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Chronic headaches and menopause?
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Jammitt55 posted:
I have suffered from menstrual migraines since my college yrs but they were predictable and responded to conventional treatment. Now at 56 and menopausal, I am plagued with chronic headaches that while painful, are not usually quite the intensity I used to experience. But they are more frequent, occur mainly at night waking me from sleep. I can usually take a dose of Excedrin and within an hour am fine. Only rarely do they progress to the migraine stage (maybe 2 times per yr). But having headaches more days than not is a struggle. I have tried some different preventive treatments recommended by my internist and my neurologist to no avail. I have an appt with a headache specialist next month. In the meantime is there anyone else in my category - menopausal woman with chronic nightly headaches that can offer advice?

Thanks.
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itmatsb responded:
Sorry that none of the preventative treatments have worked for you. Your best bet is the Headache Specialist.

None of the preventatives worked for me either and I think they tried everything on me. What did end up working was an herbal Petadolex that studies showed reduced headaches by 62%. Two of my neurologists recommended it to me. You can look it up on-line with the name of it. Also it is evaluated by Germany (where it is manufactured) that showed that it has no toxins which many herbal medications do have toxins. But the cost is about $55/month, but anything was worth it to me.

Another crazy idea, is to take estrogen which could help you or sometimes it makes headaches worse. It has not made my headaches worse.

Good luck.

Sara
 
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carpetcrawler5 responded:
I'm also going thru menopause but it seems like my headaches are worse. I can't take etrogen because that will make it worse. Maybe try taking soy estrogen? It's better for you than perscription.
 
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itmatsb responded:
[a name=top> Re. the estrogen, two of my menopausal friends found that taking estrogen either reduced or eliminated their headaches. It can work either way.
 
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Jammitt55 replied to itmatsb's response:
I've been on estrogen for a little over a year and wondered if that was making my headaches worse so 2 wks ago I stopped. I also stopped taking the anti-depressant I had been on for over a year to prevent headaches. I think I might start the anti-depressant up again and see how that goes. Also going to see if natural sources of soy might help the hot flashes and nite sweats. A friend also suggested magnesium so I'm trying that. What is so crazy is how healthy I am otherwise - never a cold or flu, work out regularly, eat healthy, maintain a very good weight...it's just depressing that I can't get a handle on these headaches. No wonder women hate ageing! Thanks for the advice and anything else you can think of would be welcome.
 
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itmatsb replied to Jammitt55's response:
I think that it was a good move to try stopping your estrogen to see if that makes your headaches better.

Also, I would recommend that you go back on the anti-depressant because my headache specialist wanted me to go even higher on my anti-depressant because he said that they are pain killers as well. In fact my headaches did improve with raising the dose.

Some potentially good news for you--that once you are through menopause, the headaches should get better. There are many of us who have suffered for many years with daily migraines. In my case, the doctors say that they could last the rest of my life.

Good luck to you.

Sara
 
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Jammitt55 replied to itmatsb's response:
I'm not sure if anyone will see this but I am happy to report my visit to a headache specialist has paid off. I've been put on prednisone for 21 days to stop the rebound headache cycle which is what I was diagnosed with. Only 1 slight headache in the past 14 days - it's like a miracle. Next wk I will have a followup to determine the best method to prevent/manage future headaches and avoid the rebound syndrome. I am sleeping so well and my mood has improved due to no longer being in chronic pain. The approach also combines a visit with a PT to determine if there are any neck/spine issues contributing and a behavioral therapist who will guide me in ways of managing stress, another migraine trigger. I highly recommend seeking the help of a specialist in this area and not to wait several yrs hoping it would all go away like I did. Namaste.
 
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itmatsb replied to Jammitt55's response:
Namaste,
That's terrific!! Yes, rebound headaches occur from taking any pain reliever for 3x a week or more.

There's also a skin gel that relieves developing headaches as well as a nasal spray that does the same thing without going into the blood stream and thus do not cause rebound headaches. Both are by prescription.

So very glad to hear your great news.
Sara


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