People with hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, frequently experience migraine headaches. Migraine affects approximately 40 million Americans per year, according to a 2020 study. In fact, headaches have been a problem for about 30% of hypothyroid patients in the past.
Although the exact cause of the connection is unknown, some research suggests that a history of headaches may make someone more likely to develop hypothyroidism.
This article examines the research that suggests a link between thyroid disease and migraine headaches.
Is migraine a risk factor for hypothyroidism? What the research says
Experts are unsure if hypothyroidism could cause migraines or if migraines could make hypothyroidism more likely.
Overall, hypothyroidism and migraine appear to be linked, according to a review from 2019, but the reason for this connection is still unknown.
The International Headache Society (IHS) revealed that about 30% of people with hypothyroidism have had migraine in the past. They may experience pulsing pain, on both sides of the head. Once the person receives effective treatment for hypothyroidism, the headaches typically go away.
According to a study that was published in the journal Headache, people who suffer from headache disorders are 21 percent more likely to have new-onset hypothyroidism. Additionally, people with migraines are 41% more likely to receive a new diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
The research studies from 2016 and 2021 found that migraine sufferers were significantly more likely to develop thyroid dysfunction than the control group of people who didn’t have migraine headaches.
Can treating hypothyroidism alleviate your migraine?
There’s some good news. The American Headache Society reported that treating migraine patients with thyroid hormone replacement therapy can result in a 78% reduction in headache frequency.
The 2021 study found that taking thyroid medication helped migraine sufferers with subclinical hypothyroidism reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks.
Therefore, if you suffer from hypothyroidism, getting diagnosed and treated for the condition has the potential to significantly enhance both your quality of life and the symptoms of migraine.
What’s your next step if you have migraine headaches?
It is essential to understand that you are at an increased risk of hypothyroidism if you have been diagnosed with migraine headaches.
Your initial step is to monitor your thyroid function with intermittent blood tests. It will be possible to detect changes in thyroid levels that could indicate hypothyroidism.
Finally, if you have been diagnosed with underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, it is time to improve your thyroid function.
A note from Devansh Lab Werks (DLW)
Research suggests that people with migraine are more likely to get hypothyroidism than the normal population, although the exact reason is unclear.
Get your thyroid levels tested if you experience migraines and are concerned about your risk of hypothyroidism. A simple blood test can help check your thyroid health.
With DLW’s blood chemistry – thyroid health test, periodic monitoring of your thyroid hormone levels is easy and affordable.