How can a woman find out if her migraines are related to her hormones?


Using a headache diary or calendar is critical for a woman in order to track her menstrual cycles and symptoms.


“And that's why I think it's critical for women to keep a headache diary or calendar. It could be paper, it could be electronic. And then when a woman comes in, for example, to see me or whoever her provider is, I encourage her to really look at where her headaches are occurring, in relation to her menstrual cycle, and then it becomes easier to identify, [does she have] pure menstrual [migraine] versus menstrual-related migraine, in which you need to step back and take an overall approach. So I think keeping that headache diary or calendar is critical, and also because women know when their periods are, I mean, I think there's some responsibility for the woman to work collaboratively with her health care provider and take that calendar or diary and really look at that connection and decide best how can we approach that. What's the most effective treatment.”

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Susan Hutchinson, MD

Author - The Women's Guide to Managing Migraine
Orange County Migraine & Headache Center

Dr. Susan Hutchinson is a headache specialist and board-certified family practice physician. In February 2007, she founded Orange County Migraine & Headache Center, dedicated to serving patients with headache and mood disorders. Although she is not a psychiatrist, she has developed a special interest in treating mood disorders as well as headache. The mood disorders she treats include depression; anxiety; bipolar disorder; ADHD; and panic attacks. Dr. Hutchinson suffers from migraine headaches which gives her an empathy with her patients.

She felt such a calling to help patients with headache and mood disorders that she decided to specialize and devote her career to alleviating the suffering caused by both headaches and mood disorders. She lectures nationally on the subject of headache; has written dozens of articles for medical journals; participated in headache research projects and is very active in numerous professional organizations such as the American Headache Society and the National Headache Foundation.

She is the immediate post-chair of the Women’s Issues section of the American Headache Society after serving in the chair position for 5 years. Dr. Hutchinson is a dynamic and sought-after speaker. She speaks for community groups as well as professional groups. In 2010 she became the President of The Orange County Chapter of the California Academy of Family Physicians.

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