Menopause is one of the most challenging chapters of a woman’s life. It often comes with constant itching, unexplainable episodes of hot flashes, increased irritation and aggression, sudden mood swings, and fatigue that lingers for days. To make things worse, many also experience menopausal migraines, which according to the Migraine Trust Foundation, cause more intense symptoms than menstrual migraines.
So how exactly does that feel? Are there additional symptoms that only older women experience when they have a migraine attack? How can remedies like the Atlas Orthogonal technique help make a difference in a menopausal woman’s life?
How Do Aging Women with Migraines Feel?
While migraine afflicts children, men, and women, doctors and medical professionals agree that it tends to cause varying degrees of impact. And unfortunately, among the three, women suffer the most. Most studies note that it has something to do with the hormonal fluctuation during different periods in a woman’s life.
During perimenopause and menopause, hormonal fluctuation in women reaches its peak, triggering a series of changes inside the brain. In effect, this starts problems, including migraine attacks. It can trigger throbbing headaches, visuals auras, vomiting, and nausea.
What Happens in a Woman’s Body As She Ages
To fully understand how aging can significantly alter your migraines, we will need to look into both the perimenopausal and menopausal stages.
Simply put, perimenopause is the transition period between the time you still have regular menstruation to the moment you stop having them. On average, this stage begins somewhere at 40 years old and beyond. Some women even enter this transition period of their reproductive age as early as 30 years old.
Essentially at this point, you will still have your menstrual flow. But you will notice that as you approach your mid-40s to late 50s, the patterns of your period become more erratic.
Some women say that they begin to observe severe symptoms like throbbing headaches in the last few years that lead to menopause. Usually, this period can stretch anywhere from four to six years, so you will undoubtedly notice massive changes in your migraine attack patterns.
Then, when your body enters the menopausal stage, your ovaries no longer release eggs, so you stop getting periods. At this point, your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels dip, triggering weekly or monthly menopausal migraines.
Many women note that their menopausal migraine episodes start to lessen or completely disappear when they reach 50 to 55.
Notably, though, women who have undergone surgical procedures like hysterectomy (which involves removing one or more parts of the female reproductive system) have a different experience. For starters, they tend to have more severe forms of menopausal migraines because their bodies skipped the natural process. The American Migraine Foundation explains that this happens because of the sudden absence of estrogen and progesterone, the hormones produced by the reproductive organs removed during a hysterectomy.
How to Manage Your Menopausal Migraines
Do you often experience headaches and migraines right before your Aunt Flo comes to visit? This happens because of the abrupt drop of estrogen levels in the body.
Estrogen regulates your body’s ability to perceive pain, which is why you tend to experience more discomfort from your headache right before your expected menstruation.
Here are some ways to manage your menopausal migraines:
- Avoid your migraine triggers (such as processed food, alcohol, cigarette, sugary food products, abnormal caffeine intake, exposure to bright and flashy lights, etc.)
- Avoid starvation or dehydration because they can make your headaches worse
- When you experience menstrual migraines with other symptoms, you can try relaxation techniques to ease your mind and body
- Try the Atlas Orthogonal technique done by upper cervical chiropractors
- Ask for a prescription for blood pressure medication, pain relievers, and anti-seizure drugs to help lessen the effect of a migraine episode.
- Monitor your migraine symptoms, especially as you approach post menopause
You may also experience migraine relief until you complete your menopausal period by seeking hormone therapy. Such an option might also come in handy in dealing with hot flashes, a symptom that can easily aggravate your migraine episodes because it can irritate you.
Do speak with your OBG-GYN or general physician to determine what sort of medication would work for your situation.
Atlas Orthogonal for Menopausal Migraines
Menopausal migraines are challenging, and they can worsen over time, leaving more noticeable effects on your daily life. Good thing, you can tap into Atlas Orthogonal, an upper cervical care technique that aims to help cut down the severity and frequency of your episodes.
This upper cervical care technique focuses on the atlas or C1 bone, connecting your spine to your head. Unfortunately, while the C1 allows for smooth movement of the head in various angles and directions, it’s highly susceptible to shifting or subluxation.
When it shifts, even by the slightest degree, your entire body can suffer from the impact. For starters, you may notice your shoulders or hips becoming unlevelled as they try to compensate for the changes in your spine’s curvature.
Also, the C1 bone tends to put immense pressure and stress on the brainstem, and the nearby nerve root, a likely contributor to your worsening migraine symptoms during the menopausal age. As you gradually restore the C1 bone to its former position, you slowly get rid of the pressure on the affected tissues, helping you cope better with your migraines.
If you’ve reached the menopausal stage and noticed an increased frequency of your headaches, you can look for an upper cervical practitioner for help. Find an Atlas Orthogonal doctor near you and start receiving adjustments for your misaligned atlas bone today!