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What Is the Connection between Headaches and Mood Swings?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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The main connection between headaches and mood swings is the fact that many different conditions can cause both symptoms. Additionally, severe headaches may lead to a lack of sleep and resulting mood swings in some people. When caused by the same condition, treatment for one symptom will often also help alleviate the other. Women are most at risk for developing headaches and mood swings commonly linked to hormonal imbalances.

Headaches and mood swings are often associated with the hormonal issues caused by menopause in middle-aged women, although they may also come as the result of pre-menstrual syndrome and pregnancy. Severe hormonal shifts can cause a whole range of symptoms, including headaches and unstable moods. Women may find themselves laughing one minute and then crying or yelling the next.

There are medications and supplements that are used to treat hormone-related headaches and mood swings. Menopausal women may find that taking a natural estrogen supplement or hormonal replacement therapies will help to alleviate a wide range of symptoms. Taking an over the counter pain reliever can also help until hormone replacements take effect. They are also useful for menstruating or pregnant women since hormonal therapies are not recommended in those cases.

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Over the counter dietary supplements are also available to help balance hormones in women with severe pre-menstrual syndrome or menopause. Evening primrose oil is one example. This particular supplement, and many others, are not recommended for pregnant women because of the risk of premature labor.

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising can also help to regulate hormones. Sometimes a lack of sleep can also cause or exacerbate mood swing symptoms since ongoing insomnia often leads to hormonal shifts and mood instability. Constant headaches may contribute to a lack of sleep.

Anyone who is experiencing sudden symptoms should consult a doctor. Although headaches, mood swings, hot flashes, and similar hormonal symptoms are considered normal in most cases, sometimes they could signal a more serious medical condition. Additionally, some women may experience a severe hormonal imbalance which may be indicative of a more serious disorder or a problem with the endocrine system, such as thyroid disease. Although these symptoms can also affect men, they are most common in women. Men who experience ongoing headaches and mood swings should seek the advice of a medical professional.

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