Do you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines? One possible reason could be an underlying condition like hypothyroidism. Many people with thyroid issues may experience regular migraines, and studies suggest there likely is a link between the two. In today’s blog, we’ll explore the connection between hypothyroidism and headaches. Read on to learn more!
First, a brief definition of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland is underactive and doesn’t produce sufficient thyroid hormones for your body to properly regulate metabolism, energy levels and other crucial functions.
An underactive thyroid gland can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:
There are several causes linked to hypothyroidism, which we’ll explore further in the next section.
Understanding hypothyroidism can help us make the connection between this condition and chronic headaches. As mentioned earlier, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, leading to a range of symptoms. But what is the cause?
Several causes are linked to hypothyroidism, which includes:
There are also several risk factors linked to hypothyroidism, including:
Now we understand a bit more about hypothyroidism and who might be more likely to have it, but how does this relate to headaches?
Most people experience headaches at some point in their lives, but chronic headaches and more severe headaches, known as migraines, may be linked to underlying conditions like hypothyroidism. Living with migraines can be especially draining for those who have hypothyroidism due to the other symptoms that are characteristic of thyroid issues.
Studies indicate that there is a fairly strong link between those with histories of migraines and hypothyroidism. According to the International Headache Society, around 30% of people with hypothyroidism have a history of headaches. However, the link between these two conditions isn’t entirely clear. Headaches could either be a symptom of an underactive thyroid, or they may indicate that someone has a higher risk for developing thyroid issues.
It’s possible that the lifestyle factors that result from hypothyroidism could also contribute to headache symptoms. Those with thyroid issues may experience fatigue, stress or sleep issues that exacerbate or trigger migraines.
Those with hypothyroidism may be able to manage their headache symptoms with thyroid hormone replacement therapy medications as prescribed by a health care professional. These medications may be able to help alleviate migraine symptoms along with the other symptoms that come with hypothyroidism.
However, it’s also worth noting that headaches can sometimes be a side effect of medications like levothyroxine. Those with moderate or severe thyroid issues may have to take higher doses of this medication, which can trigger headaches. It’s important to report any side effects of your medication to your health care professional so they can adjust your medication and dosage to fit your specific health profile.
It's important to note that not everyone with hypothyroidism will experience headaches, and the severity and frequency of headaches can vary from person to person. However, recognizing the potential connection between hypothyroidism and headaches can help you and your health care professional develop the best possible treatment plan for your needs.
It’s important to remember that headaches can have numerous causes, and while hypothyroidism may be a contributing factor, this may not always be the case. Additionally, those with hypothyroidism may be able to reduce headache symptoms by mitigating the other factors that contribute to headaches. Keep these factors in mind if you’re experiencing headaches:
In short, while hypothyroidism can certainly be a contributing factor to headaches, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that other factors may be causing your headaches as well. If you’re having regular or chronic headaches or migraines, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider and let them know about your symptoms. Your provider will be able to help you develop a treatment plan that can help address your specific healthcare needs.
If you need to connect with a primary care provider about your headache symptoms, consider connecting with a virtual telehealth provider. You can get started as soon as today with a provider like Circle Medical. Of course, those who prefer in-person appointments can also take advantage of our in-person health care services. Talking to a primary care provider will allow them to analyze your symptoms, diagnose any potential conditions and create a treatment plan that works best for you.
Circle Medical is a full-stack primary care clinic that offers both in-person and online health care for your convenience. Many of our patients enjoy the ease of making their first appointment online and talking to a health care provider on the same day they book their appointment. Whether you prefer in-person care or online care, Circle Medical has you covered. Book your appointment with Circle Medical today to get started!
Exceptionally qualified in their field
Deeply empathetic for patents
Follows evidence-based care guidelines
Embracing of diverse patient backgrounds
Impeccable record of previous care