Menopause and Headaches – Controlling Menopause Symptoms

by Laura Ramirez on September 8, 2011

Menopause and headaches can be a troublesome symptom for some women. Although women who suffer from migraines usually experience some relief after going through the change of life due to lower levels of estrogen (the hormone that is often blamed for causing migraines in both women and men), all the hormone fluctuations that occur during peri menopause and menopause can actually increase the frequency of headaches even in women who don’t typically have them.

Since some headaches just don’t respond well to over-the-counter medications, and you may not want to climb up the drug pyramid in terms of treating or preventing migraines, it might be time to consider making changes in lifestyle. There are things that you can do to help minimize the incidence of migraines that have to do with making different choices with regard to your diet, fluid intake, lifestyle and learning to use specific relaxation techniques when you feel stressed.

Here’s what one author at 34 Menopause Symptoms has to say about dealing with headaches during the change of life:

Like the many other symptoms of menopause you experience, you may be able to blame an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone for those awful headaches that won’t go away. However, there are many kinds of headaches and many reasons why you could be suffering; sinus headaches induced by exposure to allergens, cluster headaches that are a result of a neurological disorder, or tension headaches that are among the most common and causes aren’t well understood.

If your headaches are a result of hormone imbalance, poor diet will make it harder for your chemicals to find balance. If it’s another cause, unhealthy habits will exacerbate that, too.

menopause and headaches

Menopause and headaches can be relieved with simple lifestyle changes.

Eat a fresh, natural diet. For instance, buy grassfed beef, range chicken and wild-caught fish. Give yourself a palm-sized portion and surround the meat or fish with lots of colorful vegetables. If possible, uncooked veggies are best because vegetables do lose nutrients when cooking. Eat big salads with grilled chicken, steak or seafood. Always begin every meal with a big glass of filtered water. Since dehydration can cause headaches, getting enough water is essential to good health and particularly important as we age, since our ability to recognize that we are dehydrated decreases as we get older.

Get plenty of sleep. Try to establish a regular sleep routine, falling asleep at almost the same time every night. If you have a spouse who likes to fall asleep to the sound of the t.v., urge him to turn it off at a specific time. All those little lights in your room, even when the television is turned off, can affect the quality of your sleep. Make sure your room is comforting and dark. Get rid of piles of paper, computers or anything that conjures stress. Buy blackout shades if you need them. Restful sleep is paramount to preventing headaches and even more important if you suffer from migraines.

Another thing that you can try is to cut down alcohol and caffeine. Since drinks containing these can dehydrate you, cutting down on your consumption or cutting these two things out of your diet completely could prevent headaches before they start. This is somewhat of a paradox since migraine sufferers often find that caffeine stops their migraines. This is why over-the-counter medications like Excedrin Migraine contain caffeine.

Take up meditation. Meditation is a practice of awareness that helps you gain perspective, step outside yourself (including your pain) and bring a calm sense of presence to daily life. It is a life skill that helps you to sidestep the curve balls that life inevitably throws your way. If you don’t know how to meditate, this offers good step-by-step instructions for meditation newbies.

Do you have a tip for dealing with menopause and headaches that are a result of fluctuating hormones? If you’ve found something that works, please share it below.

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