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House Call: Migraines and Menopause

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Migraines occur in 28 million people throughout the United States, with three times as many women than men suffering from them.

Significant hormone fluctuations are the most common trigger for migraines in women.  Therefore, for women who get migraines, the frequency and intensity of the condition often increases during perimenopause and menopause.

More: Menopause Statistics

Perimenopause is the time when a woman's body makes a natural shift from more-or-less regular cycles of ovulation and menstruation toward permanent infertility (menopause).

Signs of a migraine include pain, sensitivity to light, sounds and smells, nausea and/or vomiting and a desire to be still.

Women should not experience sudden onset migraines for the first time during menopause.  This is a condition that should be evaluated by a physician as separate health-related issue.

Fortunately, migraines most often subside after menopause.

There are also many treatment options for women suffering from migraines.  Depending on the triggers of the migraines, treatment must be individualized to each patient, and often involves a combination of medications and lifestyle modifications.

If you or someone you know is experiencing migraine symptoms, and over-the-counter medicines are no longer working, it is time to seek the help of a headache specialist.  The exceptional team of medical providers at Cone Health Centers for Women’s Healthcare at Stoney Creek and Kernersville are dedicated to treating women who suffer from migraines, and restoring their quality of life.

Spokesperson Background:

Linda Barefoot is a women’s health nurse practitioner at Cone Health Centers for Women’s Healthcare at Stoney Creek and Kernersville.  She has specialized in headaches since 2001.  Linda received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from California State University Fullerton in 1995.  She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from UNCG in 1996 and a postgraduate degree in women’s health from UNC Chapel Hill in 2005.