Hor­monal changes

Prevention (Australia) - - Breakthrough Health -

Re­search shows that in ado­les­cents and adults, mi­graines dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect women. Shifts in hor­mones dur­ing the years of men­stru­a­tion, preg­nancy, per­i­menopause and menopause can be trig­gers, which helps ex­plain why twice as many women as men suf­fer. Hor­mone re­place­ment ther­apy is an op­tion but Su­san Davis, pro­fes­sor of women’s health in the School of Pub­lic Health and Pre­ven­ta­tive Medicine at Monash Univer­sity, says that women with menopausal symp­toms and mi­graine need to be eval­u­ated care­fully be­fore us­ing it.

“Some women ex­pe­ri­ence wors­en­ing of their mi­graines at menopause when oe­stro­gen lev­els fall, whereas other women re­port less­en­ing of mi­graine symp­toms after menopause,”

Davis ex­plains.

“Be­fore tak­ing HRT they should talk to their doc­tor about their in­di­vid­ual risk fac­tors for mi­graine and stroke.” Fluc­tu­a­tions in oe­stro­gen lev­els can make symp­toms worse, so Davis of­ten starts her pa­tients on a low dose of trans­der­mal oestra­diol (an HRT as a patch or a gel) to see if symp­toms im­prove, stay the same, or worsen.

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