Cluster Headaches & Menopause: Understanding the Connection
Cluster headaches are a type of headache most commonly associated with men. In fact, men are about five to six times more likely to have cluster headaches than women. But although this is a rare headache that affects only about one or two people out of every 1,000, it is incredibly painful and can affect women as well.
This is especially true among menopausal women, but these headaches are often misdiagnosed.
This article will discuss the cluster headaches menopause relationship and describe why these headaches happen and what causes them. It will also suggest healthy daily habits to adopt that may minimize menopausal women’s risk of cluster headaches or reduce their severity.
Causes of Cluster Headaches Women Experience
Cluster headaches are closely associated with the body’s biological clock, which is one reason why women may experience them during menopause. Women between the ages of 20 and 50 can develop cluster headaches, and common triggers are alcohol and smoking tobacco. Women with a family history of cluster headaches are more likely to experience them during menopause or at other periods of life.
Why Cluster Headaches Occur During Menopause
A woman’s body goes through many hormonal changes during menopause, which can often trigger headaches. However, some women actually experience fewer headaches after entering menopause because of the hormone changes. During the perimenopause phase, migraines and cluster headaches can become worse because of this transitional time. This may be due to estrogen withdrawal in the body, which is why some doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy to women who have frequent headaches.
Diagnosing Cluster Headaches in Women
Cluster headaches in women are diagnosed in much of the same way as in men. A physician will typically conduct a neurological exam to assess brain function and nerve reflexes. Imaging tests may be used, such as a CT scan or MRI. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cluster headaches, so menopausal women must seek treatments that decrease the severity of them or that prevent the attacks.
Healthy Habits to Prevent Menopause Cluster Headaches
If hormones are to blame for an increase in headaches, then it is important to balance out those hormones as a cluster headache prevention strategy. It may help to take magnesium supplements or eat magnesium-rich foods during this time, such as avocados, black beans, and bananas. Vitamin B2 and melatonin may also help to regulate the body and prevent these headaches. Living an active lifestyle and exercising outdoors helps many menopausal women fight headaches, as well as doing deep breathing exercises, using soothing essential oils, and adhering to a consistent sleep schedule.
Vanquish® is indicated for tension headaches. If you have a cluster headache, sinus headache, migraine headache or any other type of headache you may want to consult a doctor.
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