More Frequent Migraines During Peri-menopause: Study

Menopause and Migraines

Study Shows Increase In Attacks During Menopause Transition (1)

A first of it’s kind study conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Headache and Facial Pain Program shows conclusive proof that there is a recordable increase in the number of migraine episodes in women undergoing peri-menopause.

Peri-menopause is a phase of transitioning menopause. It could begin several months to years before actual menopause and is characterized by the woman experiencing some or all of symptoms such as irregular periods, fatigue, hot flashes, memory lapses, dry vagina, loss of libido, thinning of bones, incontinence, mood swings and breast tenderness etc. (2) All this is caused primarily due to the drop in the levels of female reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

It was seen that headache instances rose during both peri-menopause and menopause when compared to pre-menopause. Pre-menopause was characterized by regular periods. As per Vincent T. Martin, M.D who is a professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, “Ours is the first study to demonstrate that the frequency of migraine attacks increases during the menopausal transition. The results of our study validate the belief by many women that their headaches worsen during the transition into menopause” (3)

Summary of the research study is as follows:

Particulars Numbers Comments
Total Women studied 3,603
Age range (women) 35 -65 years
Group classification
  1. High Frequency >10 episodes a month
  2. Low-Mod frequency < 10 attacks a month
Analysis classification
  1. 34% – premenopausal
  2. 35% – perimenopausal
  3. 30% – menopausal
  4. High Freq was 50-60% more common in perimenpausal and menopausal women

 

According to Richard B. Lipton, M.D., professor of Neurology and director of the Montefiore Headache Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Given that migraines tend to worsen during menstruation, it may seem paradoxical that when periods become irregular during the peri-menopause or absent during menopause that headache become more frequent. We believe that both declining estrogen levels that occur at the time of menstruation as well as low estrogen levels that are encountered during the menopause are triggers of migraine in some women.” (3)

SOURCES

  1. Young Woman Suffering From Headache By Stock Images; FreeDigitalPhotos; Web August 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/young-woman-suffering-from-headache-photo-p171720
  2. Menopause Health Center – Perimenopause; Web MD; Web August 2014; http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/guide-perimenopause
  3. Women with Migraines Experience More Headaches During The Menopausal Transition; Science Daily News; Web August 2014; sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215851.htm

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Stealthy BPA In Your Water Bottle Could Be Giving You That Migraine

Migraine Water Bootle Plastic

Bisphenol A in plastic water bottles and containers found to trigger migraines (1)

Bisphenol A or BPA is a carbon-based synthetic compound and a type of bisphenol that is used in the making of certain plastics and epoxy resins. BPA is known to exhibit hormone mimicking properties when mammals are exposed to it in higher doses but even at lower but sustained exposure to BPA is suspected of causing damage to fetus, infants and the young. Countries of the European Union and Canada have banned the use of BPA in the manufacture of feeding bottles. However, it does go into making plastic containers used for storage in the kitchen and the omnipresent plastic water bottles, plastic microwave trays etc we use every day. It is also found in other products like shower curtains, till receipts etc.

Recently conducted research by University of Kansas on mice showed that such mice as were exposed to BPA every three days exhibited signs of migraines within half an hour of the exposure – becoming almost inactive, keeping away from light or sound, being startled easily and showed signs signalling tenderness in the head region. (2)

Lydia Vermeer, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Berman’s lab said, “We hypothesized that BPA exposure would activate estrogen receptors, exacerbating migraine symptoms.” The hypothesis that BPA mimics the hormone estrogen was confirmed when the researchers found an influx of estrogen levels signalled by the rat brain in the exposed rats.  As per The Mayo Clinic hormone estrogen (as well as progesterone) plays key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy which may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain.

According to the report of the study that was published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, “These results imply that BPA has the ability to amplify symptoms that are used to diagnose the disorder in human patients, suggesting that exposure to BPA would increase both the incidence and prevalence of this disorder.” (3)

As per Dr. Nancy Berman, “This is an entirely new direction for the field of migraine.” (4) The scientists now believe that a change in diet might provide some relief for migraine sufferers, who make more than 68 million visits to physicians’ offices or emergency rooms in the United States each year.

Bisphenol A (BPA) has already been linked to a range of health problems including obesity, infertility and heart attacks.

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Beautiful Woman Drinking Water In Nature; Adamr; freedigitalphotos.net; Web December 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/beautiful-woman-dring-water-in-nature-photo-p219061
  2. Controversial Bisphenol A in water bottles could be causing migraines; News.com.au; Web December 2013; http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/controversial-bisphenol-a-in-water-bottles-could-be-causing-migraines/story-fneuz9ev-1226775854588
  3. Chemical commonly found in plastics makes migraines worse, researchers show; Kansas University Medical Center – News; Web December 2013; http://www.kumc.edu/news-listing-page/researchers-show-connection-between-bisphenol-a-and-migraine.html
  4. To watch the interview with lead researcher Dr. Nancy Berman (PhD: M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts),- Prof. Anatomy and Cell Biology here’s the link on Fox News: http://video.foxnews.com/v/2888723547001/study-finds-possible-link-between-bpa-and-migraine-headaches/?playlist_id=930909749001

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