Menstrual Migraines Treatment
There are many symptoms associated with menstruation including stomach cramping, bloating and anxiety, however for many women the worst symptom is a menstrual migraine. Whilst some women may choose to take over the counter anti-inflammatories, these are not without side effects and can affect gut health which can have a massive impact on the body’s immune system, mood, and other systems.
You can take charge to quickly relieve menstrual migraines using natural remedies for hormonal headaches and menstrual migraines to target the root cause rather than just painkillers that must be taken to treat these migraines.
Menstrual Migraines Symptoms
Menstrual migraines, also called hormonal headaches, are migraine symptoms linked to your period. The symptoms of migraines include:
- Pain that starts on one side of the head
- Sensitivity to light, sound and/or smell
- Cravings for salt, sugar, or alcohol
- Loss of appetite
These symptoms often occur before or during a period. The symptoms tend to be more severe, last longer and less responsive to most migraine treatments.
The causes of menstrual migraine
There is a link between low oestrogen levels at the start of a period and menstrual migraines. Oestrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect the sensation of pain. Other causes of menstrual migraines include nutrient deficiencies especially magnesium, lack of sleep, blood sugar imbalances, skipping meals, alcohol, and stress.
Women with very heavy and painful periods have been shown to have higher levels of prostaglandin which, in turn, has been shown to play a role in menstrual migraines.
What to avoid for menstrual migraines
There are certain things to avoid that may help to reduce the intensity of menstrual migraines or hormonal headaches and these include:
- Too much caffeine
- Inflammatory foods such as gluten, artificial sweeteners, and monosodium glutamate
- Intense exercise
Tips to treat menstrual migraines naturally
Whilst it’s vital to provide quick pain relief from menstrual migraines, it is equally important to have remedies that address the root cause of menstrual migraines. Below is a list of tips that I believe are important:
Hydrate - dehydration is a common cause of menstrual migraines and headaches. Aim for a minimum of half your body weight in fluid ounces of water to drink daily.
Nourish your body - eat nourishing meals daily; do not skip meals as this can cause blood sugar imbalances which can increase inflammatory stress hormones to worsen migraines.
Manage stress – stress is a contributor to inflammation which can cause hormonal imbalances leading to menstrual migraines. Whilst we cannot eliminate stress from our lives, we can work to reduce our exposure to stressors and the body’s stress response by exercising, going for walks, meditation, and other similar practices. You may also wish to consider a supplement that works to reduce stress hormones and elevate mood hormones called Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.
Sleep well – restorative sleep is vital to keep hormones balanced, lower stress levels, balance blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. If you are not getting sufficient sleep, consider giving your body adequate time to unwind before going to bed, dim lights in the bedroom, put away your mobile phones and perhaps try getting to bed before 10 pm. If this all helps but not sufficiently, consider Sleep Tight Plus, a comprehensive herbal supplement for sleep.
Exercise gently – gentle walks, stretching and yoga with gentle movements have been shown to reduce cortisol levels, promote circulation to get oxygen around the whole body and increase feel-good compounds that block pain receptors.
Consider targeted supplements – there are several supplements which can offer rapid menstrual migraine relief and work to prevent or mitigate the symptoms of these headaches.
Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex is a bioavailable form of turmeric and contains three of the most potent curcuminoids found in turmeric which display potent anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate pain1.
Magnesium Complex is one of the best magnesiums for migraines on the market. This magnesium supplement contains several types of magnesium compounds, including magnesium BHB, a highly bioavailable, form of magnesium that works quickly to relax muscles and nerves, therefore helping to ease the supply of oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain. It also contains magnesium compounds that help provide intermediate and long-term benefits such as restoring energy levels and preventing magnesium deficiencies which are so common in many women suffering from migraines and headaches2.
Finally, since low oestrogen levels are linked to menstrual migraines, you might find it beneficial to take a herbal supplement which contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are compounds that mimic oestrogen and hence help prevent menstrual migraines when taken on an ongoing basis. Sage Complex is one of the most comprehensive phytoestrogen supplements currently on the market.
Hormonal headaches and menstrual migraines are common for many women. Making some minor lifestyle changes and the inclusion of the correct supplementation can provide relief. If symptoms persist then please consult your GP.
- Mohseni M, Sahebkar A, Askari G, Johnston TP, Alikiaii B, Bagherniya M.Phytother Res. 2021 Dec;35(12):6862-6882. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7273. Epub 2021 Sep 15. The clinical use of curcumin on neurological disorders: An updated systematic review of clinical trials.
- Maasumi K, Tepper SJ, Kriegler JS.Headache. 2017 Feb;57(2):194-208. doi: 10.1111/head.12978. Epub 2016 Dec 2. Menstrual Migraine and Treatment Options: Review.
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