It’s the 28th of the month! There goes the hormones again! Oh the burden of being a woman, especially when it comes to symptoms like cramps and menstrual migraines.
Do you sometimes wonder why you always experience headaches just right around your period? Don’t feel alone! About fifty percent of women get migraines just before or during their monthly cycle. And don’t worry, there are treatments and remedies that can help.
But first, let’s learn more about what a menstrual migraine is and what causes it.
What Causes Menstrual Migraines?
Many women experience migraine as part of their PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms. They usually occur alongside other symptoms like abdominal cramping, sore breasts, acne and mood swings. Menstrual migraines can start as early as two days before your period or can pop up three days from your first day.
Hormonal changes are the main trigger for period-related migraines. How does this happen? There are two hormones involved in this situation: estrogen and progesterone. Before your period, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body fluctuate. They usually drop lower than their usual levels, to allow body changes during menstruation. Don’t fret though; these changes signify that you are healthy and fertile. Suffering from a migraine may simply be because your body is quite sensitive to a change in hormonal levels.
Tips for Preventing Menstrual Migraines
Don’t you worry, dear ladies! We can surpass menstrual migraines by taking to heart the following tips:
Change your diet.
Try to avoid or eliminate foods that have enhancers or chemicals like MSG (monosodium glutamate), aspartame (substitute for sugar), refined sugars, and the like. Also, try to eat processed foods like canned goods and cold cuts only in moderation. All the better if you can completely cut them out from your diet! The more natural your foods are, the better.
Modify your lifestyle.
Make it a habit to have enough sleep. Your body is restored through sufficient rest. This means not only getting adequate number of hours of sleep, but also taking note of its quality. So, try to go to bed earlier. In addition to sleep, exercise can also be great for your hormones. You can start by doing short walks around your area or in any place you find relaxing.
Easier said than done I know! But making an effort to be free from stress can massively help prevent migraines. Knowing what causes your stress can help you avoid having too intense period symptoms. Getting overwhelmed with challenges is easy so scheduling relaxation time for yourself can help avoid triggering headaches, especially during your period. Relaxation methods like meditation, yoga or Tai chi can help as well!
- Read in my blog about Anxiety Symptoms
Over-the- Counter Meds for Menstrual Migraines
Painkillers are an effective solution for acute migraines, such as those you have during your period. Acetaminophen is one of these medications. NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be effective as well. Examples of NSAIDs are aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen or diclofenac.
- Please read about risks when using ibuprofen
- Read more about migraine treatments in my post: Migraine – Symptoms and Relief Medications
If you think your period-related migraines are unbearable, or if you frequently have migraines even when you don’t have your period, visit your doctor. He may prescribe you with another medication to help manage your migraines.