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Can Low Testosterone Cause Migraines? (Backed by Research)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Last updated: November 21, 2022

Testosterone is mainly known for regulating muscle mass, sex drive, bone strength, and overall health. But recently, studies have indicated that low testosterone may cause migraines.

However, the connection isn't entirely clear. So, our team decided to do some research following consultations with a doctor to shed some light on the topic.

Let’s review how low testosterone is linked to migraines and the risks associated with testosterone therapy.

Keep on reading.

Quick Summary

  • Low testosterone levels can cause symptoms like hair loss, erectile dysfunction, muscle mass loss, and increased migraine episodes.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy can relieve migraines by expanding blood arteries, thus increasing blood flow to the brain.
  • Some of the risks associated with testosterone therapy include breast enlargement, testicle shrinkage, vein blockages, and acne.

What Is Testosterone?

A doctor holding a clipboard showing the chemical diagram of testosterone

Testosterone is often regarded as the hormone that governs human reproductive function and is essential for body transformations males undergo during puberty [1].

Testosterone also specifies numerous masculine characteristics, such as men's deep voices, muscle mass, and facial hair.

In addition, it promotes sperm production and keeps an adult's libido in check.

We should note that females also generate testosterone, which aids in the maintenance of sex desire and the improvement of muscles and bone strength.

With that in mind, symptoms such as hair loss, exhaustion, decrease in muscle mass, and erectile dysfunction are associated with low levels of testosterone [2].

In addition, it has been shown that individuals with low T levels can experience migraines.

In our experience, most of our clients who were struggling with low testosterone reported having experienced episodes of migraines.

How Is Low Testosterone Linked to Migraines?

A man with a bad migraine

Low testosterone is linked to migraines as hormonal imbalance causes estrogen levels to rise, resulting in common episodic cluster headache disorders.

Migraine is a debilitating neurologic illness characterized by frequent severe headache episodes.

New research published by the Journal of Headache and Pain found that migraine patients frequently have a male hormone (testosterone) shortage.

The researchers compared the symptoms of androgen deficiency scores between men with chronic migraines, men with cluster headaches, and a non-headache control group.

They found that participants with migraines or cluster headaches reported more severe symptoms of clinical androgen deficiency compared to men without such ailments.

In addition, both patient groups more frequently reported suffering from specific sexual symptoms compared to the control group [3].

More recent research looked at testosterone's impact on chronic migraine in a smaller sample of pre- and post-menopausal females. The researchers discovered that implanting tiny testosterone pellets inside the skin reduced migraine symptoms in 92% of participants [4].

Testosterone as a Migraine Therapy

A nurse looking at a medical book reading about testosterone as migraine therapy

Some research suggests that testosterone therapy might be used to relieve primary headache disorder [5].

Testosterone treatment may help with migraines by preventing cortical spreading depression (CSD), a type of electrical activity disturbance in the brain that could cause migraine headaches [6].

The male sex hormone may also help by [7]:

  • Decreasing brain swelling
  • Expanding blood arteries in the brain to enhance blood flow
  • Raising serotonin levels, a chemical that transfers signals from one section of your brain to the other

More study is required, however, to determine if testosterone therapy provides an effective and safe treatment for some forms of migraines.

Testosterone treatment does not come without risks, and its effectiveness in treating migraines is still being researched.

Risks Associated With Testosterone Therapy

A doctor pointing to a clipboard discussing testosterone therapy

Because of the numerous potential health risks, we should approach low testosterone therapy with caution.

This therapy is typically not utilized for migraines since it can cause various negative reactions in both men and women.

Some of the negative effects on men are [8]:

  • Vein blockages
  • Breast enlargement
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Testicle shrinkage
  • Reduced levels of sperm count
  • Oily rashes on the skin and acne
  • Sleep disturbances

The treatment can also lead to the body not producing its own testosterone.

“There is a little testosterone pitfall. Men feel better when they begin testosterone therapy treatment, but stopping is difficult. The body also stops producing testosterone while on treatment.”

- Dr. Carl Pallais, Endocrinologist

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also stated that testosterone treatment may raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and may even lead to death [9].

Some possible adverse effects of testosterone therapy in women include a voice deepening, facial hair growth, hair loss similar to males, oily skin, and acne.

FAQs

Can Testosterone Cause Migraines?

There hasn't been a sufficient study to determine if testosterone causes migraines in an individual. However, changes in testosterone levels can affect how frequently migraines occur.

What Hormone Drop Causes Migraines?

Estrogen drop may cause migraines. This hormone affects the chemicals in the brain associated with pain sensations.

What Symptoms Does Low Testosterone Cause?

Symptoms caused by low testosterone are low sex drive, depression, erectile dysfunction, migraines, and low or zero sperm count.

Is Testosterone Therapy for Migraines Worth It?

Low testosterone has been linked to how frequently a person suffers from migraines.

While hormone therapy can be administered to relieve the symptoms, there are many risks associated with the procedure.

These risks include vein blockage, testicle shrinkage, hair loss, and breast enlargement.

That's why we always urge our clients to boost their testosterone naturally by exercising daily, adopting a healthy meal, and employing only high-quality testosterone boosters in their routines.

These products contain all-natural ingredients scientifically proven to boost your testosterone levels.

That said, after testing some of these supplements, our clients greatly improved their stamina and overall performance.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526128/
  2. https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/l/low-testosterone
  3. https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-021-01334-3 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22310106/ 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6589638/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24042483/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16794020/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212439/
  9. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-drug-safety-communication-fda-cautions-about-using-testosterone-products-low-testosterone-due
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