Whats A Migraine What Does It Feel Like
A migraine is more than a bad headache. Its a neurologic disease with a series of symptoms that might include debilitating pain on one side of your head that you may describe as pulsing or throbbing. Menstrual migraines, also known as hormone headaches, happen right before or during a womans period and may get worse with movement, light, smells, or sound. Your symptoms may last for a few hours, but theyll likely last days.
Its estimated that 70% of people who experience migraines are women. Of these women, 60% to 70% report a connection between their menstruation and their migraine attacks. Women experience migraine attacks three times more frequently than men.
A menstrual migraine is one of several types of migraine headaches. Examples of other migraines include migraine with aura, migraine without aura and chronic migraine.
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Why Black Cohosh Is A Great Natural Remedy For Your Menstrual Migraines
Black cohosh has an ancient history of use among Native American women for menstruation and menopausal health issues. Western research has yet to conclude if black cohosh is effective in the use of treating symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. But there is evidence that black cohosh is effective in treating issues related to Premenstrual Syndrome .;
It is the root of Black Cohosh that is used medicinally and it has been reported to regulate estrogen. At times, estrogen can overstimulate the tissue of the uterus, leading to pain and swelling. Black Cohosh counteracts this overstimulation by acting as an anti-inflammatory and an antispasmodic reducing pain, swelling, and cramping.;
Because of its ability to even out estrogen levels, it can mitigate the drop in estrogen that triggers period migraines.;
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Causes Of Hormonal Headaches
Headaches, especially migraine headaches, have been linked to the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect the sensation of pain. A drop in estrogen levels can trigger a headache. Hormone levels change for a variety of reasons, including:
Menstrual cycle: Levels of estrogen and progesterone fall to their lowest levels just prior to menstruation.
Pregnancy: Estrogen levels rise in pregnancy. For many women, hormonal headaches go away during pregnancy. However, some women experience their first migraines during early pregnancy and then find relief after the first trimester. After giving birth, estrogen levels fall rapidly.
Perimenopause and menopause: Fluctuating hormone levels in perimenopause cause some women to have more headaches. Approximately two-thirds of women who experience migraines say their symptoms improve as they reach menopause. For some, migraines actually worsen. This may be due to the use of hormone replacement therapies.
Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy: Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can cause hormone levels to rise and fall. Women whose migraines come as a result of hormonal changes while on the pill typically have migraine attacks during the last week of the cycle, when the pills do not have hormones.
Natural Treatments And Lifestyle Adjustments For Menstrual Migraines
Lifestyle treatments are always tricky to study, since they are hard to control and not as well-funded as pharmaceutical medicine.
Magnesium: Thereâs some evidence that magnesium can relieve migraine pain . In a small preliminary trial, participants took magnesium supplements three times per day starting from Day 15 of their cycle until the start of their next period . This treatment helped decrease the participantsâ total pain and also improved their PMS symptoms . In a randomized control trial where participants received either a placebo or a drug containing magnesium, vitamin B2, and coenzyme Q10, the severity of migraines was lower among those taking the drug, though the number of days in which migraines were experienced was not statistically different from the placebo .
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How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Headaches
Just like migraines, hormonal headaches too can be cured or at least relief is expected if the treatment is started at the earliest. Some of the methods which can be used to get relief include
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Massaging the area where the pain is felt
- Using essential oils such as Peppermint oil, Lavender oil, Eucalyptus oil, and Rosemary oil for relieving hormonal headaches
- Lying down and relaxing as much as possible
- Perform relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and Acupuncture
- Placing an ice bag or cold cloth on the head
- Taking magnesium supplements reduce the intensity of the headache
- Reducing Stress
- Taking medications such as over-the-counter Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Medications , such as ibuprofen and migraine specific medications such as Triptans which can reduce the intensity of a migraine attack
Hormonal Headaches need to be treated soon and if possible by using natural homemade remedies since too much of medication or hormone therapies can create other serious issues.
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Complementary Menstrual Migraine Treatments
There are many different approaches to help manage menstrual migraine some involve medicinal treatments and others do not. Often it may involve a combination.
Rest assure that it is possible to reduce and in some cases eliminate menstrual migraine. But it may involve working with a specialist and some trial and error.
Complementary approaches for those with menstrual migraine include:
- Dietary changes
- Other natural therapies
Most women with menstrual migraine have a healthy hormonal balance. However, if there is an imbalance of estrogen in relation to progesterone then a healthy diet is the first step . What we eat plays a huge role in our overall health and wellbeing.
Nothing else affects our health more than what we eat.
If you experience migraine attacks then your diet can be important.
We hear all the time from the health community something like eat a varied and well-balanced diet to help prevent disease. Its been said so many times we can become numb to this important advice.
To complicate things, some healthy foods may also act as triggers. Finding out which foods trigger attacks is not always easy.
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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.
How Are Menstrual Migraines Treated What Medicines Can I Use
A menstrual migraine is usually treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications . The NSAIDs most often used for menstrual migraine include:
- Ketoprofen .
These drugs should also be started two to three days before your period starts. Continue taking them throughout your menstrual flow.
Because fluid retention often occurs at the same time as your menses, diuretics have been used to prevent menstrual migraines. Some healthcare providers may recommend that you follow a low-salt diet immediately before the start of your menses.
Leuprolide is a medication that affects your hormone levels. Its used only when all other treatment methods have been tried and havent worked.
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How To Treat A Hormonal Headache With Homeopathy
ByMadeleine Innocent;;|;;Submitted On February 02, 2010
In learning how to treat a hormonal headache with homeopathy, you may resolve not just your headache, not just your hormonal symptoms, but more, much more.
Hormonal headaches indicate that you only get headaches, or that particular type of headache around your period. This means that your period causes you quite a lot of grief, and you are likely to have other symptoms.
Hormonal headaches, and other symptoms are often seen as a hormonal imbalance and the medical treatment usually includes synthetic hormones. However, synthetic hormones do much long term damage, even if they do seem to relief your symptoms short term.
I don’t agree with the idea that you necessarily have a hormonal imbalance. I feel that your period is simply a time of greater stress. If your health is only just keeping you level, any extra load will tip the balance, and down you go.
In using homeopathy as a home prescriber, you first need to know that you must be able to see a match of your symptoms to those of the most appropriate medicine. Three strong keynotes symptoms is enough of a match to make things happen.
Belladonna is a common home prescribing medicine with far reaching abilities. Never underestimate the ability of this medicine to resolve maladies from fever, to meniere’s syndrome, from headaches to high blood pressure.
Here, the focus is on the menstrual cycle and headaches.
The general keynotes of Belladonna include:
The 3 Top Alternative Remedies For Menstrual Attacks
- NSAIDS – Non-steroidal;anti-inflammatory drugs. Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can help prevent menstrual migraines or make them less severe. “You typically take them twice a day starting 2 to 3 days before your period begins, and then for another 3 to 5 days after it arrives.”
- Bio-identical Estrogen Cream . Sometimes you can prevent the onset by taking a steady dose of estrogen throughout your menstrual cycle. If you’re already on birth control, you can consider switching to a continuous dose. So this means that you would take the estrogen pills during the days when you’d normally skip pills or take inactive ones. ** If you have migraine with aura, talk to your doctor before you start taking estrogen as it may raise your odds for a stroke.**
- Magnesium. Its good to keep your magnesium levels up to help prevent a menstrual migraine from occurring. Start taking magnesium on the 15th day of your cycle and keep taking it until you get your period. I’ve written more about it here -;Which Magnesium Is Best For Migraines?
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How Period Migraines Are Traditionally Treated
Once a month, I could look forward to losing an afternoon or even a full day to my period migraine. And even though my doctor told me that being on the Pill would lessen the severity of the migraines, that wasnt the case. In fact, sometimes they would worsen while I was using the Pill.;
It would have been great if my doctor had told me that each womans body is different and that the levels of estrogen within birth control pills vary. So while a woman like me might find that being on the Pill made my menstrual migraines worse, another woman might find that they helped her migraines diminish.;
A visit to a traditional western doctor about your menstrual migraines may result in one of these;three approaches:;
Take In More Magnesium
Studies from the New York Headache Center have linked menstrual migraines, to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a nutrient that, among other things, helps constricting blood vessels relax during a migraine. You can add more magnesium to your diet by taking magnesium supplements or by consuming foods high in the mineral, including:
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Treat Hormonal Migraines Naturally
Migraines are headaches that have certain associated characteristics, such as nausea, vomiting, visual changes, and sensitivity to light, noise and smells. Many women who suffer from migraines notice a correlation with their menstrual cycle. Some women have migraines that start just before their cycle begins and others have migraines that occur during their cycle. Other women start to have regular migraines when they enter the perimenopausal period of life. And some women who experience migraines find the symptoms fade when they become pregnant.
Here is an introduction to the influence of hormones on migraines, along with ways to treat hormonally mediated migraines naturally.
Talk To Your Doctor About Birth Control
For someone women, birth control can help with menstrual headaches. For other women, it can actually cause the headaches. A lot can depend on you, your individual migraine triggers, and the type of hormonal birth control you take, says ob/gyn and womens health expert Sherry Ross, M.D., at Santa Monica Women’s Health.
Some women suffer migraines just before their period due to a drop in estrogen levels, she explains. Women in that situation who are on a combination pill can actually be helped by birth control because it keeps estrogen levels steady throughout their cycle. Combination pills contain synthetic versions of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
For other women, the combination pills can make migraines worse and more frequent. Combination pills are generally not recommended for migraine sufferers because a) they can make migraines worse and b) they can put you at an increased risk of having a stroke, says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and director of minimally invasive gynecology at The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. Instead, doctors usually recommend a progestin pill or an IUD, she says.
If you suffer from migraines and suspect your period and/or birth control might be a factor, experts say its important to talk to your doctor. Together you can find a birth control method that works for youand keeps you headache-free.
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How Can You Treat A Hormonal Headache
Estrogen-based birth control can either improve or worsen hormonal headaches depending on the individual situation. “Estrogen-based birth control can be used as a treatment to even out estrogen fluctuations, and hopefully alleviating headaches,” says Dr. Pavlovic. If hormonal headaches occur for the first time or worsen when starting estrogen-based birth control, stop taking and make an appointment with your doctor. However, if your migraines are accompanied by auras , estrogen-containing pills should be avoided, as it may increase the risk of stroke over time as well as increase your respiratory rate, blood pressure, heart rate, and affect mood and sleep, says Dr. Pitts.
While long-term, daily medication is an option for many to manage hormonal headaches or migraines, you can also choose to treat the symptoms. Depending on the severity of pain, over the counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be an easy first line of attack, says Dr. Gaither. There are a number of non-prescription NSAIDs, prescription NSAIDs, and other migraine-specific prescription therapeutics that can be tried, says Dr. Pavlovic. Your doctor can advise which option to try first but the best choice is whatever works best for you. Start taking medication as soon as symptoms start to try to ward off another day of headaches. Studies have shown that magnesium supplements can also be helpful in treating migraines, says Dr. Pavlovic.
Remedies To Get Rid Of Headaches Naturally
Headaches are a common condition that many people deal with on a daily basis.
Ranging from uncomfortable to downright unbearable, they can disrupt your day-to-day life.
Several types of headaches exist, with tension headaches being the most common. Cluster headaches are painful and happen in groups or clusters, while migraines are a moderate-to-severe type of headache.
Although many medications are targeted at relieving headache symptoms, a number of effective, natural treatments also exist.
Here are 18 effective home remedies to naturally get rid of headaches.
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How The Menstrual Cycle Can Cause Migraine
Women who experience menstrual migraine may be sensitive to hormonal fluctuations experienced just prior to the onset of menstruation. Just before menstruation there is a natural drop in progesterone levels.
The two important females hormones involved are progesterone and estrogen.
Progesterone is a natural steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle that stimulates the uterus to prepare for pregnancy. It is a naturally occurring hormone in the female body that helps a healthy female function normally.
Estrogens or oestrogens , are a group of compounds that are important in the menstrual and reproductive cycles. They are also naturally occurring steroid hormones in women that promote the development and maintenance of female features of the body.
It is important to note that estrogens are used as part of some oral contraceptives and in estrogen replacement therapy for some postmenopausal women.
Throughout the natural menstrual cycle the levels of these hormones fluctuate. During the cycle, the levels of progesterone and estrogens also change in relation to each other. See the image below for how these levels change throughout the cycle.
These fluctuations are normal and part of being a healthy and fertile woman.
Several research studies confirm that migraine is significantly more likely to occur in association with falling estrogen in the late luteal/early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.
Is estrogen withdrawal the sole trigger for menstrual migraine?
Treatment Options For Menstrual Migraine
There are several treatment options depending on the regularity of your menstrual cycle, whether or not you have painful or heavy periods, menopausal symptoms ;or if you also need contraception.
If you have regular periods your doctor may suggest taking medication for a few days around the time of menstruation .
There are different options available and your doctor should suggest the option that suits you. It could include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen or mefenamic acid, oestrogen supplements or triptans.
- Frovatriptan tablet
- Zolmitriptan tablet
It is possible that these treatments may delay the migraine attack rather than prevent it.
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