Estrogen Is A Major Cause Of Migraines

haidut

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After more than 80 years of claiming estrogen protected women from migraines and mood disorders (and prescribing HRT as prevention/treatment) modern medicine seems to be finally recognizing the causative role of estrogen in migraines. Peat has been saying this for years, and it should have been something pretty obvious to any doctor considering the migraine incidence favors women to men in up to 10:1 ratio. The fact that stress also causes and/or exacerbates migraines is another "obvious" sign for the role of estrogen (and serotonin/cortisol) in migraines.
In addition to implicating estrogen as a facilitator and cause of migraines, the study below also states that progesterone and testosterone are protective. I have personally noticed that all men who complained of migraines have quite obvious signs of hypogonadism and hyperestrogenism - low muscle mass, gyno, irritability, depression, etc. Unfortunately, the pharma industry is now making a push to restart estrogen use as treatment for a host of ailments in women (and even men), so this study may be just a drop in the ocean and not change much in terms of public policy. But at least it points in the right direction.

TRP Channels as Potential Targets for Sex-Related Differences in Migraine Pain
"...The sex difference in the disease incidence between 15 and 50 years is probably related to the higher level of sex hormones during this age range. Most studies showed a protective role of testosterone and progesterone against migraine crisis, while the data for estrogens were more controversial. There are studies reporting that low levels of estrogens may be related to an increase in the number of migraine attacks, whereas others suggest that the application of estrogens promotes migraine episodes (see below)."

Why do women get more migraines?
"...Research published today reveals a potential mechanism for migraine causation which could explain why women get more migraines than men. The study, in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, suggests that sex hormones affect cells around the trigeminal nerve and connected blood vessels in the head, with estrogens -- at their highest levels in women of reproductive age -- being particularly important for sensitizing these cells to migraine triggers. The finding provides scientists with a promising new route to personalized treatments for migraine patients."

"...Ferrer-Montiel and his team reviewed decades of literature on sex hormones, migraine sensitivity and cells' responses to migraine triggers to identify the role of specific hormones. Some (like testosterone) seem to protect against migraines, while others (like prolactin) appear to make migraines worse. They do this by making the cells' ion channels, which control the cells' reactions to outside stimuli, more or less vulnerable to migraine triggers. Some hormones need much more research to determine their role. However, estrogen stands out as a key candidate for understanding migraine occurrence. It was first identified as a factor by the greater prevalence of migraine in menstruating women and the association of some types of migraine with period-related changes in hormone levels. The research team's evidence now suggests that estrogen and changes in estrogen levels sensitize cells around the trigeminal nerve to stimuli. That makes it easier to trigger a migraine attack."
 

Douglas Ek

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Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
642
After more than 80 years of claiming estrogen protected women from migraines and mood disorders (and prescribing HRT as prevention/treatment) modern medicine seems to be finally recognizing the causative role of estrogen in migraines. Peat has been saying this for years, and it should have been something pretty obvious to any doctor considering the migraine incidence favors women to men in up to 10:1 ratio. The fact that stress also causes and/or exacerbates migraines is another "obvious" sign for the role of estrogen (and serotonin/cortisol) in migraines.
In addition to implicating estrogen as a facilitator and cause of migraines, the study below also states that progesterone and testosterone are protective. I have personally noticed that all men who complained of migraines have quite obvious signs of hypogonadism and hyperestrogenism - low muscle mass, gyno, irritability, depression, etc. Unfortunately, the pharma industry is now making a push to restart estrogen use as treatment for a host of ailments in women (and even men), so this study may be just a drop in the ocean and not change much in terms of public policy. But at least it points in the right direction.

TRP Channels as Potential Targets for Sex-Related Differences in Migraine Pain
"...The sex difference in the disease incidence between 15 and 50 years is probably related to the higher level of sex hormones during this age range. Most studies showed a protective role of testosterone and progesterone against migraine crisis, while the data for estrogens were more controversial. There are studies reporting that low levels of estrogens may be related to an increase in the number of migraine attacks, whereas others suggest that the application of estrogens promotes migraine episodes (see below)."

Why do women get more migraines?
"...Research published today reveals a potential mechanism for migraine causation which could explain why women get more migraines than men. The study, in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, suggests that sex hormones affect cells around the trigeminal nerve and connected blood vessels in the head, with estrogens -- at their highest levels in women of reproductive age -- being particularly important for sensitizing these cells to migraine triggers. The finding provides scientists with a promising new route to personalized treatments for migraine patients."

"...Ferrer-Montiel and his team reviewed decades of literature on sex hormones, migraine sensitivity and cells' responses to migraine triggers to identify the role of specific hormones. Some (like testosterone) seem to protect against migraines, while others (like prolactin) appear to make migraines worse. They do this by making the cells' ion channels, which control the cells' reactions to outside stimuli, more or less vulnerable to migraine triggers. Some hormones need much more research to determine their role. However, estrogen stands out as a key candidate for understanding migraine occurrence. It was first identified as a factor by the greater prevalence of migraine in menstruating women and the association of some types of migraine with period-related changes in hormone levels. The research team's evidence now suggests that estrogen and changes in estrogen levels sensitize cells around the trigeminal nerve to stimuli. That makes it easier to trigger a migraine attack."

Im a man and suffered with migraines from time to time. Usually for me its been linked with low levels or a fast drop in estrogen levels. First started noticing when I was supplementing with zinc. Never tolerated zinc supplements particularly well though. But had one migraine recently and the only thing I did do just 1-3 days before it started appearing was up the dose of exemestane Ive tried recently from 5mg to 20mg per day. Quite quickly developed a severe migraine within days and took 5 days of completely abstaining from exemestane for it to dissolve. In future I will never go above 5mg since I did seem to tolerate that dose well. Reason for uping to 20mg was just for the sake of seeing what would happen. Now i know. Im fairly confident that estrogen certainly has something to do. Specifically a big lowering or drop of estrogen might be a trigger as that also happens to in women. Might have been a coincidence but I dont really feel that way and I find it hard to believe an AI would increase estrogen. So the mechanism has to be with fluctating estrogen levels rather than high estrogen as a lot of men have high estrogen and dont have migraines. Also back in the days when fiddling with mdma I had problems with migraines probably due to serotonin imbalances.
 
Last edited:

Douglas Ek

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Lack of estrogen increases pain in the trigeminal formalin model: a behavioural and immunocytochemical study of transgenic ArKO mice. - PubMed - NCBI

Actually reading this study seems at least in knockout aromatase rats where they first inject formalin into the trigeminal nerve to induce migraine symptoms was actually reliefed by injecting estrogen after. What seems to happen is an increase of serotonin receptors at the site where formalin was injected in the wild rats. This resulted in lower CGRP. While the knock out mice had high CGRP. Just last year a new migraine drug was developed an injection of a CGRP inhibitor which apparently completely removes migraines in patients of history with chronic migraine.

So quite opposite your statement and from reading tons of other studies and statements across the web I wouldnt say that science are becoming aware that estrogen is the cause rather than science today are becoming aware of estrogens role in migraines and that both sharo declines and rise of estrogen levels sensitises the trigeminal nerve to inflammation through the serotonin system thus making it over produce CGRP initiating the inflammation.


Serotonin and CGRP in Migraine
”A drop in estrogen level during menstruation produces a decrease in serotonin by affecting its metabolism, which can bring on migraine.60 Similarly, cessation of intake of birth control pills, produce headaches due to fall in serotonin levels. Furthermore, if sudden decreases in estrogen can precipitate attacks then chronic high estrogen levels can also increase the likelihood of migraine. In fact, the varying levels of estrogen are the main culprit rather than the drop in estrogen. This has been further supported by the patient diary data studies.”
 
Last edited:

agnostic

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Joined
Dec 15, 2012
Messages
72
@Douglas Ek
You might be right. I started supplementing Gonadin 4 days ago (8 drops once per day) and yesterday I had a migraine. Was it the sharp decline in estrogen? Who knows.
 

leomessiasdf

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Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
2
I have had some migraines recently and so this is of major interest to me. I tried supplementing with Magnesium and B2, both of which are shown to have positive effects. However, I have ceased the B2 temporarily as it seems the safety profile of high doses of B2 is unknown. Multiple studies have used up to 400mg/day with no adverse effects (besides mild GI symptoms), but other studies have shown B2 is a potent 5-AR inhibitor and could therefore affect DHT levels. I also saw someone claim on this forum to have gotten insomnia from B2, but I cannot find evidence of that elsewhere. I was taking 100mg/day and may drop that down to 10mg/day
 

kaybb

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
372
Lack of estrogen increases pain in the trigeminal formalin model: a behavioural and immunocytochemical study of transgenic ArKO mice. - PubMed - NCBI

Actually reading this study seems at least in knockout aromatase rats where they first inject formalin into the trigeminal nerve to induce migraine symptoms was actually reliefed by injecting estrogen after. What seems to happen is an increase of serotonin receptors at the site where formalin was injected in the wild rats. This resulted in lower CGRP. While the knock out mice had high CGRP. Just last year a new migraine drug was developed an injection of a CGRP inhibitor which apparently completely removes migraines in patients of history with chronic migraine.

So quite opposite your statement and from reading tons of other studies and statements across the web I wouldnt say that science are becoming aware that estrogen is the cause rather than science today are becoming aware of estrogens role in migraines and that both sharo declines and rise of estrogen levels sensitises the trigeminal nerve to inflammation through the serotonin system thus making it over produce CGRP initiating the inflammation.


Serotonin and CGRP in Migraine
”A drop in estrogen level during menstruation produces a decrease in serotonin by affecting its metabolism, which can bring on migraine.60 Similarly, cessation of intake of birth control pills, produce headaches due to fall in serotonin levels. Furthermore, if sudden decreases in estrogen can precipitate attacks then chronic high estrogen levels can also increase the likelihood of migraine. In fact, the varying levels of estrogen are the main culprit rather than the drop in estrogen. This has been further supported by the patient diary data studies.”
I am taking the injection monthly for migraine/vertigo. I started migraines after complete hysterectomy. Slowly got more frequent and started having vertigo (diagnosed w/Migraine Associated Vertigo), using HRT, dose based on blood tests. Injections have helped... but barametric pressure changes (stormy weather) still triggers them. No one on forum has been able to help me figure this out. So you have any ideas ?
 

kaybb

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
372
I am taking the injection monthly for migraine/vertigo. I started migraines after complete hysterectomy. Slowly got more frequent and started having vertigo (diagnosed w/Migraine Associated Vertigo), using HRT, dose based on blood tests. Injections have helped tremendously, 2 weeks after injection. Then next 2 weeks barametric changes (stormy weather) trigger vertigo/migraine. I probably need injection 2x a month but prescribed 1x a month. I’m wondering what supplements could help me thru the gap.
 
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