Headaches, Migraines & Hormones

Oct 19, 2023

Right sided headaches and migraines are caused by hormone imbalance according to research findings. [1]


As someone that has always suffered from right sided migraines I found this research fascinating:

“We conclude that cerebrovascular reactivity changes across the menstrual cycle are associated with ovarian steroid hormone changes, and are asymmetric. The results imply that vasculature of the right hemisphere may undergo cyclic vasodilation across the menstrual cycle and this effect should be considered in studies of cerebrovascular reactivity in women with migraine and mood disorders.”

The pain and pressure of my right sided headaches were triggered by hormone imbalance! My brain actually did feel “swollen” from vasodilation AKA enlarged arteries. It makes so much sense to me as a hormone doctor as the majority of my female patients suffer from right sided headaches!

Women have more headaches and migraines than men due to fluctuating hormone levels and hormone imbalance. When estrogen is high and progesterone is low between days 21-25 of the female menstrual cycle this imbalance can trigger headaches, migraines, PMS, bloating, fatigue and moodiness. Women also experience “Menstrual Migraines” from days 1-5 as estrogen levels suddenly dip. The higher the “Estrogen Dominance” aka hormone imbalance…the worse the headache when the levels suddenly drop. Treatments to stabilize hormone levels result in less headaches and migraines in women.  Estrogen and progesterone can alter our serotonin and neurotransmitter levels causing mood disturbance along with headaches. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]

Can you imagine a world without headaches? I couldn’t as someone that once was a VICTIM of constant SEVERE headaches…I could be feeling completely fine and then BAM a headache would show up and completely ruin my day!

Special events were constantly ruined. My family was frustrated with me, my work was not happy with me constantly calling in sick, my kid was not happy with me because I couldn’t play with her and instead could only lay in a dark quiet room…

Truly the person most disappointed with me was…ME! 

Now that I am educated and empowered by my headache triggers and living headache free as a doctor I would love to share my simple 3 step system that detects the triggers for most female migraine headaches quickly and easily while also importantly focusing on prevention. 

With migraine headaches knowing is HALF THE BATTLE. The reason I can confidently brag about fixing headaches as a Hormone Doctor is that I know when I TREAT THE CAUSE the patient will be cured. Estrogen Dominance causes headaches. We address that evil Estrogen Dominance and we have fixed your headaches. 

First when you hire me to fix your headaches we will need to check your “Biphasic Hormones.”  I will be testing you for hormone imbalance when you feel GOOD in your cycle and also when you feel BAD. I like to test your labs when you have headaches at the worst time in your cycle and then again when you feel good in the earlier half of your cycle. I will also run a Food Intolerance Test to discover which foods are triggering headaches in YOU.  Turkey gives me a migraine EVERY TIME I eat it! For years I thought I was just having a “Mommy Meltdown” after cooking a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. But it was the TURKEY! 
For you there is most likely also a perfectly healthy food in your diet causing you to feel imperfect if not miserable! 

If you would love to know how to prevent headaches via my 3 Step System: 
1) Balancing Biphasic Hormones 
2) Removing Food Triggers from your Diet
3) Herbs and Nutrition for Prevention

Please call me at (480) 837-0900 if you are unsure if I can help you with your headaches. I will gladly listen and give you my honest opinion if Naturopathic Medicine will be useful. 

My headache patients are always grateful and truly blown away that there is a world for them without headaches!

Nothing brings me joy as a Naturopathic Doctor than getting to put on my detective hat and help you find the triggers for YOUR headaches! To get started simply head to my SCHEDULING PAGE and book your New Patient appointment or Hormone Package!

Dr. Nicole Sundene
​(480) 837-0900


  1. Krejza J, Rudzinski W, Arkuszewski M, Onuoha O, Melhem ER. Cerebrovascular reactivity across the menstrual cycle in young healthy women. Neuroradiol J. 2013 Aug;26(4):413-9. doi: 10.1177/197140091302600406. Epub 2013 Aug 27. PMID: 24007729; PMCID: PMC4202816.
  2. Dhillon KS, Singh J, Lyall JS. A new horizon into the pathobiology, etiology and treatment of migraine. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Jul;77(1):147-51. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.03.050. Epub 2011 May 6. PMID: 21530095.
  3. MacGregor EA. Migraine, menopause and hormone replacement therapy. Post Reprod Health. 2018 Mar;24(1):11-18. doi: 10.1177/2053369117731172. Epub 2017 Oct 10. PMID: 28994639.
  4. Warnock JK, Cohen LJ, Blumenthal H, Hammond JE. Hormone-Related Migraine Headaches and Mood Disorders: Treatment with Estrogen Stabilization. Pharmacotherapy. 2017 Jan;37(1):120-128. doi: 10.1002/phar.1876. Epub 2017 Jan 6. PMID: 27888528.
  5. Borsook D, Erpelding N, Lebel A, Linnman C, Veggeberg R, Grant PE, Buettner C, Becerra L, Burstein R. Sex and the migraine brain. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Aug;68:200-14. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.03.008. Epub 2014 Mar 21. PMID: 24662368; PMCID: PMC4171725.
  6. Pavlović JM, Allshouse AA, Santoro NF, Crawford SL, Thurston RC, Neal-Perry GS, Lipton RB, Derby CA. Sex hormones in women with and without migraine: 
  7. Evidence of migraine-specific hor
    mone profiles. Neurology. 2016 Jul 5;87(1):49-56. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002798. Epub 2016 Jun 1. PMID: 27251885; PMCID: PMC4932235.
  8. Finocchi C, Ferrari M. Female reproductive steroids and neuronal excitability. Neurol Sci. 2011 May;32 Suppl 1:S31-5. doi: 10.1007/s10072-011-0532-5. PMID: 21533709.

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