Do you regularly suffer from throbbing headaches or feel like someone is hammering a nail in your head, and you end up puking because of the headache? It is time to look at the cause behind it and not the symptom. We all know how harrowing migraines can be. The guilty party may be your hormones.
In females, there is a string of correlation between hormones and headaches. The female hormone oestrogen and progesterone tend to fluctuate at the time of menstruation. These fluctuations can welcome debilitating migraine headaches.
Simultaneously, a shoot in the female hormones can help alleviate hormones too. Additionally, several women also stop getting migraines entirely once they are through with menopause.
With males, the connection between the hormone and migraine is not well substantiated. However, studies and research-based evidence have demonstrated that low testosterone can pave the way for migraines in men. More conclusive studies are needed to understand if testosterone therapy can help reduce migraines in men.
So, what exactly is the male reproductive hormone - testosterone?
Hormones are chemicals that decide your body functions. For instance, hormones are responsible for determining how your body will grow, expend energy, and get aroused.
Testosterone is popularly known as the hormone that regulates the male reproductive health and is responsible for a lot of changes a boy undergoes during puberty.
Testosterone also defines various male attributes like the deep voice in men, facial hair and body’s muscle mass. It also binds together the sperm production and maintains the libido in an adult man.
It should be noted that females also produce a certain amount of testosterone, which comes in handy in maintaining their sex drive and helps improve their muscle and bone strength.
Testosterone levels are bound to decrease in both males and females as they near ageing. Certain health conditions can also give way to low levels of the T hormone, along with other hormones.
What is the relation between testosterone and headaches?
Studies have indicated that there may finally be a link between low T and headaches in males. Some findings suggest the use of testosterone therapy for the treatment of headaches.
A lot of previously conducted studies have found a correlation between cluster headaches and low T presence in the males.
There was a study conducted recently in the journal Maturitas that analyzed the impact of T levels on migraine headaches in a relatively smaller group of pre and postmenopausal women. The researchers inserted small pellets of T under the skin of women, and that helped in the debilitating pain of migraines in both of the woman groups.
However, we need more studies and research to determine if testosterone is a really safe and effective treatment for various types of headaches. Testosterone therapy may help in alleviating headaches and could have the potential to stop its concurrence by halting the cortical spreading depression (CSD), which is electrical activity disruption in the brain that can cause migraines, a shoot in serotonin levels, so the neurotransmitter is carried successfully from one part of the brain to another, increase the blood vessel width in mind, so the blood flow is better and improved, and decreasing the brain swelling.
What are the risks associated with testosterone therapy?
Testosterone therapy is not foolproof, and its essence is still being studied to treat headaches. Usually, it is not prescribed for the headaches as it can have a variety of side effects in both males and females. Some of the side effects include blood clots in the veins, breast enlargement, prostate enlargement, testicle shrinkage, low levels of sperm production, oily patches of skin and pimples along with sleep apnea.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also claimed that testosterone therapy may increase the risk of heart attack, strokes, and even death.
There are some potential side effects of testosterone therapy in women that could be a deep husky voice, facial hair as well as hair growth on the body, hair loss which is similar to males, acne and oily skin.
Consult your doctor
If you are considering choosing testosterone therapy for migraine headaches, it is advisable to talk to your doctor because it is an experimental therapy and they can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment plan. The doctor may even suggest other alternative treatment options that can help relieve headaches and have a proven track record.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP