What is Hormonal Headache?
Hormonal Migraine, also referred to as Menstrual Migraine, is a common disabling condition for women on the Gold Coast. 60% of female migraineurs are likely to experience a migraine with their monthly period, while 14% will exclusively experience their headaches at this time .
As with other types of migraine, symptoms generally include a moderate-severe, pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head. They can also include associated symptoms, such as; sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea or vomiting and visual disturbances or loss. With a Hormonal Migraine, the symptoms occur during the monthly menstrual cycle, and can last up to three days.
What causes a Hormonal Headache?
Originally, changes and fluctuations in oestrogen levels during the monthly cycles was to blame for Hormonal Headaches. However, studies have recently shown that there is no difference in hormone fluctuations, when compared between migraineurs and non-sufferers. Also detracting from this theory, research has shown very little success at treating menstrual migraines with medication or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This suggests that there must be another reason for these headaches.
The most recent migraine research points to a sensitised Trigeminal Cervical Nucleus (TCN) as a primary contributing factor for these headaches. The sensitised TCN may detect these normal fluctuations of oestrogen incorrectly, triggering a headache in reaction . The TCN, located in the brainstem, can become sensitised by its connection to a dysfunctional cervical spine, and the afferent nerves that communicate between the two. It is then, the interpretation of perceived threat of these oestrogen changes, by the brainstem, that is the cause of Hormonal Migraines [1, 2].
I’ve done it all, is there anything else that can help me?
Most of our patients, who suffer from Hormonal Headaches, have tried every type of treatment they can find. They often report trying; HRT, contraceptive pill changes, dietary changes, and some have even tried surgical intervention. Sometimes these measures have worked, but often they are short-lived or ineffective. We now know that this is because these treatments aren’t trying to treat the cause of your Hormonal Migraines. Getting an assessment, to see whether problems in your cervical spine and a sensitised brainstem are the cause should be your next step.
At The Headache and Migraine Clinic, we specifically assess the cervical spine and your brainstem, according to the latest research to see if they are the cause of your headaches. If we can prove that this is the case, then we can start treatment immediately and we would expect results within 5-6 sessions, as we do with 85-90% of our patients. The best part is that our treatment is gentle, safe, non-invasive and medication-free.