Better understanding of migraines and estrogen link

migraines and estrogen linkThere is a known link between migraines and estrogen, but it has never been fully understood. Researchers now are steps closer to better understanding this complex connection between migraines and levels of estrogen.

The new study found that women who suffer severe headaches and migraines experience more dramatic drops in estrogen days prior to menstruation, compared to women who don’t experience headaches.


Study author Dr. Jelena Pavlovic said, “These results suggest that a ‘two-hit’ process may link estrogen withdrawal to menstrual migraine. More rapid estrogen decline may make women vulnerable to common triggers for migraine attacks such as stress, lack of sleep, foods, and wine.”
The researchers looked at urine samples from 114 women with migraines and 233 without migraines. Researchers found that estrogen levels dropped 40 percent in women with migraines prior to menstruation, compared to a 30 percent drop in women without migraines.

Pavlovic added, “Future studies should focus on the relationship between headaches and daily hormone changes and explore the possible underpinnings of these results.”

Migraines are more common amongst women than men, and roughly 12 percent of Americans suffer from the condition.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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