(NaturalPath) According to a study out of the University of Cincinnati (UC) Academic Health Center and published online in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, sufferers of migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches or other headache disorders are at greater risk of developing a thyroid condition called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the body can’t make sufficient thyroid hormone causing individuals to suffer from mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, constipation and irregular menstrual cycles.
“Our study is one of the largest studies published to date suggesting that headache disorders are a risk factor for the future development of hypothyroidism,” said the lead author.
The data for the study came from a 20-year medical monitoring project designed to examine health outcomes of residents living near a former uranium processing plant in Ohio and included 8,412 people. The results were that the residents with pre-existing headache disorders had a 21 percent increased risk of developing new onset hypothyroidism while those with possible migraine showed an increased risk of 41 percent.
While hardly ever life-threatening, both migraines and hypothyroidism can lead to a decreased quality of life if not treated adequately. There are other factors that could influence the development of hypothyroidism.
“It is possible that the development of hypothyroidism in a headache patient might further increase the frequency of headache as past studies have found that treatment of hypothyroidism reduces the frequency of headache,” another researcher said. “Regardless, physicians should be more vigilant in testing for hypothyroidism in persons with headache disorders.”
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.