Women’s Health

Hormone Imbalance and Headaches

When you experience hormonal imbalance, it seems as if your entire body is working against you. Not just with headaches that occur during your period, but those that seem to linger with peri-menopause and even during menopause.

If you’ve had severe headaches in adolescence during the years after starting your period, you might find that the same migraine type headache returns at menopause. Not really what you were counting on!

It’s as if your hormones want to get back at you both coming and going. These headaches are probably related to hormonal shifts in your body. As a teenager, your headaches stopped after your body became use to your monthly cycle.

When your body is transitioning away from its childbearing years into menopause, the headaches are back again until the body levels off. For some women, hormonal headaches are more intense during ovulation or just after ovulation is over.

Unless you are  tracking ovulation, in order to get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, you may not even know when that is. So pay attention to your cycle for a few months and note whether your headaches start a few days to a week before your period or just after your period.

Taking birth control pills may reduce or eliminate hormonal headaches for some women. No matter what the source of your hormonal headaches here are some ways to deal with them:

  • Eat fewer processed foods, especially processed meats

  • Avoid any foods with MSG or other food additives that you may be sensitive to

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Triple shot lattes, sodas and wine spritzers don’t count for hydration. In fact, this intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol may actually contribute to worsening the headaches

  • Don’t snack on junk food during the day and then eat a big meal at night. Eat a balanced diet, divided into 5 or 6 small meals during the day. This supports your blood sugar levels and provides online nutrition during your busy daytime hours.

  • Get regular exercise – aerobics or running for strength and yoga or Pilates for muscle tone and flexibility

These preventative measures may help you avoid a hormonal headache, or reduce the impact of the headache.