Dan is a healthy 24-year-old but he’s been getting migraine headaches about once or twice a month in the past year. Lately he’s been getting visual disturbances or obstructions just before a migraine attack. He’s scared he could cause an accident if this happens while driving. Dan’s wondering what’s wrong and what he can do about it.
Dan, this has happened to me before and I know how scary it can be.
All of a sudden you can’t see out of a part of your eye and you don’t know what’s going on. Migraine episodes have been known to cause this reaction on occasion, but in your case the problem seems to be coming up all the time. You really shouldn’t be getting two migraines a month.
If that’s the case, then it means they’re probably getting worse, so you need to do something about this now.
You need to get properly diagnosed by a physician, but I want to tell you one thing to be sure to get checked — and it’s not something a lot of physicians will think of: your testosterone level.
Recently, scientists have found that men who experience cluster headaches (which are a persistent form of migraine) have lower testosterone levels than what’s typically seen in the general public. It turns out that increasing testosterone levels has been shown to decrease migraines in these men.
I’ve found this out for myself in my own practice. When I prescribed testosterone to men because of unrelated health problems, these patients have found that their migraines have gone away—it’s an unexpected side effect.
For example, I just saw a patient who was experiencing migraines twice a week for eight months. He came into my office looking for fertility treatments, so I increased his testosterone level. When he came back, he told me his headaches had gone down to just one every two months. This is unbelievable! But you’re not going to know if this is what’s causing your troubles unless you go see your doctor and get your testosterone levels checked.
If you find out your testosterone is low, you’ve got a lot of options for raising it to normal levels. You may also get some relief with medications called triptans that are specifically prescribed to help prevent migraines. So get a physical that includes a check of your testosterone levels and you may not have to worry about driving blind anymore.
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