What is Hormonal Headache and Migraine In Brisbane?
Hormonal headache is ranked the top 5 most disabling condition for women in Brisbane QLD.
Hormonal headache is usually referred to as Menstrual Migraine, as it predominantly affects females typically during their menstrual cycle. Menstrual migraine is similar to a normal migraine attack, which usually targets one side of the head or in some cases both sides. Symptoms are usually felt during the time of the menstrual cycle and typically last for approximately 3 days. Females will usually experience moderate to severe throbbing or pulsating like pain, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and smell. They may also experience visual disturbances such as dark or bright coloured spots in their sight, and in some cases temporary vision loss.
What is the cause of Hormonal Headache and Migraine?
Hormonal Headache was originally thought to be due to abnormal levels of hormones throughout the body. During a normal menstrual cycle, oestrogen levels in the body drop. It was previously thought that the drop in oestrogen levels was the cause of hormonal headaches. This was proven false, as several studies have found that the drop in oestrogen levels did not significantly differ from those with hormonal headaches, than those without this condition. Leading experts in this field have found that there is in fact no hormonal abnormalities to trigger hormonal headaches. 1
Recent studies and research have found a common underlying cause for those suffering with hormonal headaches. Studies suggest that those with hormonal headaches all have a common dysfunction, which is a SENSITISED BRAINSTEM. This is a result of a dysfunction in the upper cervical spine where the brainstem is situated. The brainstem filters any information that passes into the brain including hormonal fluctuations in the body. During the menstrual cycle, there is a normal drop in oestrogen level. This information gets passed through the brainstem. Due to the brainstem being affected and hypersensitive, it now incorrectly registers that there is a greater drop in oestrogen levels than normal, and thus alerts the body with pain transferred as a migraine into the head. Hence research shows that if a female suffers from a sensitised brainstem, any normal hormonal changes are now heightened and alerted by the brain. What should be a normal hormonal biological event is now considered as a threat resulting in pain along the trigeminal nerve eliciting a migraine during the menstrual cycle. 2
I’ve already tried everything. What else can be done to help my hormonal headaches?
You may have tried countless of treatment including natural remedies or medicated treatment. These included Hormone Replacement Therapy drugs (HRT), staying on the contraceptive pill to skip the menstrual cycle, or taking lots of natural supplements to try and stop these hormone headaches from developing. The question to ask yourself is, have you had your brainstem assessed to see whether or not the cause is coming from a sensitised brainstem?
At the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic, we utilise world-class techniques in assessing and treating this problem. A thorough examination of the upper cervical spine is initiated to determine the severity of your SENSITISED BRAINSTEM.
If the brainstem is identified as the likely cause of your hormonal headaches, treatment can begin immediately. Once treatment commences we expect a significant improvement to occur rapidly in 90% of our patients with hormonal headache. We expect to observe this within the first 5 treatment consultation.
Watch the video to understand more about hormonal headaches
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1. Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 2001, Vol 3, 2, pp 189-200
2. Ayhan Varlibas and A. Kemal Erdemoglu. Journal of Headache Pain, 2009, 10: 277-282