In a given year, 18 out of 100 women age 12 and older experience at least one migraine headache, a misfortune that strikes only 6 pecent to 7 percent of men. What’s behind the difference? The answer, in a word, is hormones, but the explanation is far from complete.
The role of hormones
Many factors contribute to headaches for both men and women, including family history and age. Women, however, often notice a relationship between headaches and hormonal changes. Headaches often begin around the time of a girl’s first period and accompany menstruation regularly throughout the reproductive years. Birth control pills and hormone therapy also can trigger headaches. During pregnancy, headaches often become less bothersome. The simple explanation? The hormones estrogen and progesterone — which play key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy — may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain as well. Higher estrogen levels may improve headaches, while lower estrogen levels can make headaches worse. Continue reading About the connection between headaches and hormones
Gynecomastia is swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men. It’s caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Newborns, boys going through puberty, and older men often develop gynecomastia from normal changes in hormone levels. Less often, gynecomastia is caused by a health condition such as liver disease, low testosterone production or a thyroid problem. Certain medications and illicit drugs that raise estrogen levels also can cause gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia isn’t a serious problem unless it’s a sign of an underlying health condition, but it can be tough to cope with. Men and boys with gynecomastia sometimes have pain or tenderness in their breasts and may feel embarrassed or unhappy with their bodies.
In most cases, gynecomastia will go away on its own. If it is caused by medications or illicit drugs, it usually goes away after they are stopped. Gynecomastia is often treated with medications that help balance hormone levels. In some cases, surgery to remove breast tissue is an option.
Signs and symptoms of gynecomastia include: Continue reading About gynecomastia