The hormonal imbalance that develops during menopause causes a wild array of uncomfortable symptoms like headaches, mood swings, irregular periods, joint aches or hot flashes. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone are usually to blame for menopausal headaches. However, headaches experienced during menopause may not simply arise from just a hormonal imbalance. There are different types of headaches, and therefore many possible culprits. Sinus headaches, for example, occur because of an allergic reaction, cluster headaches are caused by a neurological condition, and tension headaches, though incredibly common, are mostly not understood.
It is very easy to simply blame a hormonal imbalance that you are not in control of for your menopausal headaches, but lifestyle choices may actually be promoting the occurrence of these headaches. If you wish to decrease the frequency and intensity of the headaches that afflict you during menopause, you must implement several simple lifestyle alterations and daily routine. Dietary choices and physical activity are among the most influential factors upon menopausal headaches.
Instigators of Menopausal Headaches
Unhealthy diet or lack of adequate nutrition
If your headaches are occurring as a result of the hormonal imbalance that develops during menopause, a diet lacking in essential nutrients and vitamins will promote these headaches. A balanced diet of all food groups should be ea ten to minimize menopausal headaches.
Lack of regular exercise
If you do not perform physical activity often, your neck and shoulder areas can accumulate a vast amount of unrelieved tension, often triggering headaches. Exercise not only helps to relieve physical accumulated stress, but it also a great way to relieve the emotional stress gathered throughout the day.
Surplus of stress
Stress itself is a major contributor to menopausal headaches. Anxious or depressed emotional states, when combined with stressful events and the regular tension of the day, can cause day-long headaches that never seem to cease.
Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
Both caffeine and alcohol inhibit the absorption of water by the body. Dehydration can be a major culprit of menopausal headaches. Try replacing your daily caffeine or alcohol with a tall glass of water to help reduce headaches.
An inadequate amount of sleep
Not receiving enough sleep during menopause is an unfortunately common occurrence for women transitioning through middle life. Hot flashes and night sweats often inhibit ceaseless sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and exhausted the following morning. Fatigue during the day only tempts you to consume caffeine, which not only promotes headaches but also causes a “crash”, leaving you even more fatigued than before. To promote sleep, try natural sleep aids or relaxation techniques shortly before bed to ease stress and embrace slumber.
Not enough water throughout the day
Most experts recommend at least eight glasses of water each day. This is especially important for menopausal women, as a lack of proper hydration can greatly increase the occurrence of many symptoms of menopause, including headaches. Staying adequately hydrated throughout the entire day will not only promote a decrease in menopausal headaches, but it will also promote general well-being and healthiness.