The characteristics of hormonal migraines for millions of women are above and beyond the normal monthly PMS that brings cramps, bloating and irritability.
MILLIONS suffer the brutal throbbing disabling pain, nausea, visual disturbances, isolation, fear, and sensitivities to sound, smell and movement around 'that time of the month'.
Hormones are the trigger from hell for me!
More women get migraines around their period than not.
I have read it is almost becoming the norm to get a headache before your period. How sad!
The drop in estrogen's is blamed in most cases where typically the levels drop a few days before the period begins and can continue on for a day or two after (or more). Estrogen's – because there is more than just one!
What works most effectively to stop migraines before and during your period? It can be hit and miss. Natural home remedies, supplements, diet, exercise, or medications? It can get confusing.
There is a family of migraine medications called “Triptans” that are effective for hormonal migraines - for those who they work for! Science still does not know why they work for some and not for others!
Triptans work to reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain that cause the pain. They also block chemicals in the nerve endings "and they prevent transmission of pain signals from the lining of the brain to the brain itself” (WebMD.com).
They are extremely expensive, here in Australia, but are remarkably effective. If you have not tried them for your hormonal migraines, then I suggest that you see your doctor and consider them. The studies are impressive and I have found that they are definitely worth a try. Be prepared, it might be trial and error until you find one that works for you.
The recommendation from my doctor is that women can take a triptan
from “two days before their period starts to two days after and see if
it makes a difference.” So approximately 11 days each month.
From my research it looks like Frovatriptan (Frova®) and
Naratriptan (Amerge®, Naramig®) are the best triptans to take for treating menstrual migraines. Make sure you get your medications from somewhere reputable like a trusted local pharmacist.
Dr. Andrew Jones sees migraine as a “worldwide epidemic” and cites birth control pills as a major contributor.
He has another theory.
He thinks progesterone is the culprit and the gateway to the cure! He says and I quote “The primary cause is a hormone called progesterone”.
His book is called The Natural Cure to Your Migraine Headache: What the Big Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know. The word “cure” makes me nervous.
Dr. Jones has impressive credentials along with 8 books and 17 years of experience. He says some strong things like - traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is useless and that Bio-identical hormones are the only way to go.
He states that “there is no evidence that the human body converts diosgenin into hormones” directing us not to get caught up in the “Wild Yam Goose Chase!” He repeatedly says that all is needed is the balancing of the progesterone and estrogen ratios.
Bio-Identical hormones are still man made in a compounding pharmacy but are considered to be more natural and identical to the body’s own hormones. He says that traditional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic (man-made) “chemicals that are not biologically identical to those in your body”.
The very thought of taking horse
urine (Premarin) makes me shiver. But then I was never one for taking lots of pills or tablets, until migraines made me think otherwise.
Our hormones regulate our menstrual cycles and almost everything else in the body – skin, hair, heart and the brain.
For example they control: “emotions and moods, childhood growth, digestion, energy, sleep, appetite, sugar and fat metabolism, hair growth, salt and water balance, bone hardness, libido, kidney function, blood pressure, the immune system, wound healing, blood cell production" … and the list goes on and on.
Dr. Jones says his method of balancing the ratio of progesterone and estrogen's has an 80% success rate of either the hormonal migraines disappearing all together or having a significant reduction. That’s pretty amazing.
If I weren’t on the hormone creams (tri-estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone) when I got his book I would have tried the tablets. He also states that creams just don’t work. His book is very thorough so if you don’t live in the United States you can still try his method.
It’s been just over year now that I am off all the hormones I have been on for the last 10 years. My migraines remain at 20 days per month. My new doctor wanted me to start over from scratch. Her experience with progesterone cream and hormonal migraines is effective in the short-term but not long-term nor does it have lasting results.
Not a cure!
I was on those creams for 10 years and the doctors I saw during that time only refilled my prescriptions! They did not retest for balance after the first test showed that my hormones were balanced.
I highly recommend getting tested every couple of years, if you choose to have bio-identical hormone support, as at certain ages our hormones change yet again.
I like all of these, try one and see if it helps you too.
If you have tried HRT, Bio-identical hormones or found what works for you and your hormonal migraines?
Tell me below in the comments.
Help me help others who suffer with this type of migraine.
1. Jones, A. M.D. (2009) The Natural Cure to your Migraine Headache: What the Big Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know (5th Ed.). Self Published, USA. pp.33-37.
2. WebMD (2015) Hormonal and Menstrual Migraines.
Types of Migraines
Hormonal Migraines: What Works Best?