6 Ways to Treat and Prevent Hormonal Migraines

Migraines come in all different shapes and forms and are triggered by a wide range of factors. For some, a migraine attack may hit after eating certain foods, a stressful day, or lack of sleep. Others are susceptible to migraines because of chemical and blood flow changes to the brain. But,not all migraines are created equal and some are much rarer than others.

Many women who suffer from migraines notice a correlation with their menstrual cycle, and some even have their first migraine during perimenopause. The more you understand the why behind the migraine, the better equipped you will be to treat (and prevent) it from getting out of control.

The Hormonal Effect

When it comes to hormonal migraines, the first thing to discuss is the influence of estrogen. Before a woman begins her menstrual cycle, and in the time leading up to menopause (the perimenopausal stage), there is a significant decrease in the amount of estrogen the body produces. When this happens, it can affect other important hormones, throwing a woman’s entire system out of whack. This fluctuation in hormonal levels can then lead to debilitating migraines. Some of the hormones linked to menstrual migraine attacks include:

  • Serotonin
  • Magnesium
  • Nitric oxide
  • Prostaglandins

How to Prevent Hormonal Migraines

Women get more migraines than men, and hormonal (or menstrual) migraines affect more than 50 percent of women who suffer from migraines. It’s an extremely common occurrence, therefore, finding ways to prevent hormonal migraine is often a top priority. Many women have found success with starting a menstrual diary, and recording when the migraine began and ended during the previous three cycles.

Once you have a better understanding of when the migraine appears during your menstrual cycle, the better prepared you will be to treat it. You’d be amazed on what you can figure out just by regular, diligent tracking. It also helps to make note of any other symptoms you have along with the migraine, such as aura or visual disturbances.

Treating Hormonal Migraines Naturally

Just as every migraine is different, so is every patient. There are many different solutions out there, so give a couple a try and move onto the next if you aren’t finding relief; however, give regimens time to work.  Often, it can take several weeks to start seeing results using natural measures.

Six of the most effective ways to treat hormonal migraines include:

  • Supplements – One of the most common causes of hormonal migraines is a nutrient deficiency. Taking supplements like Vitamin D, B6, B12, B1 and magnesium can help regulate nerve and muscle function, as well as blood sugar levels.
  • Lifestyle – Food and sleep are both common migraine triggers. Making sure you get enough sleep and are maintaining a balanced diet is a huge help when wanting to regulate common hormonal changes.
  • Diet – Many women have found they can reduce their migraines by making significant changes to their diet, such as cutting out gluten and reducing sugar intake.
  • Stress reduction – Stress is oftena huge culprit in the migraine-game, which is why adopting a stress-reduced lifestyle can be of benefit. I’ve seen women use meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and breathwork to get the job done with good success.
  • Hydration – Staying hydrated, especially during your menstrual cycle, can go a long way in treating these types of migraines.
  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, and other alternative therapies have also proven to be effective in treating active migraine, preventing future attacks, and in helping reduce the symptoms associated with your menses.

If you are suffering from hormonal migraines and would like to learn more about how to treat and prevent them, call 203-840-000 for a phone consultation with me, or come in during my office hours M-F 9-6 EST.

Sources

Bastyr University – Treat Hormonal Migraines Naturally

Everyday Health – 7 Remedies for Menstrual Migraines

Migraine Trust – Menstrual Migraines