Men have three times less migraines than women. Studies show that despite migraine attacks, the pain is more severe than in women.
There are many reasons why men suffer from at least one migraine, including differences in genetics, migraine triggers, and estrogen levels in the body.
This article will discuss why and how migraines are different in men than in women.
Estrogen is closely linked to the hormone migraines. There are three types of estrogen:
- Estradiol (most common)
- Estriol (the main estrogen hormone found in pregnancy)
- Estrone (estrogen produced in the body after menopause)
Estrogen is found in both male and female bodies. Some studies have shown that men who have frequent migraines have higher levels of estradiol in their body than men who do not suffer from migraine attacks.
Research has shown that fluctuating estrogen levels that are common during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy can lead to migraine attacks.
It is not clear why estrogen fluctuations cause a migraine attack. According to some studies, estrogen may be associated with the effect of serotonin on neurotransmitter levels, as it regulates pain and mood.
Estrogen can also change blood pressure and blood vessels — two factors associated with migraine attacks.
Although the number of reported migraines in men is low, the prevalence of migraine attacks in men may be higher. Studies show that men are less likely than women to consult a doctor about their migraines, which means that there may be more men than statistics show.
Genetics play a key role in the development of migraines. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to get migraines if you have a first-time relative with migraines (someone who shares roughly 50% of your genes with you).
Many causes of migraine can affect men differently than women. One of the main causes of male migraines is physical exertion. However, physical exertion is different for each depending on their physical level.
For some men, intense exercise is a factor. For others, climbing stairs is enough to cause migraines.
A 2021 study found that the most common causes of self-reported migraine in men were stress, bright lights, and lack of sleep.
There are other lifestyle factors that can be the cause of men’s migraines, including:
- High stress level
- It is missing
- Not eating enough
- Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia
- Certain migraine-causing foods and beverages (such as chocolate, wine, nitrate foods, and old cheese)
- Bright lights
When to see a doctor
There are some symptoms that can help with headaches, which suggest that it is something more serious than migraines. If you have a headache and have any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:
- Rigid neck
- Great fever
- Double approach
- Weak muscles
- Changes in your speech
The best way to prevent a migraine attack is to avoid triggers, but that can be difficult if you don’t know what yours is. You can determine the things that can cause a migraine attack by monitoring your symptoms and lifestyle habits on a daily basis. Once you know what your triggers are, you can work on avoiding them.
There are some general tips for preventing migraines in men:
- Exercise without testing yourself too much
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a nutritious diet and avoid foods that are triggers
- Getting enough sleep
- Practice stress management
If you have incoming and chronic migraine attacks, there are some preventative medications that your doctor may prescribe to prevent the attacks. Some medications commonly used as a preventative measure include:
- Anti-kidnapping medications
- Beta-blockers (used to help reduce high blood pressure)
- Calcium channel antagonists (used to lower blood pressure)
- Serotonin antagonists (reuptake of brain serotonin and increase serotonin levels)
- Botulinum neurotoxins (are poisons produced by a type of bacterium and can help paralyze nerves that cause migraine attacks)
These medications are designed to prevent migraines. If a migraine occurs, pain treatment is required.
The treatment of migraine for men is similar to the treatment of women. The treatments used for migraines include:
- NSAIDs (steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Ergot alkaloids (medicines that cause smooth muscle contractions to help relieve headaches and migraines)
- Tryptans (drugs that work like serotonin in the brain to prevent excessive nerve pain)
- cGRP inhibitors (a class of medications aimed at primary migraine therapy)
Studies have shown that men use over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to treat migraine symptoms, while women use prescription medications.
Aspirin can also be used to help treat migraine attacks in men. Aspirin is especially helpful for men as they have a higher risk of heart disease. Some research suggests that aspirin may act as a measure to prevent heart or stroke, which is why using it to treat migraines in men may be beneficial.
Studies show that men have three times less migraines than women, but these numbers will not be accurate, as men are less likely to go for a migraine than women.
There are many reasons why men suffer from migraines less often than women – from physical differences to lifestyle factors such as physical exercise.
Finding what works for you can be a trial and error process, but once you do that, it will be much easier to deal with migraines.
The best way to prevent migraines is to identify and track your triggers. In some cases, preventative medications can help you manage the frequency of your attacks. Migraine treatments can include prescriptions and OTC pain medications.
A very good word
Migraines are different for everyone. If you experience them, the first step is to determine who your agents are. One way to do this is to keep track of your lifestyle factors prior to migraine attacks in a notebook. Over time, this will help you understand the mechanisms behind your migraines.
Preventing and treating migraines is much easier once you know who your agents are. Weakening migraine pain can be difficult to deal with, but there are many ways to ensure that there are fewer attacks.
Frequently asked questions
How does the migraine feel?
A migraine is often said to be a pain in the head that is throbbing or throbbing. It is more common for pain to occur on one side of the head, but it can occur on both sides. Pain often comes with other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting.
What is the difference between migraine and headache?
The pain you feel in your head may be in your head, face, or upper neck, and the migraine pain is usually localized to the side of your head. The causes are also different; however, some factors, such as being dehydrated, can cause migraines or headaches.
What is the migraine aura?
The migraine aura occurs before the onset of the migraine or during the migraine attack. It comes with temporary disturbances that can affect vision, speech, balance and hearing. The migraine aura usually occurs an hour before the migraine attack.