A recent study has revealed that women are three times more likely to suffer from migraine than males, reported Hindustan Times.
The high amount of estrogen and other sex hormones in a female’s body make women more likely to experience migraine. To lower the health and economic burden of migraine on individuals, researchers at the Society for Women’s Health Research addressed how the disease is different between the two genders.
Migraine is three times more common in women than it is in men, especially between the age of 30 to 39 as they are balancing their work, family and social lives during that period. They are also more prone to experience longer and intense migraine attacks. Apart from environmental triggers, symptoms of the headache are often prompted by other diseases that might be co-existing in the body. For example, sex hormones – like estrogen in this case – plays a huge role in the development of migraine. They are the key contributors that have been observed in the differences between the genders.
Females often experience migraine around the onset of their period also implying that the fluctuation of estrogen – which is low during menstruation – in directly linked to the occurrence of migraines.
Around 18% of women suffer from migraine compared to a mere 6% of males. What makes matters worse is that female typically don’t respond well to migraine drugs.
Additionally, women and men seek different types of treatments. Women are more likely to consult healthcare providers while men do not. This is because women often experience symptoms of a higher intensity and men consider seeking help to be “too feminine”. However, recognising the differences can help the patient and healthcare provider in accurate diagnosis. This eventually aids in better treatment.
Despite evident differences, research probing the key characteristics of males and females is very limited. Medical and technological innovation in the area of migraines has also been very slow. Till the beginning of this year, no specific treatments were designed or released in the market to prevent migraines. The practice has been ongoing for 50 years.
To promote advancement in migraine research and treatments, gaps in existing knowledge have been identified. It prioritises areas that require further attention to improve health outcomes for everyone suffering from migraines – irrespective of their gender.
The priority areas include increasing awareness of the disease so that people can recognise symptoms and seek treatment. It also suggests improving the quality of life by assessing the triggers and understanding how migraines can impact productivity at work.
One of the most essential reasons to aid the treatment of migraine is destigmatising the headache so that more people are willing to seek help. Researchers are also advised to expand current models and increase the use of female animals to learn more about the sex differences at the basic level.
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