Some further research showing a link between thyriod dysfunction and headache disorders , this time from a study in Greece & published in Amsterdam
— Patients with migraine who have subclinical hypothyroidism and receive thyroid treatment have significantly fewer and less severe headaches, new research shows.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism was effective in reducing both the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and improved the quality of life in patients,” said study investigator Antonasia Bougea, PhD, Department of Neurology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School and Eginition Hospital, Athens, Greece.
The results suggest that patients with migraine should undergo thyroid function tests, said Dr Bougea.
The findings were presented here at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) 2017.
“A Matter of Debate”
The association between migraine and thyroid disease is still “a matter of debate,” Dr Bougea told conference delegates. Treatment for hypothyroidism is effective in the relief of headaches, but data are “largely lacking” on treating the subclinical form of hypothyroidism, she said.
Between 0.04% and 1.3% of migraineurs have subclinical hypothyroidism.
The cross-sectional study included 45 consecutive patients with migraine without aura and with subclinical hypothyroidism, attending a single outpatient headache clinic from January 2015 to February 2016.
These results “are important,” said Dr Bougea. “Improvement after levothyroxine has not yet been recorded.”
A comparison of domains of the SF-36 showed that the treatment also had a positive effect on quality of life, including such areas as limitations due to physical health or emotional problems.
Dr Bougea reported that at 10-month follow-up, the frequency and severity of migraine were “stable” and the “good results were maintained.”
Mr Katesmark comments “In my opinion sub-optimal thyroid function can certainly have an impact on the brain, which may be reflected in a predisposition to (or aggravation of) headache & Migraine. The problem is detecting this sub-optimal function as not only can the symptoms be subtle, but standard/routine blood tests for thyroid function, such as TSH, are often not sensitive enough for these borderline/subclinical cases. Careful screening questions specific to thyroid function during the history are vital with additional tests being utilized if there is any suspicion of hypo/hyperthyroidism. This is standard practice here at our headache & migraine clinic in Ewell, Surrey.
It’s also worth remembering that a study in 2016 suggested Patients with a headache disorder have a 21% increased risk of developing hypothyroidism, and the risk is even higher — 41% — in those with possible migraine.