Menopause

I may have asked this before, I can’t remember - sorry if I am repeating myself.

I hear over and over that migraines get better after menopause. For me this may be true, I haven’t had severe migraine headaches since the big M. However, except for some minor problems with vertigo 20 years ago, my severe vertigo did not start until AFTER menopause. Based on some of my symptoms I am guessing I have MAV as opposed to Meniere’s (hearing is okay, life long issues with motion). Seems I remember reading somewhere about migraines changing form after menopause which may explain why I don’t have the migraine headaches I used to get but now get vertigo. Has anyone else ever heard this? Do you know if there is any truth to it?

— Begin quote from “bookworm”

I may have asked this before, I can’t remember - sorry if I am repeating myself.

I hear over and over that migraines get better after menopause. For me this may be true, I haven’t had severe migraine headaches since the big M. However, except for some minor problems with vertigo 20 years ago, my severe vertigo did not start until AFTER menopause. Based on some of my symptoms I am guessing I have MAV as opposed to Meniere’s (hearing is okay, life long issues with motion). Seems I remember reading somewhere about migraines changing form after menopause which may explain why I don’t have the migraine headaches I used to get but now get vertigo. Has anyone else ever heard this? Do you know if there is any truth to it?

— End quote

Yes, my new neurologist told me most of his patients complaining primarily of aura symptoms (including vertigo) like me are women who have gone through menopause. I am 37, and besides the MAV, I haven’t noticed any other signs of my hormones changing.

As a 22-year old non-woman :mrgreen:, I don’t have much personal experience, but I’ve read a lot of posts over the past year and a half, and it indeed seems as if migraine can morph from headache to vertigo over the years, and especially change in random ways during/after menopause for women. By random ways I mean being migraine-free for the rest of your life, getting your first migraine, having it change from one form to another, etc.
I wish I had some source to back this up, but atm I don’t.

Hi bookworm

I am now 3 years post menopausal and have, this last 6 months had much increase in the severe vertigo attacks. I am not sure what is going on.
Soon after the menopause, my 3 day back of the head migraines went, the daily stuff is still there. Things stayed much the same for a couple of years, now, as the oestrogen has hit rock bottom, the vertigo has got worse. I also flew for the first time last September, so as usual, there are a mix of things that could have worsened this. Either way, will see if I can get on a preventative that works.
Christine

Marci, Tranquility and Christine, thank you very much for your responses.

Christine - have you have any hormone testing done? If so, do you mind telling me what it showed? I haven’t had any but wish I did. Actually I wish I had it done when I first went into menopause and then every six months to a year to show any changes. My vertigo started just a couple months short of 3 years after my last period (can you follow that?). I’m glad I haven’t had any of my horrid migraines lately, but bad as they were I would take them over the vertigo in a heartbeat. I continue with my daily feeling of motion sickness and motion sick headache much as I had before menopause. That hasn’t changed too much, just slightly worse as time goes on.

BW

I had lots of hormone testing done before the menopause, during it and shortly after but not recently. My oestrogen went down naturally, but I kept getting bursts through the menopause when it would go really high.
It was down to something like 70 90 and then it would show 350, this was when I was bleeding heavily for 4 weeks at a time (sorry chaps, if you have even glanced here, dont read on) I could only stop it with progesterone tablets. The last test I had done, showed my progesterone to be practically non existent (2) and my oestrogen low. Having this very low progesterone after menopause is supposed to be normal so I accept it now, having tried 4 x HRTs and then oestrogel and then progesterone in various forms including gel. Every time I messed with the female hormones I got worse. The progesterone just made me sleep more.

I believe that oestrogen keeps blood vessels open (makes sense as if ever I take any, I get instant migraine). If we dont have that anymore, it would make sense that we now get more vertigo, but I cant understand how mine has suddenly got worse after I flew last September. Each severe attack now lasts 24 to 48 hrs whereas for 20 years before that, they would be only 4 to 6. How long are yours? And how often? Just read that yours started just under 3 years after your last period. Mine have just worsened at that point.

More interesting, and I will post a new topic soon, is my saliva tests for cortisol. Another topic I think.
Christine

Christine, I guess I was lucky in that I never had any real major problems through perimenopause and menopause other than horrible hot flashes which continue several times a day, oh and very dry skin and just a generalized “older” look now. And I suppose I could add “possibly migraines changing from headache form to vertigo form.” With that thrown in there I guess I could now say I HAVE had major problems. HRT has always been out for me as I have a history of BC.

My severe rotational vertigo attacks last up to 4-5 hours - depends on how fast I get valium/antivert into me and how long it takes for it to kick in. Once that starts working I am okay though the unsteady feeling persists for many days or even weeks. And of course beyond that is the almost constant feeling of motion sickness I have. I’ve had attacks as close together as 3-4 weeks and as far apart as 5 months. (I did have vertigo problems 20 years ago but they were entirely different.) When you say your attacks last 24-48 hours are you referring to vertigo as in room spinning around, can’t move my head type of vertigo? And do you take anything for this?

I wish I could find more about how menopause changes things but it seems everything I read just says there is a dramatic decrease in migraines after menopause . . . very little about them changing form, even though I do hear of those who have this. I will keep searching . . .

Hi,

Yes when I refer to vertigo lasting 24 hrs or the last one (3 days), it was the fast rotational type, cant get off the bed, cant bend head an inch type (the last 3 attacks I have had have only been a week apart), its been awful. I have now gone 11 days without one so hopefully things are improving. I have just been to the neurologist and suggested to him that I try Effexor or verapamil, although I have Cymbalta prescribed for back trouble. Am trying to decide which to try first!
Christine

Christine, I hope whatever you decide to take gives you some quick relief. I feel so bad for you . . . vertigo for 24 hours straight, or worse 3 days, is beyond words. If I were at the point you are I would need to be on valium and/or antivert 24 hours a day. Are you on anything like that now?

No, tried some diazepan to sleep at night and my left hand and throat went numb, frightening. I react badly to amost everything. Keep reading up on Cymbalta and Effexor, shouldnt really, as some people get bad side effects. Will be going over the dr. at the end of the week hopefully to pick up the perscription. At the moment, I live on painkillers in small bits, syndol mostly (paracetamol, codeine and caffeine).
Christine