Bioidentical Hormone Experts Share Advice on Controlling Hormonal Headaches
DENVER, CO. - June, 2010 - This week is recognized as National Headache Awareness Week and the bioidentical hormone doctors at BodyLogicMD want those who frequently suffer migraines to know that an underlying hormonal imbalance may be to blame.
Approximately 70 percent of all headaches are actually experienced by women. Most headaches referred to as "migraines" aren't really migraines at all - they're oftentimes caused by a hormone imbalance. The symptoms are very similar and are easily misconstrued by both the doctors and the people experiencing them.
"When my patients complain of severe headaches, I look closely at their levels of estrogen and progesterone. Typically the progesterone levels will be too low in relation to their estrogen," shares Denver bioidentical hormonesexpert Dr. Joseph Agnello.
Dr. Agnello is a part of BodyLogicMD, a national network of highly trained physicians who specialize exclusively in bioidentical hormone therapy programs, helping both men and women suffering symptoms of hormone imbalance.
For women, unbalanced estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and other hormones can be directly responsible for these debilitating headaches. Hormones can get out of balance for various reasons, including PMS, menopause, stress, fatigue, menstruation, pregnancy, oral contraceptives (i.e. birth control pills), and postpartum.
Differentiating between migraines and hormonal headaches can be a difficult task because the symptoms are so similar. While a pain reliever may help with a migraine, when it comes to hormonal headache relief, individuals may need much more. A hormonal headache is usually unilateral - meaning it affects only one side of the head ?and the pain can be best described as a throbbing sensation. In addition, hormonal headaches may also cause nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The intensity of the headaches varies among women, with some experiencing mild to moderate pain, while for others it can be more severe.
"Many of the women that come to me have been told by their primary care physician that they are suffering from migraine headaches and so they are prescribed pain medication or birth control pills - neither of which treat the underlying hormonal issues," says Dr. Agnello. Once the hormonal imbalance has been assessed and treated using a combination of proper nutrition and bioidentical hormone therapy, if necessary, most women find that their headaches become a lot less frequent or disappear completely.
Dr. Agnello's tips for dealing with hormone headaches:
1. Diet- a healthy diet is essential. Avoid simple carbohydrates, refined sugars, and processed foods. Don't skip meals.
2. Decrease/Eliminate Toxins- avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA and DES in your environment. (found in water bottles and household plastics)
3. Avoid identifiable migraine triggers and practice a healthy lifestyle.
4. Nutritional Supplements- Make sure to talk to your doctor about taking a rich multivitamin that can support hormone balance. Magnesium and vitamin B12 have long been thought to help headache sufferers so be sure to include these in your diet.
5. Track your migraines- Write down when your migraines occur. Bring your results to your healthcare professional to review. A free downloadable headache diary is available at www.headaches.org.
Treatment of hormonal headaches can vary drastically among women, so if you are suffering from the symptoms mentioned, and your traditional treatment is not working, it is advisable that you have your hormone levels tested by an expert physician who specializes in hormone imbalance issues.
More About Dr. Agnello
Dr. Agnello received his BS from The Pennsylvania State University in 1970 and his MD in 1974 from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. He completed a rotating internship in Family Medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1975, where he later fulfilled his Anaesthesia Residency in 1977. In 1978, he became a Diplomat of the American Board of Anaesthesiology and received his Certificate in Pain Management, specializing in chronic and acute pain management, in 1998. Dr. Agnello is an active member and Diplomat of the Fellowship for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.