Low T Can Cause Chronic Headaches
Posted: March 9, 2023
Headaches can be a major hassle, affecting your ability to live a normal life. While an occasional headache is pretty normal, many people suffer from chronic and severe types of headaches like migraines and cluster headaches. Men with low T may be more susceptible to headaches and chronic headache conditions because of their hormone levels. Recent research into the link between testosterone and headaches has found connections that show men with low testosterone may have a higher risk for headaches. We’ll discuss the evidence in this article. If you’re suffering from chronic headaches and low T symptoms, know that treatment is available to help relieve your symptoms.
Make an appointment at one of our convenient locations today to learn if you have low testosterone and to get treatment customized to your lifestyle.
Low T Might Trigger Headaches
Medical experts have long recognized there may be a connection between hormones and headaches. Since they’re both linked pretty closely to the brain, it makes sense that hormones might trigger headaches. Many women, for example, experience more frequent headaches based on hormone changes during their menstrual cycle. Additionally, chronic headaches are more common in women, leading many to believe they may be closely linked with sex hormones, since women have less testosterone than men.
However, the research into men’s hormones and headaches has been pretty scarce until recently. Recent studies do show a link between testosterone and headaches. Men who experience chronic headaches like migraines and cluster headaches are more likely to suffer from low testosterone. This may mean that low T can lead to headaches or make you more susceptible to chronic headache issues. Two studies from recent years explore the connection between testosterone and headaches and show an interesting relationship between the two.
Low Testosterone Linked to Chronic Migraines in a 2019 Study
One small study looked at men with chronic migraines to determine if they were more likely to suffer from low testosterone. In the study, the researchers looked at testosterone levels in migraine sufferers. They also compared these to a control group that did not suffer from chronic migraine.
The migraine group had significantly lower testosterone levels. The range was anywhere between 120 ng/dL to 542 ng/dL, with the average being 322 ng/dL of testosterone in the blood. Low testosterone is generally defined as blood testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL. So, the men with chronic migraine were on the lower end of the spectrum for testosterone levels. On average, the non-migraine group had an average of 62 ng/dL more testosterone in their blood compared to the migraine group. The researchers concluded that men with low testosterone were more likely to suffer from chronic migraine and called for more research into the subject as well as whether testosterone medications would reduce migraine frequency or severity.
What are Migraines?
Migraines are extreme headaches that can last several hours or even days at a time. They often come with other symptoms, like:
- Light sensitivity
- Sound sensitivity
People with migraines may suffer from severe pain in the head, neck, or even shoulders. Many also experience vision changes, also known as aura, such as seeing flashes of light or shapes. Some even experience blurred vision during migraine attacks.
Chronic migraines are migraines that occur frequently over a long period of time and they affect about 14% of the American population. About 9% of men suffer from chronic migraines. Chronic migraines are defined as having 15 or more headache days per month with at least eight days showing migraine symptoms over the course of three or more months.
Migraines are a serious issue. In fact, they are the third most common cause of disability among people under 50 years old. Researchers are still studying the causes of migraines, but the evidence from the 2019 study suggests you might be more likely to get chronic migraines if you have low T.
Low T Symptoms Linked to Men with Migraines and Cluster Headaches in a 2021 Study
Another recent study shows a connection between low T symptoms and both migraines and cluster headaches. This study from 2021 assessed testosterone in men who suffered from either chronic migraines or cluster headaches. To determine if they had low testosterone levels, they asked the participants to answer questionnaires about common symptoms associated with low testosterone. They also had a control group who didn’t experience headaches or migraines.
The study found that men who suffered from a headache disorder were more likely to report symptoms consistent with a low testosterone diagnosis compared to the non-headache group. Also, the men who reported more symptoms associated with low T also tended to have worse headache issues, such as more frequent headaches or migraines. Therefore, low testosterone may make you more prone to migraines and cluster headaches and it might also make them more severe.
What Are Cluster Headaches?
Cluster headaches are a type of headache that is more common in men, with some estimating twice the number of men experience these headaches than women. These headaches tend to focus on one eye or one side of the head and last for anywhere from one to three hours. They also happen in clusters, usually once per day for several weeks before a period of days with no headaches.
Because they’re more common in men, many have theorized that they are linked to testosterone levels. Another thing to note is that they typically start around age 30, which is also when testosterone levels naturally start to decline. This plus the above study suggest that cluster headaches may be a side effect of low testosterone levels.
Why Testosterone Might Reduce Your Risk for Headaches
There are many theories on why healthy testosterone levels are associated with a lower risk for headaches. Here are a few ways that testosterone might reduce the risk for headaches and migraines:
- It may prevent cortical spreading depression (CSD), which is basically a wave of disruptions in the electrical activity in your brain, which is commonly associated with migraines and migraine aura.
- Testosterone may increase serotonin. Low serotonin and fluctuating serotonin levels in the brain is linked with migraines and headaches.
- It may help widen blood vessels in the brain to prevent pain from extra pressure on narrow vessels that can lead to headaches.
- Testosterone may reduce swelling and inflammation in the brain, which can lead to headaches and other symptoms.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy May Improve Chronic Headache Symptoms
Since low T may lead to headaches and migraines, increasing testosterone levels in your body may prevent these issues. Some studies have found that men taking testosterone replacement therapy experienced relief from headache symptoms, including less severe headaches and less frequent headaches. Treatment can also help with other low testosterone symptoms like low sex drive and fatigue. So, if you might be suffering from low testosterone, talk to our providers about treatment options.
Signs to Talk to Our Providers About Low T
There are many signs that you might be suffering from low T. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Difficulty concentrating
If you notice these symptoms, talk to our providers about whether you have low testosterone and what treatment options are available.
Convenient Treatment Solutions from Low T Center
Our team at Low T Center is here to provide you with total solutions for your health. We offer easy, convenient care for low T, all under one roof. Visit our locations for simple diagnosis and customized treatment to boost your testosterone levels and start feeling great again. We offer both in-office and at-home treatment options to suit your lifestyle. Make your appointment today to take the first step toward better health!
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.