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Study: Migraines Get Worse for Women Approaching Menopause

Women who manage migraines face an uphill battle against the condition — especially during perimenopause.

A new study reveals that migraines do get worse for women who approach menopause later in life. The findings, doctors say, backs up testimonial evidence from patients who continually tell doctors how their headaches have become worse as they get older.

Hormone Levels Play a Role

The study, published in the journal Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, examined almost 4,000 women from the ages of 35 to 65. Based on their menstrual cycles, the women were placed in one of either three groups: pre-menopause, peri-menopause or menopause.

Researchers say that compared to the pre-menopausal candidates, the peri-menopausal women were 60% more likely to get more than 10 days of headaches within a single month.

The reason for the increase? Decreasing levels of estrogen.

“Changes in female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that occur during the perimenopause might trigger increased headaches during this time,” says Richard Lipton, director at the Montefiore Headache Center.

Pain Medication Overuse

Dr. Martin believes another factor is the increased use of pain killers, saying, “Women, as they get older, develop a lot of aches and pains, joints and back pain and it is possible their overuse of pain medications for headache and other conditions might actually drive an increase in headaches for the menopause group.”

There are many ways to manage migraines. Pasadena Pain Management recommends tracking the triggers. Write them down in a migraine journal and keep an eye on patterns that reveal sensitivity to light or a particular food.

Another tip: Get enough sleep. The Mayo Clinic suggests establishing a regular routine, even during weekends.

Certainly, persistent migraines require medical attention as there could be an underlying cause of the pain — such clenching teeth, or TMJ inflammation.

Gentle, Effective Treatment for Migraines, Headaches, and other Head Pain

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.