Interesting Book ! Hormonal Link?

Hi everyone

I (between headaches) read a book called “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause” By John R. Lee MD
I am not premenopausal (that I know of) Im 39, still having periods etc. (But bad PMS since all this MAV stuff started!)
Anyway I bought this book on the advice of a friend. It has been an EYE OPENER for me! All of this could very well be related to hormones, that normal blood tests won’t pick up on. Apparently you need a saliva test done…Dr Lee coined “Estrogen Dominance” - Going to a private Dr. soon to have the saliva test, My GP rolled her eyes when I asked her about it… :roll:

Google Estrogen Dominance - It’s amazing the similarities.


Thanks! I am going to get this book from the library. Dr Hain feels there are definite hormonal links to my migraines. I saw Dr Hain last Thursday. I am in perimenopause and Dr Hain feels that symptoms tend to continue for about 4 years after the onset of menopause. Oh my, at least 5 more years!

But actually I am very hopeful. Both Dr Hain and another neurologist he recommended (Dr Larry Robbins) have agreed on some rather drastic, but hopefully effective treatments. First, I am going to a neuro-optometrist for a special set of sunglasses that block the light spectrum of florescent light; then I am going to try a set of BOTOX injections. If the BOTOX doesn’t work, I may try long acting opioids. I want to investigate the opioids a bit more. It scares me a bit. But I have 60-70 migraines a month and that doesn’t count the headaches I wake up with every morning. It’s hard to keep functioning this way, as you all know.

It just feels better having a plan-even though it’s a bit drastic and I will be broke afterwards. If you have any litereature, especially on the opioids, Scott, I would appreciate reading it.

Wish me luck! The plan starts with the neuro-optometrist next week!



Good luck x

I know what you mean about the miraines & headaches! I am in the same boat. I recently got the glasses and they make me a bit “woozy” but I guess it just takes a bit of time to adapt. I forgot to add that John Lee has a website…
Here it is:

I am currently reading “Gut Instinct” By Pierre Pallardy (out of curosity) I swear I am going to beat this if it kills me LOL :smiley:


Forgot to post something that I read… Found this whilst Googling “Estrogen Dominance”

*Peri-menopause is a transitional stage of two to ten years before the complete cessation of the menstrual period (and thus, onset of menopause). Its average duration is six years, and can appear in women from 35 to 50 years of age. Peri-menopause is caused by the declining function of the ovaries, although women are still menstruating. A woman can find herself experiencing puzzling changes, and not know why. What is actually going on is a steep decrease of progesterone with a gradual decrease in estrogen. The manifestations of peri-menopause can vary greatly. Some of the common symptoms include:

Menstrual cycles usually become shorter, longer, or unpredictable the closer the women approaches menopause.
Headaches and breast engorge before period.
Cramping with periods and mid-cycle pain.
Bleeding problems, such as spotting or heavy period.
Weight gain around the waist.
Muscles becoming less firm.
Hot flashes (recur during menopause).
Depression, fear, and apathy.
Nasal congestion, recurrent respiratory infection.
Memory loss and foggy thinking.
Loss of balance and dizziness.
Reduced sex drive
**Headache. **
No two women will experience peri-menopause in the same way. Unfortunately, this is a period where attention to hormonal balance is overlooked as women are told that there is little they can do to avert many of the same symptoms that usually come on during menopause. It is also a critical period for the women as it represents the last window of opportunity for hormonal balancing before the dawning of menopause. *

I’m 48 years Old and recently diagnosed with MAV and totally agree that it could be with my hormone’s. When I ask to get them tested, the nurses always question why and seem that I don’t really need to worry about this. My neurologist just put me on Toprimax, which I am having a very hard time with the side effects. It’s only been 7 days so I’m holding on to give it a try to kick in, the meds make me feel worse instead of better, but I am wondering if there is anything else I can do in the meantime to kick this? I never have headaches, this came on suddenly 8 months ago and has came and gone, but has stayed with me more recently the last 2 months. I want my life back and am will to try anything that has worked for anyone else is this same situation. I am now trying to follow the diet very strictly to see if that really helps, and am also going to a chiroprator and massage therapist to work out the knots in my neck which I feel also bring on this vertigo. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I would be interested to find out how many women in this forum got this mysterious MAV while in the perimenopausal years. Mine started at 42…I never had anything even remotely like this, or even a headache in my life. No family history of migraines at all.
I did all the hormone testing and found that I was severly low in progesterone, and took a supplement (bioidentical) for year. It helped with my cramps but overall, no difference. So I stopped taking it. My estrogen is low as well and my gyno suggested taking bioidenticals for that as well, but I have tested positive for a gene mutation that causes increased stroke, so I think I won’t for now.


I started on this MAV journey 18 months ago at the age of 44 with no migraine headache history. I have not had hormone testing but also suspect that this may be the culprit.

I am suffering daily with any number of symptoms from the MAV spectrum.

Both Mom & I started dizziness during perimenopause, and both at exact same age.

I’m convinced that hormone spikes - too much estrogen at times - and/or the inevitable drop in those levels do explain what triggered my worst dizzy spells.

Having said that, I too must roll my eyes because many of these “alternative” guys who write books and sell stuff (operative word is SELL) base their convincing arguments on some actual science. They use words - and some do have medical school degrees - that we lay people are familiar with, so it all sounds logical to us.

But we should always be wary of things that have not been rigorously tested by real scientific methods. Some concepts are not generally accepted as scientific fact (such as the “estrogen dominance” idea), and some alternative treatments (and books) have been developed (to SELL to you) based on these concepts.

There’s a kernel of truth in there - some of us get some extra high estrogen at times during the menopause transition. But a whole “estrogen dominance” industry has been built around what this Lee guy has written. Be wary and watch your wallet.

Hear, hear, Maryalice!

BTW, mine hit not long after my wife gave up on fertility treatments. For what that’s worth. And for what it’s worth, we’re monogamous and I haven’t had my nose up any other woman’s business in the near-18 years we’ve been together.

Hi everyone,

I am soon starting progesterone - My GP actually suggested it. Hopefully it will work. I’ll keep everyone posted. I am sure that there is some link with hormones. Never had any headaches etc till about the time I started having irregular cycles. My neuro-otologist also SWEARS that its hormonal & requested that my GP check my B12, vit D, and ferretin (for anemia). I saw him Sept 2nd and was felling a bit better, he was happy. Wouldn’t you know it, Sept 3rd all hell broke loose and I am just now (today) able to sit up long enough to be online!
Just wondering … does anyone else have worse cramps, breast pain & vomiting at that time of the month?? SORRY GUYS! :? But I can hardly get out of bed & feel like I am going to die every month. Never had that either… Im 39 now and all of this started before my 37th B-day. My mother went through peri-menopause when she was 46. So far all of my tests have been ok.

Since I was last on I have been in the hospital with the heart palpitations (scared the crap outta me!!) and also found out that I am an “overbreather”. Apparently now I have to learn how to breathe the “right way”. I am just loads of fun! :frowning:

Yes, I would agree about being careful with opening your wallet, but that being said, a lot of good alternative health research gets pooh-poohed by the medical establishment because of the strangle hold the pharmaceutical corporations have on doctors in the U.S.

Also particularly in the U.S., estrogen dominance might actually be a factor due to our industrialization practices of adding hormones to our meat and dairy and also industrialization byproducts that can mimic estrogen. What is really interesting is that one of the newer experimental treatments for stroke victims and head injuries is progesterone! … auma/17652

Hormonal changes MAY have a role to play in triggering migraine but they certainly don’t “cause” migraine and there is no “cure” for migraine either.

I’m a little skeptical of that list of symptoms as they are very much in the vague, “could be anything” basket. I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t investigate the possibility of a hormonal link, just don’t pin your hopes on it as a magic bullet.

Dizzytink I’m not sure I agree with you about the alleged stranglehold of the pharmaceutical industry over the medical profession. What about the stranglehold of the manufacturers of acupuncture needles over acupuncturers, vitamin producers over naturopaths and um, the water board over homeopaths? What I’m saying is that “alternative” practitioners and the people who make their products are just as motivated by profit as the pharmaceutical industry. And in my experience a lot of “alternative” practitioners pooh pooh the “medical establishment”. As for hormones in meat - I think this is a myth. I can’t speak for the US but in Australia there are no hormones in the meat - haven’t been for decades.

I read an article a few months ago about Tyson foods & their misuse of hormones in their chicken. (In the US) They were fined millions and investigated by FDA. They were also mis-using Gentamicin, which is fairly shocking considering the negative effects that can have on the vestibular system. I currently live in the UK (from the US) & the same practices are happening here. The “normal” chicken from egg to supermarket takes just under 5 months, the chicken “pumped” full of hormones takes just 6 weeks from egg to supermarket. Like everything else it’s all about the money! I guess theres another reason to migrate to Australia! (I have a list going) :wink:

P.S. One of my research papers (funny enough) was on meat industry, hormones & human growth rate. I’ll try and dig it up. Even most of the so called “organic” are full as well. Ever notice how TALL teenagers are nowdays?? :?:

This is a good thread! I was told I was menopausal at the age of 43 (2003) - 3 months or so with no period, hormone test showed “complete ovarian failure”. No matter…periods returned albeit erratically but then, in 2007, I had a sudden onset of severe dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus etc etc etc. The initial phase was intense and had me off work for two months. I googled EVERYTHING and eventually suggested to my bemused GP that it could be migraine related…which he said “I doubt it”. In the light of nothing else being suggested, I managed to get a referral to the neurotology clinic at the National in London, they ran a barrage of tests and concluded migraine-related vertigo. I believed them. They gave me topiramate…I nearly went insane and was suicidal within three weeks. They gave me lamotrigine…nothing happened - I just got bloated and nauseous. They suggested amitriptyline, propanolol, flunarzine etc but I had been scared off drugs and as I was back at full-time work and “managing” my new swinging/marshmallow/thick headed and nauseous world decided to call it a day on the drugs front. Some weeks were OK, and then I’d go down hill again and feel rubbish - walking to work would bring on an extreme light-headedness and a sensation of eyes closing, I’d feel sick on waking and have swings in my sleep or for no reason, the zoom-dolly effect would strike out of the blue…But then, at the same time as all this, I was having hot flushes, night sweats, my sleep was shot to bits and some nights I would manage maybe 2 hours, I was tearful for no reason, my libido was all over the shop…and my periods stopped in 2008.
I am now absolutely convinced that these symptoms…which are still ongoing…are all related to hormone changes and the menopause. I believe that dizziness and nausea are not “sexy” symptoms and are not hightlighted in the magazine articles etc that abound about the menopause. GPs are generally pretty uninformed about menopause anyway - and will only ever tell yuo that if you are getting flushes, sweats, mood swings and weird periods then that is menopausally linked. They have absolutely NO idea how much this life chnage impacts and how debilitating it can be. HRT is not (always) the answer. I tried it but it made me sick and gave me faint-inducing womb cramps.
Isn’t it a teensy bit scary that many women out there are probably being treated with anti-epileptic drugs, beta blockers etc to treat a condition that they might not actually have…?
This is an ongoing thing…three years on from my first incident and I am even now going through a bad spell with head rushes, light-headedness, nausea etc. There is no way on earth that this is a three year migraine…sorry boffins, I just don’t buy it!!!

Hi again,

Dizzychick - I just googled “hormones in chickens” and a whole bunch of Australian links came up confirming that, in Australia at least, there are no growth hormones pumped into chickens. From what I have read, the increasing height in recent generations is down to improved nutrition, sanitation and much better health and dental care available from cradle to grave. Here’s some links re chickens: … urban-myth … mones.html

Ali - of course no-one on this board can confirm what is the cause of your horrible symptoms, but migraine, including MAV can absolutely go on for years.


Hi Vistoria,
so true victoria , we are lucky in oz.
My daughter works for a large poultry company in Australia,
They have quotas to keep, my daughter says if they dont kill the chickens before the weekend, the chickens literally double in size by monday.
Australian poultry companies use antibiotics for “protection from desease” just by chance these antibiotics also help the chicken absorb food better and promots growth.
however it does concern me that the chicken meat is washed in bleach to keep it desease free.
now that’s something we dont want to know hey? yucky.

see here, … 36112.html

In my case, topiramate has helped a lot. It may be that I wouldn’t have had any more of the severe dizzy spells anyway, now that I’ve had my last period (at least I’m pretty sure I have…). I could tell I was having at least one doozy of a spike in estrogen back during my perimenopausal days because I had to postpone a mammogram for the first time in my life - I was so swollen I thought I was ready to start nursing a baby (in my early 50’s!), and I figured it would hurt like crazy. It was shortly after that that I had my first episode of severe dizziness, complete with tunnel vision (I now know that was an aura, not just a sign that I was so dizzy I was about to pass out, which is what I thought was going on at the time). That was the first of 3 such episodes.

But what eventually came to pass was a lingering daily wobbliness, including what I believe is referred to as “head motion intolerance” (I would move my head and stop it, but it would feel like it was still moving). I didn’t know when the next severe episode might strike, plus I wanted to get rid of the daily dizziness (mostly mild, but sometimes moderate), and I believe it was topiramate that has done that for me.

Prior to this, I didn’t realize I was a migraineur because I thought I’d been having sinus headaches throughout my life. I have never really had horrible headaches, so that aspect of migraine hasn’t been a big, disabling issue for me. But when the perimenopausal rollercoaster ride started, my migraine brain really reacted. I’m just sorry that my poor mother never knew what hit her. I was away at college when her dizziness started and we were at odds at that time in our lives (politics, unfortunately, got in the way - not in later years, thank goodness) so I wasn’t really aware of it. My younger brother told me she used to have to crawl to the bathroom from her bedroom sometimes because she was so dizzy.

Yes, hormones can be a significant migraine trigger, and the menopause transition can be really rough on some of us even without dizziness - but throw that in there too, and it’s pretty crappy that so many of us can’t get help for it, as well as so many of the other troubling symptoms.

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Yes, those of you from the “Land Down Under” can remain blissfully unaware of the politics of the U.S. and how our democracy is actually an oligarchy. But I won’t go into all that. :smiley:

I think that we come to this planet with genetic predispositions to certain ailments. But stress, either emotional, environmental like air pollution, metal toxicity, electromagnetic radiation, or internal like allergies, poor digestion, endocrine imbalance can cause that genetically weak point to express itself. Since we, for whatever reason, have been chosen by the universe to receive this “gift” of migraine-associated vertigo, I feel it is my duty to myself, and to my poor family who is tired of hearing me complain and watching me narrow my life down further and further to do what I can to figure out what imbalance is the cause of this strange ailment. I believe I will best be served in the long run by not accepting everything at face value that the ill-informed medical establishment can come up with. Therefore, I will strive to try to look at all the different systems and make sure they are in balance–this may include hormones etc. For what may currently be considered alternative medicine hogwash may a few years from now be considered mainstream medicine. However, that being said, it may turn out that in the end that there is nothing to be done, but to take my Verapamil and shut up, but till then I can dream, can’t I? :smiley:


As much as I can I follow political and other events in the US. Our cultural and political differences are very similar in many ways but in others completely different. Fascinating. It is also my favourite place to visit in the world and I have been a few times now. Here’s an example. I have driven up and down Highway 1, from LA to SFO and up into Oregon about a dozen times, but I have driven Australia’s Great Open Road only once, and only the one way! Why do I love it (esp the West Coast)? Well, the scenery is just awesome and so diverse - I LOVE it, the people are friendly, incredibly hospitable, curteous, articulate, helpful and the customer service is great. We also share the same language (sorta) which makes communication easy and the travel costs are very reasonable. Also In and Out Burger is FANTASTIC.

Now, as for the chicken issue. I recently saw the film “Food Inc” which is American. Scary stuff if it is all true. But, while we do have some suspect farming practices here in Australia in general I think we are pretty good. The upside of having so much barren land is that most of our cattle get to roam around in the outdoors all year munching on whatever they can find. Our poultry don’t fare so well - with battery/caged farming etc and while we can buy cage-free and/or organic chicken meat we don’t have an industry or Govt standard on what qualifies as “organic”. But, we don’t use hormones so that’s good.

Dizzytink I think your attitude to health and general wellness is spot on. Not just for migraine but for health in general cutting out junk food, minimising alcohol, establishing regular sleep patterns and exercising are all great and should actually help with migraine symptoms.


That’s a really interesting article, thanks for posting. I think it mostly confirms what I thought. There were a few little incidents though where the article dances around the issues - noting for example that meat chickens aren’t caged (which means egg chickens are) and the bit about them not being able to stand up - they didn’t really deny it but said it “wasn’t in the farmer’s interests”. I think the most humane thing is to, wherever possible, buy free range and organic.