Hormones and Migraine (Vol.2 – How do you know if you have hormonal or menstrual migraine?)

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Previously we learnt that hormonally-related migraine attacks have been shown to be more severe, longer-lasting and even more resistant to some treatments.

More frequent and severe migraine attacks have also been proven to be a risk factor for chronic migraine.

Chronic migraine increases the rate of depression and anxiety by fourfold (4x).

Not knowing when your next attack will occur can lead to anxiety.

People with chronic migraine may feel the need to retreat from the world in an attempt to minimize triggers and stop letting down friends and family by having to cancel plans due to yet another migraine.

Gradually you can become more and more isolated. Chronic pain that is out of your control can be depressing. This has been proven to lead to depression and anxiety in many people.

So how do you know if you have hormonal migraine attacks? 

Dr. Susan Hutchinson answers the questions at the Migraine World Summit. Dr. Hutchinson is a headache specialist and founder of the Orange County Migraine & Headache Center. She lectures nationally on the subject of headache, she has written dozens of articles for medical journals, participated in headache research projects and is very active in several professional organizations such as the American Headache Society and the National Headache Foundation. Dr. Hutchinson is also the author of a book on the topic of managing migraine and hormones written for patients. 

Below is her answer at the Migraine World Summit:

Dr Hutchinson: “When you look at the word “menstrual migraine”, that term that’s used a lot, that refers to the female with migraine who has a predictable headache around the time of her period. Now it could start several days before her period, it could be several days into her period, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be with every single menstrual cycle. 

If the woman notices that association about 66% of the time, or about two out of every three cycles and it’s predictable, that would define menstrual migraine.

But the nice thing is it’s predictable, so that can help lend to treatment because we can target treatment just around that vulnerable time of the month.”

If you are keen to learn more about hormonal migraine you can view Dr. Hutchinson’s full video interview here available via Migraine World Summit down below.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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