Have you ever heard anyone complain about pressure in both ears or a clogged feeling in the sinuses in relation to menopause?
Medical professionals have recently recognized the correlation between declining estrogen levels and headaches, or menopausal headaches as they're sometimes called. However, it's hard to track down any studies done on headaches and menopause.
There is no doubt that women experience more headaches - especially migraines (severe headaches accompanied by dizziness, nausea and sensitivity to noise and light) - than men do. Scientists speculate that this is because estrogen (the predominant female hormone) levels in the female body commonly become imbalanced.
For example, when a woman experiences her menstrual period her estrogen levels will skyrocket and she will experience bloating and cramping, often accompanied by a killer headache. The same goes for a woman who's pregnant; again estrogen levels rise and this can cause re-occurring headaches during the 8-months of her pregnancy.
Well it seems that it's an imbalance of estrogen - and not always too much estrogen - that causes headaches in perimenopausal women as well. Perimenopausal women suffer the opposite of pregnant and menstruating women - lower estrogen levels - however they experience similar headaches.
Many women have never complained of headaches and migraines, but suddenly they begin experiencing them around the time that they enter perimenopause. The sinus pain you're experiencing is also known as tension headaches. These are a common complaint among perimenopausal women as well. As a woman's hormones fluctuate, hot flashes, night sweats, depression, fatigue and extreme moodiness occur, as well as headaches.
It's not certain if headaches are a direct result of hormone levels, as headaches can occur due to many of the stresses associated with "the change" alone, such as:
- Estrogen fluctuations.
- Premenstrual syndrome – if you're still having your period.
- Stresses related to perimenopause.
- Fatigue – due to the responsibility of work, family and household chores.
- Lack of sleep – due to night sweats.
- Improper diet.
- Certain prescription medications.
- Lack of exercise.