Women are more at risk of developing migraines, what causes them?

Women are more at risk of developing migraines, what causes them?
Women are more at risk for migraines (Freepik)

DOCTOR specialized in neurology, Dr. Restu Susanti, Sp.N(K). M.Biomed explained that women are at greater risk of migraines than men.

“Women are three to four times more likely to suffer from migraines than men,” Restu said Thursday in a health discussion held online.

He explained that migraines are recurring headaches that occur on one side of the head. Migraine symptoms may worsen if the patient engages in intense physical activity.

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“It is usually accompanied by symptoms of nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to noise or bright light,” added Restu, who is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Andalas.

According to him, migraine symptoms in women tend to last longer, are more likely to recur, and require a longer recovery time than in men.

Restu explained that migraine attacks in women are related to hormones. Increases in the hormone estrogen, especially during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, play a role in raising its levels calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which can trigger migraine attacks.

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“In women, hormonal changes begin from puberty, menstruation, pregnancy to menopause. Estrogen plays an important role in CGRP as a migraine trigger,” explains Restu.

According to him, the intensity of migraines in women usually increases during puberty, reaches its peak during the reproductive period and decreases with the onset of menopause.

Restu said persistent migraine attacks can reduce productivity and cause emotional disturbances, which can impact social interactions and childcare for patients who are already married.

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“If the migraine persists, it will definitely affect the child's educational and academic performance,” he said.

Migraine symptoms can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate and regular sleep.

In addition, he emphasized the importance of stress management, limiting caffeine consumption, avoiding alcoholic beverages, quitting smoking and taking medications as recommended by a doctor in an effort to overcome migraines. (Z-10)

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