Migraine headaches have the potential to be a serious impediment to women undergoing the changes of menopause. As they can occur with varying degrees of intensity and duration, migraine headaches can range from a mild nuisance to a debilitating injury. Migraine headaches are closely linked to a woman's hormones; as a result they experience five times as many migraines as men. An estimated 30% of women experience migraine headaches before menopause, and that percentage only increases during the time of menopause. Read on to learn more about migraine headaches, their types and their symptoms to be better equipped to identify them, aiding in their treatment.
About Migraine Headaches
While women may experience migraine headaches in many forms, and as the experience is never the same for every woman, there are basic standards that make them stand out from a mere headache. Types of migraines may vary.
Generally speaking, a migraine headache is a recurrent, throbbing headache generally felt on one side of the head but it may possibly occur on both sides. It can last anywhere from one or two hours up to three days.
In addition, symptoms of migraine headaches can involve bodily symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. There is a wide range of possible symptoms a woman may experience along with the head pain itself.
In order to distinguish between a normal headache and the more severe migraine, it helps to identify the common symptoms of migraine headaches.
Symptoms of Migraine Headaches
Throbbing, pulsating pain in the head
Intensification of pain by routine physical activity, coughing, straining, or lowering the head
Tired and weak feeling
Pain may be in one spot or generalized
Pain may last only a few minutes or over 24 hours
Nausea and vomiting
Sensitivity to light, sound, and odor
Sweaty hands and feet
Types of Migraine Headaches
There are various types of migraine headaches. Some women might be familiar with menstrual migraines. These migraines are hormone-related and are sparked on the first day or two of menstruation and recede once menstruation has concluded. Other types of migraine headaches may affect women before and during menopause. Keep reading below to learn more about these varieties of migraine headaches.
Common Types of Migraines during Menopause
Migraines with aura start with a neurological phenomenon (aura) experienced about half an hour before head pain arrives. Most auras are experienced visually, characterized by bright, shimmering lights around objects or at the edges of the field of vision (called scintillating scotomas), zigzag lines, castles (teichopsia), wavy images, or hallucinations. Some migraine-with-aura sufferers experience temporary vision loss. Nonvisual auras include motor weakness, speech or language abnormalities, dizziness, vertigo, and tingling or numbness (parasthesia) of the face, tongue, or extremities.
Migraines without aura are the most common type of migraine headache and can occur on one side or both sides of the head. Fatigue or mood swings may occur 24 hours before the headache. Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light (photophobia) often accompany migraines without aura.
Migraines are caused oftentimes during menopause by the same hormonal changes that cause other types of headaches. Click on the following link to learn more about the causes of migraine headaches.
Many women will experience headaches of different types during menopause. Find out about various headache types and find answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions. Possible triggers such as caffeine and loud noises are highlighted, as well as various treatment options to consider. These include lifestyle changes and acupuncture. More severe cases should always be discussed with a doctor.
Hormone levels can cause headaches in women during menopause, though there are simple and natural ways to relieve pain from headaches which will remove the need for over the counter drugs, some of which can have side effects. Learn simple ways to help ease headaches during menopause, such as staying hydrated and taking a short nap.