Menstrual migraines do not have to rule your life. While I’ve suffered with them since I was a young teen, I have also found many ways to prevent, reduce and treat the problem so that I live a normal life now with what was once a debilitating condition. My oldest daughter is now nearing menstruation age and has been diagnosed with migraines as well. But at least we know how to deal with it so she does not have to learn the hard through experience like her mother.
It was estimated that 70% of migraine sufferers are females. A large majority of these female sufferers complain of migraines relates to their menstrual cycles, which is where the name menstrual migraines comes from. While I have migraines not directly related to my cycle, there has usually always been some type of correlation in that and the migraines.
This is believed to be due to the correlation between hormones and headaches. Changes in levels of the estrogen hormone in the woman’s body will contribute to the headaches. Usually, estrogen levels will drop before the start of menstrual flow. This is why migraines will usually disappear during pregnancy.
I also have endometriosis, a condition that is also related to the menstrual cycle. Treatment for my endometriosis required suppressing periods, which I found made a bigger problem for my menstrual migraines. The treatment for my endometriosis was an extended birth control plan that increased the levels of estrogen in my system. Studies have shown that migraines become more severe in many women taking birth control pills. Since coming off the pill is not always an option, you will need to find other ways of dealing with your menstrual migraines, which I did as well.
Treatment often include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) but there are also natural treatments you can try to help ease your menstrual migraines. Chiropractic treatment can prove very helpful as well as lowering your salt intake. Try to remain well hydrated, especially when you know your period is coming on. Hormone levels will drop the most right before your period starts.
Another thing that my daughter and I find helpful are BeKool pads. These can be found at your local pharmacy and they are little strips that you can place on your forehead, face and head to help relieve the pain of migraines. They work best when you use them with a dose of Tylenol at the start before the headache gets its most severe. Then you can ease it off before it completely gets you down.