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Hormones and Headache


Hormone headaches are headaches associated with female sex hormones and a woman's reproductive cycle. There is strong evidence of a relationship between headache and hormones.

First, women get migraine much more often than men do, but it's only after puberty, when women begin to produce higher levels of female hormones, that gender makes a significant difference.

Second, 60 percent of women with migraine report that their headaches happen more often right before, during, and after menstruation, when hormone levels change. This type of headache is known as menstrual migraine.

Third, headaches tend to improve during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Fourth, recurring headaches may stop for menopausal women, or they may get worse.

The female hormones estrogen and progesterone can affect the amount of serotonin available in the body. Additionally, estrogen increases prostaglandins, which cause menstrual cramps. Both estrogen and prostaglandins are active in the body's anti-pain system.

Epidemiological data suggest a link between migraine and the female sex hormones. Indeed, it is known that estrogen affects various brain functions, including pain perception. The prevalence of migraine is similar in boys and girls before puberty, but is 3-fold higher in postpubertal females compared with males.

The finding that 60% of women sufferers related attacks to their menstrual cycle supports this link between female hormone changes and migraine headaches.

Symptoms of a Hormone Headache

The symptoms of a hormone headache are similar to migraine headaches. A hormone headache affects only one side of the head, and the pain is often described as throbbing. Hormone headache pain may cause nausea and vomiting, and is often aggravated by bright light and loud noises.

Lymph glands and Hormones for Headache

Lymph glands are found in the back of the neck and under the chin. You can often feel swollen ones just behind the ears when you have a cold or sore throat. Lymph glands are nodes in the lymph channels which contain collections of immune cells.

These cells multiply when some infections occur, which is why they appear swollen and painful. Lymph channels have very thin walls and valves to prevent back-flow. They collect excess fluid from local tissues and capillaries as well as removing fats from the digestive system.

The fluid is squeezed along by the action of surrounding muscles, as in the veins. When the lymph nodes at the back of the head swell, they cause pain which can spread over the whole area and cause muscular spasm.

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