Premenstrual Estrogen Levels Drop More Rapidly in Migraineurs

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Premenstrual Estrogen Levels Drop More Rapidly in Migraineurs
Premenstrual Estrogen Levels Drop More Rapidly in Migraineurs

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In women who get migraines, levels of estrogen drop more rapidly in the days before menstruation, compared to that seen in women without migraines, according to a study published online June 1 in Neurology.

"These results suggest that a 'two-hit' process may link estrogen withdrawal to menstrual migraine," study author Jelena Pavlovic, M.D., Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said in a journal news release. "More rapid estrogen decline may make women vulnerable to common triggers for migraine attacks such as stress, lack of sleep, foods, and wine."

Researchers looked at urine samples of 114 women with migraines and 223 women without migraines, average age 47. Estrogen levels among those with migraines dropped 40 percent in the days just before menstruation, compared to 30 percent for those without migraines, the researchers found. No similar patterns were seen with other types of hormones.

"Future studies should focus on the relationship between headaches and daily hormone changes and explore the possible underpinnings of these results," Pavlovic added.

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