Are Migraines Hormonal?

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.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 15TH, 2014 / Angela A Stanton

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

About Be Healthy

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: "Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access "Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access "Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, subscription is required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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2 Responses to Are Migraines Hormonal?

  1. Headaches in women are tied to shifts in the levels of the female hormone estrogen during menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels drop right before the start of your menstrual flow.


    • Good observation but not the cause of migraines–if it were, all women with estrogen level shift would get migraine and men never would, nor would kids age of 2 or women in their menopause. Here is the reason how hormones are connected to migraines: and this explains it such that it allows for children, men, and post menopausal women to have migraines. It also explain why women have no migraines during pregnancy. Read it and you will realize that we have been misled all this time.


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