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How do estrogen levels affect headaches?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Estrogen directly affects the level and activity of both headache-producing (e.g., dopamine and norepinephrine) and headache-protecting (e.g., serotonin, gamma amino-butyric acid [GABA], and endorphins) neurotransmitters. In general, elevated estrogen increases headache protectors, reducing headache risk. Conversely, decreases in estrogen levels increase dopamine and norepinephrine, which in turn increase the chance of a headache occurring.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.