Puberty’s Effect on Migraines in Teen Girls

How puberty influences migraine in teenage girls?

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 10% of children suffer from migraines. While adult females with migraines outnumber adult males 3 to 1, for children, boys often have more migraines than girls. The changeover to girls with migraines outnumbering boys seems to coincide with puberty. A recent study published by the International Headache Society provides more insight into this phenomenon.

Research Involving School-Age Girls and Migraines

According to researchers, girls between the ages of 8 and 11 have a 15% change of migraine occurrence when progesterone levels are low. This risk increases to 20% when hormone levels increase. Now, skip ahead to the 16 to 17 age group. Low levels of progesterone were associated with a 24% chance of a migraine. When hormone levels rapidly dropped, the risk increased to 42%. Thus, it seems from the study that hormone fluctuation during puberty seems to have a greater effect on whether a migraine occurs.

Helping Teen Girls with Migraines

Many of the body’s natural processes are controlled by the brainstem. For example, while the hypothalamus is responsible for directing the endocrine system through the pituitary gland, it works in an interconnected way with the brainstem. Many of the inputs that tell the hypothalamus what to do and when to do it come from the brainstem. So anything affecting brainstem function can also affect hormone levels in the body.

One major factor in brainstem function is the proper positioning of the atlas (C1 vertebra). When this bone is out of position, it can affect how the brainstem works and may inhibit blood flow to the brain. These factors can also lead to migraines. Therefore, it is vital to check the position of the atlas in any person, regardless of gender or age, who is experiencing migraines.

Upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to measure atlas misalignments accurately and to provide precise and gentle adjustments. For some, this therapy has provided significant migraine relief. To learn more, find an upper cervical chiropractor near you.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.