Is There a Link Between Thyroid Disease and Headaches?

According to the International Headache Society, around 30 percent of people with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) will have a history of headaches. Though the causes for this are poorly understood, we know that women are disproportionately affected and that the pain is usually unilateral (one-sided), pulsing, and often accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

Moreover, half will have had a history of migraines prior to their diagnosis. The severity of the symptoms tends to rise and fall in tandem with the severity of the disease.

Headaches and Thyroid Function

Hypothyroidism, by definition, is characterized by the inadequate production of thyroid hormones needed to regulate metabolism—the conversion of calories and oxygen to energy so that the body has the fuel it needs to function normally.

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