A new study is showing a strong link between women who suffer migraines and experience severe hot flashes during menopause. The combo may also boost the risk for heart disease.
The study also found that migraines don’t cause more or worse hot flashes or the other way around. Instead, it’s believed they are both related to something called neuromuscular dysregulation.
Neuromuscular dysregulation is changing blood vessels that alter blood supply. It’s a hallmark of heart disease when it affects the blood supply to the heart. It may affect migraines and hot flashes by impacting blood flow to the head and throughout the body.
These changes may be the common denominator between severe menopause symptoms, migraine headaches, and cardiovascular disease.
The study looked at more than 3,000 women with an average age of 53. Twenty-seven percent had a history of migraines.
Identifying at-risk women to find treatment and prevention strategies was the point of the study, while also suggesting that these symptoms should be considered heart disease risk factors and treated accordingly.
Various treatments to prevent heart disease include lifestyle, like diet and exercise, as well as medical.
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can help women with strong menopause symptoms. It’s worth discussing with your doctor if severe hot flashes and migraines are impacting your life.
Some experts suggest other ways of managing symptoms, including loose-fitting clothing, staying adequately hydrated, dressing in easily removable layers, or even carrying a small fan. These suggestions, however, act more as a band-aid are unlikely to help those with severe symptoms.
Migraine headaches don’t really have any bonafide treatments, either. If you recognize specific triggers, you can attempt to control exposure. Otherwise, management is more reactive in nature.
Speak with a doctor about what may work best for your particular experience.