04/30/07 #2 - Migraines, menopause, and altitude?

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  • Full Question:
    I have had migraines since I was about 14 and am now almost 52. As I transition to menopause, I do not have migraines when I do not menstruate, and previously did not always get a migraine with each cycle.  When I did get the migraines, it was always connected to my cycle, however.  Since moving from an elevation of about 200 ft above sea level to over 7,000 feet, I have been getting migraines with each cycle.   (Previously, I would not get the migraines each time).   My question, is since I have a couple of factors involved, menopause, and the altitude change:   Do people who are affected by altitude changes acclimate to the altitude change after a time period, or does it continue to affect the migraines negatively?  We have been living at the high elevation for 3 months now. Thank you, Kim.
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    Answer:

    Dear Kim;
    Altitude changes can be powerful triggers for migraines.  Especially over 6000 ft. of altitude. So, I'm not surprised that your Migraines have been worse at your new location. With menopause, about 50% of women will tell you that the headaches become less pervasive and easier to manage. So, I suspect it's the altitude.  Depending on who is in your area as a headache expert, there might be some ways to reduce fluid pressure in the brain, which can be a culprit for allowing headaches and migraines to happen. Of course, it is possible to acclimate to the new altitude and three months may just not be enough.

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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Published On: April 30, 2007