Headaches and Migraines: Top Tips
Updated: Mar 22, 2020
Menopause can affect your headaches in several ways. The effects can be different for every woman, so it’s unlikely that you will experience the same changes as someone else.
Migraine headaches heat up as women approach menopause, according to a 2016 study. The risk for high-frequency headache, or more than 10 days with headache per month, increased by 60 percent in middle-aged women with migraine during perimenopause as compared to normally cycling women.
Oestrogen withdrawal is a common trigger. This is why headaches can be worse around menstruation. Consequently, if your headaches are hormonal in nature, you may find relief after menopause. This may mean that you have less headaches or less severe headaches. This is because your hormone levels stay low, with little fluctuation, after your period stops for good and your hormonal balance is restored.
On the other hand, some women have more frequent or worse headaches during perimenopause. It’s unfortunately, even possible for women who have never had problems with hormonal headaches to start having headaches during this time.
Migraines are a subtype of headache. Characterised by throbbing pain and sensitivity to light and sound they are typically the most debilitating in nature.
Here are our top tips on how to manage headaches and migraines naturally:
Increase your water intake to eight medium size glass per day of good quality water
Consider taking supplements such as Vitamin B-2, butterbur, and magnesium which can help with headache prevention. Vitamin D and Coenzyme Q10 may also be beneficial
Try drinking warm filtered water with fresh lemon every morning to help support your liver
Eat regularly, every three hours if possible and don’t miss meals
Acupuncture has a wide variety of uses and make be helpful for you
Try to establish which food(s) ‘trigger’ your headaches, such as chocolate, alcohol, dairy, citrus fruits, nuts, some beans, MSG, processed meats, artificial sweeteners and avoid where possible
Increase the amount of whole grains in your diet such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, and pasta
Reduce your intake of salt, caffeine, cheese, and alcohol (particularly red wine)
Incorporate gentle physical activity into your life such as yoga, pilates, or swimming, but be sure to warm up slowly!
Try using Peppermint or Lavender aromatherapy oil in your bath or on your pillow whenever you feel a headache or migraine coming on
Establish a regular relaxation practice such as a visualisation, meditation, listening to music, or a long soak in a warm, candle-lit bath. There are a number of hypnosis and meditation sessions available online
Remember that symptoms can change over the course of the menopause, and that help is always at hand - speak to your GP for a prescription or one of alina’s clinical menopause specialists if your headaches are unbearable or significantly impacting your quality of life.