Hormone related headaches and migraines are often experienced by women during the three stages of menopause. Headaches at any time can be a challenge, but there are things that you can do holistically to help prevent them as well as soothe them, from diet to skincare products and aromatherapy.
As with all things, we like to treat both the cause and the symptom - read on to find out more.
What causes headaches in menopause?
Hormonal headaches tend to be caused by the withdrawal of oestrogen as well as fluctuations in progesterone and testosterone. They can also be made worse by things like movement, light, smells, or sound.
How do headaches manifest?
Hormone headaches tend to be characterised by throbbing pain on one side of the head and can also include sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, fatigue or dizziness.
What can you do to help?
There are a number of ways you can help limit and soothe headaches during menopause, including holistic wellbeing and lifestyle enhancements.
Eat regular meals
Eating small, regular meals throughout the day will help you to maintain blood sugar levels, which will help to prevent headaches. Equally, missing meals can trigger them. Even having a small snack before bed is a good idea to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the night and help aid sleep.
Adopt a regular sleep routine
Even if you don't fall asleep easily (sleeplessness is another reported side effect of menopause), try to go to bed and wake up at similar times each day. A regular routine will help to keep stress and anxiety in check, and will help to control fatigue, all of which can trigger headaches.
Use relaxation methods
Avoiding stress is easier said than done, especially when your hormones are flying around and generally contributing to a sense of anxiety. However, being mindful of things and situations that might trigger further stress, and proactively doing things to ease it can help to limit and soothe headaches. Taking up a variety of habits such as breathing exercises, meditation, regular exercise, and treating yourself to self-care practices like massage and aromatherapy can help.
Introduce phytohormones to your lifestyle
The loss of oestrogen is the main culprit in hormonal headaches, which is why phytohormones (naturally occurring plant hormones), can be a bit of a superstar. You can find plant oestrogens in foods like flax and sesame, fibrous fruits and vegetables, ginseng, carrots, and sauerkraut. We also include plant hormones in our MPlus skincare products.
Speak to your doctor
There are also medications that you can take to help ease headaches caused by hormonal changes. You can speak to your doctor about support through things like HRT, as well as making sure it’s not being caused by anything other than hormonal change.