Can Thyroid Issues Cause Migraines?

Dr. Brett Berner
5 min readFeb 22, 2024
By Svetazi |Adobe stock

Migraine is a widespread brain-related issue that gives people terrible headaches. About 40 million Americans get migraines each year, causing intense, throbbing head pain that can stick around for a few hours to several days.

Studies suggest that if you get migraines, you might have a higher chance of also having another health problem called hypothyroidism. This is a long-term issue where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone, usually due to a condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Let’s explore what causes these conditions, what makes some people more likely to have them, and the research that suggests a possible link between migraines and hypothyroidism.

What the study says

Recent research suggests a strong connection between migraines and hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. It’s unclear if there are common factors leading to both conditions or if they directly influence each other.

In a study conducted in 2021 with 100 participants in India, it was found that those with migraines were significantly more likely to have thyroid disorders and deficient thyroid hormone levels compared to a control group with non-migraine headaches.

A more extensive study from 2016 followed 8,412 participants for over 20 years and discovered that people with a history of migraines had a 41 percent higher risk of developing hypothyroidism. Those with other types of headaches had a 21 percent increased risk.

An earlier study in 2013 looked at the relationship between different headaches and thyroid disease in 3,727 participants. The results showed that 3 percent of those with migraines and 1.6 percent with tension headaches also had hypothyroidism. Interestingly, in this group, hypothyroidism tended to occur after the onset of migraine episodes in the majority (96 percent).

The 2013 study concluded that hypothyroidism is more prevalent among those with migraines than in the general population. The researchers suggested that hypothyroidism should be considered as one of the various conditions that can coexist with migraines, even though the whole nature of this connection is not entirely understood.

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Dr. Brett Berner

Upper Cervical Chiropractor in Lutz, FL. Schedule a complimentary consultation: text CONSULT to 813-578-5889 or www.foundationschedule.com