According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is the 3rd most prevalent and 6th most disabling disease in the world.1 More women than men suffer from these headaches. In fact, the ratio of female to male is 3:1. It is known that a variety of triggers can lead to migraines, but the causes are not clearly understood. Even so, it is commonly accepted that both genetics and environmental influences play important roles in who is predisposed to getting migraines.
The Connection between Women’s Hormones and Migraine Headaches
Hormonal changes in women are a frequent trigger for those susceptible to migraine attacks. This happens when estrogen levels drop during the menstrual cycle and menopause, or when they fluctuate wildly as they do in perimenopause. Women have been voicing this to doctors for many years, saying their migraines coincide with their menstrual cycles and that they seem to get worse during perimenopause and menopause. Research simply wasn’t abundant enough to back them up. Science is finally catching up. A review of current literature published in 2014 found that: 1) women were more likely than men to suffer from migraines; 2) that considerable evidence supports an important role for sex hormones, and 3) that women’s migraines tended to be precipitated by drops in estrogen concentrations, and minimizing this decline may prevent these headaches.2 In fact, proper hormone treatment has been found to help reduce the incidence of migraines for women both before and during menopause.3
The Right HRT Can Reduce or Eliminate Hormone-related Migraines
Another study reported in 2009 showed that maintaining stable estrogen levels in menopausal women with a history of migraines markedly reduced the incidence of these headaches.4 In this and other studies, the use of non-oral bioidentical forms of estradiol delivery helped achieve maximum results. This was due to the ability of those methods to deliver a steady, consistent dose of hormone. It’s been found that synthetic estrogen and oral forms of the hormone can actually worsen migraines. They simply can’t produce stable, dependable hormone levels around the clock.
Estradiol Pellets Are the Best Option for Hormone Related Migraines
Even better results have been achieved using estradiol pellets,5 which provide steady, 24/7 doses of hormone for months at a time. Early research (1974) by Greenblatt demonstrated that both menstrual and postmenopausal migraine could be controlled with subcutaneous hormone pellets.6 He concluded that estrogen pellets alleviated all symptoms in the majority of his menopausal patients, and that maintenance of stable estrogen levels would control menopausal migraine.
For years, Dr. Gino Tutera, pioneer and founder of SottoPelle®, used bioidentical estradiol pellets to treat hormone deficient women of all ages who suffered from migraines. A 90 percent success rate was achieved with this approach. Estrogen levels were restored for these patients within three to seven days and their headaches were either reduced significantly or eliminated.
If you are suffering from hormone-related migraines, schedule a consultation with Dr. Matos at 201-225-2525 or email us at Appointments@AHSclinics.com.
2 Chai NC, Peterlin BL, Calhoun AH. Migraine and estrogen. Curr Opin Neurol. 2014 Jun;27(3):315-24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24792340
4 MacGregor, EA. Estrogen replacement and migraine. Maturitas. 2009 May: 63 (1); 51–55
5 Lichten, EM. Migraine & Estradiol Pellets. Cepahalgia 1999;19(4):332. http://www.usdoctor.com/article5.htm
6 Greenblatt RB (ed). Menopausal Syndrome. New York: Medcom Press; 1974:102-110