Migraine in Women
Of migraine affects about 13% of the population. This is a painful and “disabling” health disorder, affecting primarily the female sex.
Why? As shown by clinical studies conducted in the Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition of the Hospital of Kiron in Barcelona, the reason lies in a specific enzyme.
We will talk about this, as well as give simple recommendations how to deal with migraines, which you, no doubt, will be useful.
1. What causes migraine in women?
According to Ramon Tormo, a neurologist at the Hospital of Kiron in Barcelona, three out of four migraine sufferers are women.
Perhaps you also know this pain, loss of efficiency, which often accompanies migraine attacks, and this “pilgrimage” for doctors – in search of effective treatment.
Why is migraine more common in women? And yet, Is there an effective tool, which will help us to avoid its painful episodes and improve quality of life?
The doctors came to the following conclusions:
1. Migraine in women causes a specific enzyme deficiency
First, ask yourself: Does someone in your family, except you, suffer from a migraine?
In the study in question, it was found that the cause of migraine is the deficiency of the enzyme called “diamine oxidase”, abbreviated its name in Latin letters – DAO.
And this deficit has hereditary nature. You, of course, will ask what function this enzyme performs and why its deficiency causes migraine.
The answers to these questions are as follows:
- The enzyme DAO destroys a molecule called “histamine.” These molecules are found in many products that we eat, for example, in dairy products, meat, citrus… Being destroyed in the body, it is excreted from it with urine.
- What happens when the level of histamine in the blood is very high? It accumulates in the plasma, causing inflammation. At the same time, the biochemical processes in the brain deteriorate, the blood flow rate in the brain increases, some brain tissues become inflamed.
2. Migraine and hormonal changes in women
There is another reason why the deficiency of this enzyme affects women more. These are permanent hormonal changes associated with ovulation, menstruation and menopause. Their influence on the body should never be forgotten.
- Female hormones and menstrual cycles cause a natural deficiency of the DAO enzyme. If the heredity factor is added to this, the situation becomes even worse.
- Interestingly, during pregnancy, the placenta activates the production of the DAO enzyme; thus the woman’s body protects the fetus. Therefore, in these 9 months we do not feel the slightest signs of migraine.
- Due to the fact that we experience regular hormonal changes, drugs and medical procedures act on our body in different ways – depending on the hormonal “background”. For example, in one day a medicine helps, in another – no. It all depends on what phase the organism is in – premenstrual or menstrual; or there was a menopause. In this latter case, the pain is particularly intense.
2. How to deal with migraine and prevent it?
Scientists have found out that inheritance is not transmitted by the migraine itself, but by the propensity to deficiency of the enzyme DAO. And with this deficit you can cope with the help of pharmacology – by introducing into the body this enzyme and bringing its level to the necessary.
But your neurologist should prescribe it and prescribe the treatment , since only he can establish an accurate diagnosis and the presence or absence of a deficiency of this enzyme.
It is believed that in 90% of cases migraine arises because of its lack, but in 10% of cases the causes of the disease are unknown.
What “strategies” do we need to adhere to to reduce the likelihood of migraine attacks? The main recommendations are as follows:
1. Try to control stressful situations, since stress often provokes these attacks.
2. It is necessary to reduce the intake of foods that contain histamine. It:
- Cheese for long periods
- Carbonated drinks containing sugar
- Rice flour
- Ham and meat semi-finished products
- Fermented vegetable products such as soybeans
- Frozen fish
- Canned anchovies
- Deciduous beetroots
- Juices from the supermarket.