There are two people close to me in my life who have suffered terribly with migraines during their perimenopausal years.
My sister has always had migraines, but since she has entered perimenopause, they seem hormonally linked to her (now irregular) periods. These are the kinds of headaches that sometimes respond to her medication and other times do not. They can last a day or two, and leave her feeling hungover when they're gone. She has three small children, so cocooning in a dark, quiet room isn't really an option for her.
And my best friend never had migraines until perimenopause, but once she started, they have come furiously and (very often) close together. It's not uncommon for her to have several horrible migraine headaches in a month. She has been working with her doctor (and with various specialists) for more than two years now, but still feels like it's a rare 10 days that go by without a migraine. She keeps a migraine journal, watches what she eats, works out, has medicine and has tried various forms of natural remedies (acupuncture, for instance), but has not found the key to keeping them at bay.
Discovery Health offers this:
"Migraine headaches have an unusual relationship to the menopausal transition. Some women who have suffered with migraines their whole life find they no longer have them when they reach this phase, while other women who have never had migraines begin to have them during perimenopause."
And the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke adds this:
"The relationship between female hormones and migraine is still unclear. Women may have "menstrual migraine" - headaches around the time of their menstrual period - which may disappear during pregnancy. Other women develop migraine for the first time when they are pregnant. Some are first affected after menopause. The effect of oral contraceptives on headaches is perplexing. Scientists report that some women with migraine who take birth control pills experience more frequent and severe attacks. However, a small percentage of women have fewer and less severe migraine headaches when they take birth control pills. And normal women who do not suffer from headaches may develop migraines as a side effect when they use oral contraceptives. Investigators around the world are studying hormonal changes in women with migraine in the hope of identifying the specific ways these naturally occurring chemicals cause headaches."
So I guess we wait. If you have dealt with perimenopausal migraines, how do you cope?
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