Can women get more migraines than men?
Yes! Migraines are a common neurological condition that affects millions of people around the world, with a higher prevalence in women than in men.
Lady Gaga - famous female migraineur
Famous migraine sufferers include women like Lady Gaga, who has been open about her struggles with the condition and how it has impacted her career. In one of her interviews, Lady Gaga said "I get very depressive and anxious before a show, and I get migraines." Studies have shown that women are three times more likely to experience migraines than men.
The most common symptom of migraines is a severe headache, often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also experience an "aura" before a migraine, which can include visual disturbances such as flashing lights or blind spots.
In the UK, it is estimated that around 8 million people suffer from migraines. Women are more likely to experience migraines than men, with a ratio of 3:1. Migraines are also more common in people aged between 25 and 55.
Migraines are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research has identified several genes that are associated with an increased risk of migraines, and many people with migraines have a family history of the condition. Environmental triggers such as stress, changes in sleep patterns, and certain foods and drinks can also trigger migraines in susceptible individuals.
Treatment options for migraines include preventative medications such as beta-blockers and anti-seizure medications, as well as abortive medications such as triptans, which are taken when a migraine is already underway. Non-pharmacological treatments such as relaxation techniques and acupuncture may also be helpful for some people.
It's worth noting that migraines can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, not just physically but also socially and economically. People with migraines often have to deal with missing work or school, and may have difficulty participating in normal daily activities.
There are many studies that have been conducted on migraines, and one such study conducted in 2017, found that women are more likely to have migraines with aura, which is a set of symptoms that occur before the headache phase of a migraine. The study also found that women are more likely to have menstrual-related migraines, which are migraines that are triggered by hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.
Another study conducted in 2019, found that women are more likely to have chronic migraines, which are migraines that occur 15 or more days per month. The study also found that women are more likely to have depression and anxiety in addition to migraines.
Why do scientist think women get more migraines than men?
Scientists believe that there are several reasons why women are more likely to experience migraines than men. One of the main reasons is hormonal fluctuations. Studies have shown that hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger migraines in women. Estrogen and progesterone levels can fluctuate greatly during these times, and these fluctuations can cause changes in the brain that lead to migraines.
Another reason why women may be more likely to get migraines is that they may be more susceptible to certain environmental triggers. For example, women may be more sensitive to changes in sleep patterns, stress, and certain foods and drinks.
Additionally, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety which are known as comorbidity with migraines and may also have more opportunities to access healthcare which may lead to better migraine diagnosis.
It's also worth noting that there may be a genetic component to migraines, and some research has suggested that certain genes that are associated with migraines may be more common in women.
Overall, while there is still much to learn about migraines, it is clear that hormonal fluctuations, environmental triggers, and genetics all play a role in the higher prevalence of migraines in women.