Definition of Menopause Headaches
Headaches that cause persistent pain, pressure and tension in the head due to hormonal imbalances and their related symptoms are considered menopausal headaches.
Symptoms of Menopause Headaches
Symptoms of menopause headaches may vary by the type of headache that occurs. Common symptoms include a surging, pulsating pain in the head and throbbing in the forehead or temples.
Menopause headaches can occur in one of three varieties, including migraine, tension and sinus headaches, each with its own unique symptoms.
Tension across the forehead
Sensitivity to sound
Menopause Migraine Headache Symptoms
Menopause migraines are often the most intense and longest type of menopause headache, causing hours, sometimes even days, of throbbing pressure within the head and across the forehead or face. Menopause migraines often involve pain that begins within a single confined region and spreads throughout the head, tthough pervasive headaches can also occur during menopause.
Migraines that occur during menopause may also include sensory sensitivity, including worsening of pain or the occurrence of nausea with offending lights, sounds and smells. In some cases, menopause migraines may also cause perspiration, tension in the extremities, and pain behind the eyes. Sometimes, vision may also become affected, causing “halos” or “auras” to appear around the perimeter of objects.
Menopause Tension Headache Symptoms
Tension headaches can also occur during menopause. In fact, almost 9 out of 10 women will experience tension headaches during their lives. Though tension headaches tend to be less severe than migraines, symptoms can include moderate pain, tightness across the forehead, and tension in the neck and behind the head.
Menopause Sinus Headache Symptoms
Sinus headaches, also common during menopause, involve clogged sinus cavities. Women may find themselves experiencing facial pressure and aches, particularly around the nose and eyes, and nasal congestion.
Causes of Menopause Headaches
Hormonal changes that occur during menopause cause menopause headaches to occur. Estrogen levels that rise too high or fall too low can lead to the development of menopause headaches. In fact, estrogen levels that elevate and then crash may cause particularly intense headaches to occur. Blood vessels dilate as estrogen levels rise, only to constrict as progesterone levels fluctuate, resulting in tension within the head.
Certain factors may worsen menopause headaches, such as strong external stimuli like harsh lights, loud sounds, or unpleasant odors - particularly during menopause migraines. Psychological stress, seasonal or food allergies and insomnia may also exacerbate menopause headaches. Lifestyle factors such as alcohol intake, caffeine levels, and hunger also cause headaches to worsen.
Menopause Headaches Treatments
Some menopause headaches may simply be treated by over-the-counter medications. Prescription migraine medication may also be taken for relief during episodes of menopause migraines. Small amounts of caffeine or pressure between the thumb and forefinger may be effective in alleviating migraine pressure temporarily. Sinus headaches may require allergy medication or antibiotics to treat if sinus infections are present.
Lifestyle changes, such as the removal of environmental triggers or avoidance of foods that cause allergic reactions, may help assuage recurrent headaches. Some women find that lowering psychological stress through exercise, relaxation techniques or yoga are helpful in combating headaches during menopause, as well.
To eliminate recurrent headaches and migraines during menopause, however, the underlying hormonal imbalances responsible for menopause headaches must be resolved. Amberen provides the body with the means to regulate its own hormones naturally, without the added health risks of hormone replacement therapy. Once the body's hormones turn to a state of natural balance, menopause headaches can be alleviated and prevented.
Menopause Headaches FAQs
Q: When should I consult my physician about headaches that occur during menopause?
A: Menopause headaches that are particularly severe, gradually worsening or occur upon waking should be mentioned to your physician. If you experience headaches that are accompanied by neck stiffness and fever, disorientation, severe nausea or muscular weakness, seek medical attention immediately, as other health conditions may be involved.
Risks of Menopause Headaches
In general, menopause headaches can cause fatigue, muscular tension, insomnia, and irritability if left untreated. In cases of menopause migraines, women may also experience nausea, weight changes due to appetite loss, and vision disturbances. Productivity may be affected by lack of focus, worsening of memory lapses, and inability to concentrate.