will go hand in hand.
It is believed that these menopause headaches flare up secondary to a fluctuation in estrogen levels. To make matters worse, many times estrogen replacement therapy can make the migraine worse or it might make it better but the woman will not know until it happens.
Headaches and Menopause – What are Your Options?
The good news is that for headache and menopause, there are many great options that can help. For starters, a woman may try naturalistic remedies such as acupuncture. With this, women state that while standard forms of medication did not work, acupuncture works very well.
In addition, the woman should avoid certain foods that are known to trigger menopause and headache. As an example, MSG, which is a food preservative found most commonly in Asian food, alcohol, chocolate, and tyramines are all problems. Other triggers would include increases levels of stress and not getting enough sleep.
Another option for menopause and headache would be to try biofeedback. Learning how to understand triggers for headaches is a key in stopping them. Biofeedback does just that by teaching a woman to recognize what she needs to do and not do while going through the change of life.
Relaxation therapies have also shown to be very beneficial, such as deep breathing techniques, yoga, and so no. Other options for controlling headaches would include some forms of physical therapy, massage therapy, or working with a pain management doctor for occipital nerve blocks.
Remember, it is common for a woman in menopause to battle with headaches. She should never skip a meal, eat a healthy diet, and avoid exertion. Many times, lying down in a quiet room for a while is enough to bring the headache under control.
Don’t forget to Talk to Your Doctor!
However, if she still cannot get the headache to stop or is continually experiencing menopause headaches, then she should talk to her doctor about possible medications. Keep in mind that while headaches and menopause do go hand-in-hand, a headache could also be the sign of something seriously wrong. Therefore, if the headache continues, it should not be assumed that it is menopause only.
If the doctor chooses to treat with medication, she may be given antibiotics, since infection of some kind could be an underlying problem, H2 blocker, hormones, NSAIDS, Vasodilators, Antihypertensives, antidepressants, and several others.
Typically, 90% of all headaches to be associated with menopause would occur within 48 hours to the start of a menstrual cycle. However, just 14% of women experiencing headache have them exclusively to menopause. Therefore, while this is a symptom, it is not one of the more common ones and it is very treatable.