The last article on the migraine series is out. This one discusses the connection (if there is any) of hormones and migraines. Here is the start but head to read the whole article by clicking on read more after the introduction here.
MIGRAINES AND HORMONES: BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Before puberty, migraines are three times more frequent in males than in females but after puberty the tides turn and females are more likely to suffer from migraines than males. An Oxford study found that females are twice as likely to have migraines and that
“brains are deferentially affected by migraine in females compared with males. Furthermore, the results also support the notion that sex differences involve both brain structure as well as functional circuits, in that emotional circuitry compared with sensory processing appears involved to a greater degree in female than male migraineurs.”
The overwhelming belief is that the connection is clear: the hormones kick in for women at puberty and that must be the reason. This begs the questions: 1) Do males have the same hormonal problems before puberty as females do after puberty? If hormones are at root of the problems, then there must be some similarities, right? 2) If female hormones are responsible for migraines, do all females have migraines when they reach puberty? 3) Do migraines cease when hormones stop changing after menopause? 4) What about pregnancy or postpartum, how do hormones impact women then? And finally, 5) Do men stop having migraines after puberty?
Some of the answers to these questions will surprise you and may make you wonder if hormones have anything to do with migraines at all. In this post, I show you that while there are some connections between hormones and migraine they might not be the primary drivers of migraine. The relationship between hormones and migraine is not in the presence of hormonal changes but what those changes require in terms of brain energy, the lack of which causes migraines… read more