For many women with migraines, attacks occur around the same time as their monthly cycle and can be especially intense. These attacks are often longer too and cause greater light sensitivity than attacks occurring other times of the month. It is such an awful experience that no woman should come to terms with; however some think that headaches are a part of having a menstrual cycle. And so they simply see it as a normal thing. But the truth is that, not all women have headaches during their menstrual cycles.
If you are a victim of monthly migraines, the good news is that you can stop those painful monthly headaches if you know what to look for!
There can be lots of different causes of migraines that are tied to your cycle. Some common causes for monthly migraines are-
Estrogen dominance- this happens when there is too little progesterone to balance out the effects of estrogen circulating in one’s body or if there is a higher concentration of dangerous estrogen metabolites. It can happen even if one has low estrogen. Estrogen dominance may lead to heavy bleeding, longer periods, and those “terrible migraines.” Apart from migraines, estrogen dominance causes other negative health effects. These may include blood clots, mood swings, ovarian cysts, fibroids, weight gain, allergies, infertility, depression, accelerated aging, among others.
Low progesterone- monthly migraines can be triggered by low levels of progesterone. Low progesterone causes migraines, as well as other negative symptoms. Some other scary results of low progesterone may include depression, anxiety, low libido, vaginal dryness, tender breasts, and more. Estrogen is balanced by progesterone to keep everything in our bodies in perfect synchrony. Normally, estrogen and progesterone “tango” together each month and balance out each other. When there is an imbalance, one may have irregular periods, fertility problems, sleep disturbances, metabolic issues, mood swings, leading from low progesterone.
Excess inflammation- in our bodies can have many negative health effects. Some studies suggest neurogenic inflammation may increase the frequency of migraines.
Stress– in a stressed environment (like ours)that is so polluted; un-conducive; with increasing economic hardship, pressure to meet deadlines and deliver targets, people are more likely to have lots of stress in their lives. Stress can negatively impact one’s body in countless ways and can definitely cause migraine headaches. And the pain of migraines can cause more stress, creating a vicious cycle. Chronic stress impacts everything! Stress can mess up your digestive system, thyroid and liver. Excessive stress triggers cortisol production and cortisol actually steals your progesterone. And of course, when you have lower progesterone, your estrogen takes over and our hormones are thrown out of whack.
When you are experiencing periods of increased stress, your organs may not be efficient enough to respond to your stress. And when your body is not able to properly regulate stress, migraines are more likely to happen.
Now you know some of the root causes of those painful monthly migraines and what to look out for. The solution is to recognize each sign and take targeted action. For instance, if you recognize the signs of estrogen dominance, you should know you need to make some specific lifestyle changes for better liver health and gut to turn things around.
Take hormone balancing herbs– many herbs have indicated to alleviate symptoms associated with estrogen dominance. Liver- promoting herbs (hepatics) help a lot when it comes to expelling excess estrogen in the body. Herbs that support the liver to help clear out excess estrogen in the body include: milk thistle, beet root, ginger, rosemary, dandelion (leaf/root), and turmeric root and artichoke leaf. Many of these are locally available and can be found in form of teas, capsules or powders. I’ll recommend that anyone having issues with hormonal imbalance and related estrogen dominance symptoms indulge in these herbs. Get them to detoxify your liver and help optimize its function. They will nurture and support your body daily, bring your estrogen and progesterone back into balance. Used along with pre-made supplements formulated for hormone balance would really help turn around your migraines and get you relief!
Low progesterone-induced migraines? Take herbs to correct low progesterone difficulties. The superstar plants to support healthy progesterone production includes- maca, vitex, ashwaganda, all are readily available in health stores. You can also try eating foods with vitamin B6 and zinc. While vitamin B6 has a role in keeping hormones balanced and regulated, zinc helps your ovaries create more progesterone and estrogen. Some foods can also promote progesterone production – spinach, pumpkin, kale, beans, cabbage, nuts, and whole grains. By supporting the production of healthy hormones, low progesterone is corrected naturally.
Reduce stress- to naturally support bodily function to reduce stress, take adaptogenic herbs and nutrients. These herbs help support healthy cortisol levels and aid your body in reacting to or recovering from both short-and long-term physical or mental stress.
They also combat fatigue, enhance mental performance and help you thrive through a hectic day. If your own case is stress-related, these biological boosters will help you cope better- chamomile, basil, panax ginseng, licorice, turmeric, ashwaganda, passion flower, senna, etc. Tea made from passion flower, roasted senna seeds; chamomile will bring a sense of calm, relaxation, relieve pains as well as ease you into sleep.
Take magnesium to reduce inflammation. Using a properly formulated magnesium supplement helps reduce migraine severity as well as frequency. Another wonderful way to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent monthly migraines is following a gluten-free diet.
Bottom line-migraines can be tied to your menstrual cycle and monthly fluctuations that happen naturally in your body. You can find relief from monthly migraines by dealing with their root causes! Healthy lifestyle, proper diet, reducing stress, and using helpful hormonal botanicals all support your body and can provide tremendous relief!