What Can I Do To Help Myself
Most women with migraine can manage menstrual attacks in the same way as non menstrual migraine. Keeping diaries can help you anticipate when your period is due.
Look especially at the non-hormonal migraine triggers as avoiding these pre-menstrually may be sufficient to prevent what appears to be a hormonally linked attack.
For example, take care not to get over tired and, if necessary cut out alcohol. Eat small, frequent snacks to keep blood sugar levels up as missing meals or going too long without food can trigger attacks. Treat an attack with your usual medication and dont delay treatment is more effective the earlier it is taken. If the migraine attack returns later the same day or the next day, repeat the treatment. This can sometimes go on for four or five days around period time.
When Natural Is Not Enough
There are medications you can take to help alleviate headache pain, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, triptans, beta blockers and others. I recommend using medication only if you arent able to relieve symptoms through the methods listed above. Remember, ibuprofen can poke holes in your gut and cause many gastrointestinal issues, and nearly all prescriptions have their side effects. I find regular fish oil works better than ibuprofen.
And while the occasional headache is normal, hormonal-related headaches certainly dont have to be part of your everyday life or monthly cycle. Prevention is the best strategy, and in the long run it will cost you less than the painkillers currently taking up space in your medicine cabinet.
How do you deal with headaches? Do you have any no-fail tips? Share them with me in the comments below.
Dealing With Menstrual Migraines: 10 Hormonal Headaches Remedies
If you tend to get migraines regularly, especially if they arise on a monthly basis, there’s a chance they’re menstrual migraines.
A migraine is different from a run-of-the-mill headachethough you can experience both on your period. Migraines are characterized by a throbbing pain that starts on one side of the head . Migraines can also accompanied by nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound. Whether you suffer from headaches or full-blown migraines during your period, it’s no fun.
So, why does your period cause migraines and headaches? There are two main reasons. First, there’s the fluctuation in estrogen and progesteronethe hormones responsible for regulating your reproductive cyclethat accompanies your period. A period-induced headache can also be caused by blood loss associated with your period, according to a recent study in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.
If they’re a regular occurrence, there are things you can do to prevent and tread the monthly pain. We asked the experts for menstrual migraine remedies that will help bring you relief.
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How Can I Alleviate A Hormonal Headache Quickly
Should you encounter a hormonal migraine, it can be helpful to know some successful relief techniques that are valued by a vast number of women. Methods for quickly curing a migraine include:
- Taking paracetamol, ibuprofen or similar
- Resting with closed eyes – often lying down
- Application of an ice pack
- Drinking lots of water
Hormonal headaches and migraines can cause great distress, especially if they are so severe that they inhibit you in everyday life. Learning about the reasons behind them, specific symptoms, and effective methods can be helpful when it comes to understanding this condition. Learn more about how to deal with daily headaches.
What You Can Do To Prevent Hormone Imbalance Headaches
It may take a while before you find the right treatment option for you. Closely observing the patterns of your headaches will reveal the causes.
Here are five tips to help prevent hormone imbalance headaches:
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Is Progesterone The Culprit
Dr. Andrew Jones sees migraine as a “worldwide epidemic” and cites birth control pills as a major contributor.
He has another theory. He thinks progesterone is the culprit and the gateway to the cure! He says and I quote “The primary cause is a hormone called progesterone.”
His book is called The Natural Cure to Your Migraine Headache: What the Big Drug Companies Dont Want You to Know. The word “cure” makes me nervous. Dr. Jones has impressive credentials along with 8 books and 17 years of experience. He says some strong things like – traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy is useless and that Bio-identical hormones are the only way to go.
He states that “there is no evidence that the human body converts diosgenin into hormones” directing us not to get caught up in the “Wild Yam Goose Chase!” He repeatedly says that all is needed is the balancing of the progesterone and estrogen ratios.
Bio-Identical hormones are still man made in a compounding pharmacy but are considered to be more natural and identical to the bodys own hormones. He says that traditional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic chemicals that are not biologically identical to those in your body.
The very thought of taking horse urine makes me shiver. But then I was never one for taking lots of pills or tablets, until migraines made me think otherwise.
Oral Contraceptives May Reduce Menstrual Migraine Frequency
There is some evidence to suggest that certain types of oral contraceptive pills can actually reduce the frequency of menstrual migraine and menstrually related migraine, Hindiyeh says.
This doesnt apply to all kinds of oral contraception, so you should talk with your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or neurologist about which ones youd want to consider, says Hindiyeh. There are specific ones that will keep your estrogen level from fluctuating so much, she adds.
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Menstrual Migraine Is Tough To Treat
Menstrual and menstrually related migraine can be the hardest kind of migraine to treat. can be pretty severe, they can last several days, and they can be quite debilitating, she says.
Even if you have migraine attacks only around the time of your period, for many women that may still mean five days or more a month, says Hindiyeh. In that case, its really time to talk to your doctor about daily preventive treatment options for migraine, she says.
Generally speaking, there are many treatment options for the prevention of migraine and menstrual migraine, says Hindiyeh. Heres a rundown of top medications and lifestyle modifications that can help reduce the frequency and severity of menstrual and menstrually related migraine attacks.
Hormonal Headaches Or Migraines
Headaches are a very common complaint among women, particularly due to the hormonal changes throughout your reproductive life. It is thought that the connection between headaches and estrogen levels is the main reason why 70% of Americans who suffer from headaches and migraines are female. Find out more about how these two factors relate, and what to do if you are ever accosted with hormonal headaches or migraines.
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How Your Hormones Are Linked To Migraine
Your hormones regulate your menstrual cycles and almost everything else in the body skin, hair, heart and the brain.
For example they control: emotions and moods, childhood growth, digestion, energy, sleep, appetite, sugar and fat metabolism, hair growth, salt and water balance, bone hardness, libido, kidney function, blood pressure, the immune system, wound healing, blood cell production and the list goes on and on.
Dr. Jones says his method of balancing the ratio of progesterone and estrogen’s has an 80% success rate of either the hormonal migraines disappearing all together or having a significant reduction. Thats pretty amazing.
If I werent on the hormone creams when I got his book I would have tried the tablets. He also states that creams just dont work. His book is very thorough so if you dont live in the United States you can still try his method.
Your hormones are important to every cell in your body. Your brain cells are no exception!
Hormonal Migraines And Life Stage
When and whether you get hormonal migraines can also depend on your life stage. Menstrual migraines happen because of estrogen levels when a woman goes through pregnancy or menopause, estrogen levels also change significantly. Researchers have found that most women who have a history of menstrual migraines see a significant improvement during pregnancy. When it comes to menopause, some women may find migraine attacks getting worse when leading up to menopause.
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Causes Of Hormone Imbalance Headaches
Fluctuating hormone levels can influence the severity of chronic headaches, tension headaches, and menstrual migraines, which at most times are very severe. During the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and these changes can trigger different types of headaches.
The main symptom of hormonal headaches is a headache or migraine that can start as a throbbing pain in one side of the head and may affect your sensitivity to light or smell.
Hormone levels change for a variety of reasons, including:
Why Do Some Women Get Period Headaches
Blame estrogen, says Sheeva Talebian, MD, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at CCRM in New York and a Womens Health advisory board member. Most menstrual-related headaches are due to the rapid drop in estrogen right before the onset of your period, she says.
A mini menstruation lesson: When you ovulate , your estrogen peaks and your ovary makes progesterone. For a while, your womanly hormones stay up. But if youre *not* pumping pregnancy hormones a week or so later, your body halts estrogen and progesterone production, triggering your period, Dr. Talebian explains.
That sudden drop in estrogen tweaks chemicals in your brain that affect how you experience pain, and up goes your sensitivity, the U.S. Department of Health & Human ServicesOffice on Womens Health explains. Add to that constricted blood vessels, which happens to some women when theyre low in estrogen, et voilà: the dreaded period headache.
Other potential factors that can play into period headaches? Dehydration, blood loss , and poor sleep, Dr. Talebian notes. Already prone to migraines? Then theres a 60 percent chance youll suffer from menstrual migraines as well, per the National Headache Foundation . And if youre on birth control, that can bring on more headaches when you switch to your sugar pills and your estrogen levels tank .
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I Have Migraine Aura Can I Take Hrt
Yes. Unlike the combined oral contraceptive pill, which is contraindicated for women with migraine aura, HRT uses natural estrogen producing similar levels to the estrogen produced by your body during your menstrual cycle. If aura worsens or starts for the first time with HRT, it usually means that the dose of estrogen is more than you need. The dose you need is the dose that is just sufficient to control hot flushes.
What Is Different About Menstrual Attacks
Menstrual attacks are typically more severe, last longer, and are more likely to recur the next day than non-menstrual attacks. This means that many women who find that their migraine treatment works well most of the time may still have a problem with managing their menstrual attacks. Characteristically these attacks are without aura.
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How Is Menstrual Migraine Diagnosed
There are no tests available for menstrual migraine. The most accurate way to tell if you have menstrual migraine is to keep a diary for at least three months recording both your migraine attacks and the days you menstruate.
For menstrual migraine to be diagnosed migraine should occur predominately between two days before and up to three days into menstruation, in at least two out of three consecutive menstrual cycles.
Can I Use The Mirena Ius
The Mirena intrauterine system can be used for contraception, to control heavy/ painful periods, and to act as the progestogen component of HRT. One advantage is that it acts directly on the womb, with very little hormone reaching the rest of the body. This means that side-effects are generally very few. Another advantage is that if a woman has a Mirena, it is easy to adjust the dose of estrogen to suit her needs. Also, many women find that their periods become very light, or stop completely while they are using a Mirena. If migraine was linked to troublesome periods, this in itself can make migraine less likely to occur.
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Who Gets Menstrual Migraine
50 60 per cent of women notice a link between migraine and their periods. This may not be apparent until a woman reaches her late 30s or 40s, despite having had migraine since her teens or 20s. Women with other period problems often do not recognize that the accompanying headaches are actually migraine. This under-recognition of migraine by patients is compounded by a similar under-recognition of migraine by doctors.
How To Naturally Help Relieve Period Headaches
Menstruation is a frustrating couple of days that women have to go through each month.
It is an important sign to know that if your body is functioning normally. However, the symptoms you may get could be suffering. During your period, you could suffer emotional and physical frustration like pains low in the abdomen, acne, tiredness, insomnia, depression, etc. Among most of the symptoms, period headaches are one of the most insufferable.
Several women feel extreme headaches around the period of their menstruation. If you are one of the many women who go through these unpleasant few days with headaches, hold on to your seats and read on.
Headaches And Women: What Do Hormones Have To Do With It
A bad headache can ruin your workday, strain your relationship with family members and affect your ability to exercise. In the U.S., headaches cause 112 million sick days each year. While one-third of the population gets headaches, women suffer more than men do.
Changes in hormones could be among the reasons women have more headaches than men do.
These hormone-related headache triggers include:
When To See A Doctor
Nervous about visiting the doctor with period pains only to get a response of Its just a part of being female. Thatll be $500. ?To avoid an unnecessary trip, if your period headaches are mild, theres probably not much a doctor can do to help. But, if you have extreme nausea, vomiting, or if you cant go to work because youre in so much pain, you need to see your doc.
These headaches could have another more serious underlying cause. Even if they are just period headaches, the doctor may be able to prescribe something for your severe symptoms.
All in all, with some trial and error, you should be able to get your monthly head pain under control. When in doubt, consult your doctor. They can help you figure out a treatment plan that works.
How Can These Be Treated In The Long Term
Hormonal headaches can be greatly reduced by the regular administration of an estrogen therapy. It is advisable to talk to your doctor about your options, but these might be:
Estrogen supplements. There are a number of options for enhancing your estrogen levels, including natural ingredients such as soy and black cohosh.
Hormone replacement therapy . Designed for women going through menopause, HRT is available a different forms, such as gels and patches, and is used to reinstate hormonal balance.However, its side effects include an increase of blood clots and breast cancer.
What Triggers Migraines In Women
In addition to a drop in estrogen, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy for menopause can change the frequency or severity of migraines. If you notice your migraine headache getting worse after starting one of these medications, it may be worthwhile to ask your healthcare provider for a medication that contains a lower dose of estrogen, or ask for a change from an interrupted dosing regimen to a continuous one.
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Prevention Of Hormonal Headache
Prevention can include medications that reduce the likelihood of a migraine from occurring, as well as making lifestyle changes.
According to the AMF, healthcare professionals may prescribe preventative medications that are off-label. In other words, they are not specifically designed to prevent migraine, but they may help.
Common medications for prevention include:
- Hormones: These come in various forms such as oral, gels, or patches that help prevent a drop in hormone levels leading up to menstruation.
- NSAIDS: A person can take these approximately twice a day in the week leading up to menstruation.
- Magnesium supplement: A person can start taking these on the 15th day of the cycle and continue until menstruation starts.
- Triptans: A person can take these twice a day during menstruation. They may help prevent hormonal headaches from occurring.
Another option is for a person to use continuous hormone therapy, often in the form of hormonal birth control. This approach may help regulate hormone levels and prevent headaches from occurring.
Finally, a person can take steps to avoid other triggers that may contribute to their migraine. This can include:
- eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods that may trigger an attack
- regular exercise