A closer look at the headaches in women symptoms, in perimenopause, how they feel like, hormone imbalance, during period, pregnancy, relief and after period
Hormonal headaches symptoms
Headaches in women can be brought about by several factors, including genetics and dietary triggers. In women, fluctuating hormone levels are the major contributing factor in the chronic headaches and also the menstrual migraines.
Hormone levels change during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, as well as menopause, and are affected by the oral contraceptives and also the hormone replacement therapies.
A variety of medications and treatments are used so as to relieve headaches. Women who have the hormonal headaches find relief during pregnancy or on reaching menopause.
The main characteristic of the hormonal headache is a headache or even the migraine. Still, most of the women experience other symptoms that might assist doctors diagnose them using a hormonal headache.
Menstrual or even the hormonal migraines are much similar to the regular migraine and might or might not be preceded by an aura. The migraine is a hard throbbing pain which starts on one side of head. It might also involve sensitivity to the light and also nausea or vomiting.
Other symptoms of the hormonal headaches in women include:
- loss of appetite
- decreased urination
- cravings for alcohol, salt, or chocolate
Hormonal headaches in perimenopause
Menopause usually marks the official end of the woman’s fertility. It’s a natural process which generally occurs between the ages of 46 and 55. When you’ve missed a year’s worth of periods, you’re going through menopause.
The time leading to the period of menopause is known as perimenopause. This could last for several months or years. Perimenopause is normally associated with several different symptoms. This includes:
- vaginal dryness
- night sweats
- thinning hair
It’s possible, to have a completely normal menstrual cycle up until the day that the period stops entirely. More often than not, you’ll have a normal period some months and then skip the period other months. This is due to the hormonal fluctuations in your body.
As you approach menopause, the estrogen levels decline, though this might occur in an irregular fashion. Your body will produce less progesterone and also testosterone than in the previous years. These particular hormonal fluctuations may affect your headaches.
Menopause might affect the headaches in many ways. The effects may be different for every given woman, so you might not experience the same changes as someone else.
If headaches are hormonal in nature, you might find relief after the menopause. This might imply that you have less headaches. This is due to the fact that your hormone levels stay low, with very little fluctuation, after period stops for good.
On the other hand, some other women have more frequent or even worse headaches during the period of perimenopause. It’s even possible for the women who have never had problems with their hormonal headaches so as to start having headaches during this period.
What do hormonal headaches feel like?
Migraines are a subtype of the headaches in women. They’re usually the most debilitating in nature. They’re characterized by throbbing pain on one side of head, and also sensitivity to light or sound.
Estrogen withdrawal is a very common trigger. This is the reason why headaches might be worse around menstruation. The same hormone — or lack thereof — which gives women relief from migraines after menopause might lead to more headaches in months leading up to it.
That’s because hormone levels like estrogen and also the progesterone decline during perimenopause. This decline isn’t always consistent, so women who have headaches related to monthly menstrual cycle might have more headaches during the period of perimenopause. It’s also common to experience more severe headaches during this period of time.
Hormone imbalance headaches
Briefly, here’s how hormones work as per the body’s pain response: When we have any type of dysfunction, or trauma, our body reacts at a very cellular level. The affected cells, which might happen anywhere throughout the body, can become damaged or even at least stressed.
These damaged or even stressed cells secrete hormones like serotonin and histamines so as to induce a pain response in nerve endings. Other hormones enhance the nerve endings’ sensitivity to the pain. Neuro-transmitters serve as the chemical messengers which carry the painful sensation to brain, crossing over the synapses between nerve cells.
The body’s normal biochemical reaction to the pain is producing naturally occurring pain-relieving hormones so as to block the neurotransmitters, thus preventing the pain signals from reaching the brain. (It is interesting that people suffering from chronic migraine pain also tend to have less beta-endorphin, the primary natural pain-relieving hormone that is flowing throughout the central nervous system.)
As this particular description implies, hormones are not actual cause of headache pain, or any other given type of pain, but part of complex biochemical chain reaction by which the body processes that pain.
The pituitary is sometimes known as “the master gland” as it produces most of the hormones that control other glands. Pituitary hormones which have been linked to the headaches in women including the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), adrenal-cortexstimulating hormone (ACTH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and also prolactin.
Thyroid hormones are very crucial in function of nearly every aspect of the body. The three thyroid hormones often associated with the headaches in women are triiodothyronine, and calcitonin.
With either an insufficiency or even an overproduction of the hormones, chronic headaches might result, as well as lots of other serious health problems, which is the reason why it is so crucial to talk with the healthcare practitioner if you suffer from the chronic headaches. Continuous, prolonged headaches or migraines are one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The adrenal glands synthesize over 40 different hormones, which includes stress hormones (like adrenaline and also noradrenaline), sex hormones (like progesterone and estrogens), glucocorticoids (like cortisol and cortisone), and others.
Most notably, adrenal hormones usually trigger the “fight or flight” response when we are frightened. They are also essential for good metabolism of proteins, and sugar, and for maintaining of the fluid balance and also the glucose levels, among other things.
Terrible headaches during my period
Women who suffer migraines three times frequently than men do; and, the menstrual migraines affect 60 percent of the women. They happen before, during or even immediately after the period, or even during ovulation.
While it is not the only hormonal culprit, serotonin is the primary hormonal trigger in everyone’s headache. Some of the researchers also believe that migraine is an inherited disorder which somehow affects the way serotonin is metabolized in our body. But, for the women, it is also the way the serotonin interacts with the uniquely female hormones.
Menstrual headaches in women are primarily brought about by estrogen, the female sex hormone which specifically regulates menstrual cycle fluctuations throughout the cycle. When levels of estrogen and progesterone change, women can be more vulnerable to the headaches.
Because of the oral contraceptives influencing estrogen levels, women on birth control pills might experience more menstrual migraines.
The menstrual migraine’s symptoms are much similar to the migraine without aura. It starts as a one-sided, throbbing headache which is accompanied by nausea, or sensitivity to bright lights and sounds. An aura might precede the menstrual migraine.
Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Headaches
The PMS headache happens before the period and is usually associated with several symptoms that distinguish it from typical menstrual headache. The symptoms including the headache pain that is accompanied by fatigue, joint pain, decreased urination and lack of coordination. You might also experience an increase in the appetite and also a craving for chocolate, or alcohol.
Hormone headaches pregnancy
The primary culprit is, the hormonal changes you’re going through. Other causes of headaches in women can be pregnancy fatigue, tension, increased hunger during pregnancy, physical or emotional stress (double ditto), sinus congestion or allergies(you’re more susceptible when pregnant), overheating – or a combination of any or all of these.
Most of the women, even those women who haven’t experienced several everyday headaches, will get them during the period of pregnancy. The vast majority of pregnancy headaches are normally a pain — but not serious or anything to worry about.
But if headaches in women persist for more than three hours or you have several other symptoms (fever, sudden dramatic weight gain, or even the puffiness in face or hands), call the practitioner.
There are several other pregnancy-safe steps you can take so as to prevent and also battle the most common pregnancy headaches in women:
- For tension headaches and migraines: Spend some minutes lying in a dark, quiet room. If you’re at work, try to close the eyes and then put your feet up for 20 minutes. Or put an icepack or cold compress on the back of neck for 30 minutes while you relax.
- For sinus headaches: Try steam inhalation so as to relieve congestion and use a humidifier to add moisture to air. You may also apply hot and cold compresses the achy spot, alternating 30 seconds of each for a total of 15 minutes, three times a day.
Drinking lots of fluids will also get the mucus flowing. And check with the doctor so as to see if a sinus infection might be causing headaches or if there’s a safe nasal decongestant you use.
- For all headaches. While you can’t take the ibuprofen (and it’s best to talk to the doctor before taking some aspirin when you’re pregnant), acetaminophen can bring relief and is also considered safe for pregnancy – just be very sure to check with the practitioner for the right dosage. Never take pain medication – over-the-counter or not – without talking to the doctor first.
PMS headache relief
If you have some regular periods, menstrual migraines might be eased by taking some extra oestrogen before the period is due and for a few days during the period.
A doctor has to prescribe oestrogen supplements, which might be a gel to rub into the skin or even a patch to stick on.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-migraine medicines for you taking around the time of your period. These don’t have hormones, but they might assist to stop the headaches that are developing. They include tablets known as triptans and a type of painkiller known as mefenamic acid.
Continuous contraceptive pills
Talk to doctor if you think the contraceptive pills are making headaches worse. If you have the headaches during the days you don’t take pills, you may avoid the sudden fall in the levels of oestrogen by taking several packs continuously without having a break.
Hormone replacement therapy
The hormone changes which occur as women approach the menopause imply that all types of headache, which includes migraines, become more common.
Headache after period
One possible culprit of the headache after periods is having anemia. That is, if you had a very heavy period, you might be running low on iron and also the red blood cells. Anemia may leave you feeling washed out and also fatigued, and thus make you to be more prone to tension headaches as circulation through the neck and also the shoulders takes a hit.
Tension headaches in women may be quite debilitating, but full-blown menstrual migraines are another different matter altogether.
Unlike the pain of a tension headache, migraines are normally accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, and sensitivity to light and also noise. If this sounds like you after a period, it’s possible that you might be dealing with underlying hormone imbalance.
- Are Headaches a Symptom of Menopause: http://www.healthline.com/health/menopause-headaches#overview1
- Headaches & Hormones: https://www.womensinternational.com/connections/headaches-and-hormones/
- Menstrual Migraine: http://www.headaches.org/2007/10/25/menstrual-migraine/
- Headaches During Pregnancy: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/headaches-during-pregnancy.aspx
- Hormone headaches: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/headaches/Pages/Hormonalheadaches.aspx
- Headache After Periods: Causes and Treatment: https://baby-pedia.com/headache-after-periods/
- Hormonal Headaches: Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and More: http://www.healthline.com/health/hormonal-headaches#overview1