Article courtesy of Dr Lara Briden
Suffering from hormonal headaches or menstrual migraines?
Here’s what you need to know.
Hormonal birth control can cause or worsen migraines
All types of hormonal birth control are potentially a problem for migraines but high estrogen pills are particularly bad and also carry a higher than average stroke risk for women with migraines. If birth control is the cause of your headaches, the best strategy is to just try stopping it.
👉 Tip: If you develop a new throbbing type of headache on the Mirena IUD, it could be a condition called intracranial hypertension.
Estrogen plays a role
Estrogen is involved in menstrual migraines because:
- a drop from high to low estrogen at the end of the cycle can trigger a migraines
- too much estrogen can cause mast cell activation and high histamine, which can worsen migraines.
For tips on reducing mast cell activation and histamine, read The Role of Mast Cells and Histamine in PMS.
Progesterone can relieve menstrual migraines
Micronized or natural progesterone can prevent or relieve migraines. It works by calming the brain, reducing histamine, and sheltering the brain from the premenstrual drop in estrogen. Speak to your doctor about a progesterone capsule (Prometrium or Utrogestan) and consider taking it at bedtime during the final two weeks of the menstrual cycle.
👉 Tip: There’s no progesterone in any type of hormonal birth control. Contraceptive drugs are progestins, which don’t have the same benefits.
3 Supplements to prevent migraines
- Magnesium is evidence-based treatment for migraine prevention. It works by calming the nervous system, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing serotonin receptors. Magnesium also prevents the release of substance-P, which is the pain-promoting neurotransmitter involved in migraines.
- Riboflavin or vitamin B2 may help prevent migraines. It works by normalizing the production of serotonin and improving the function of the MTHFR enzyme, which has been linked to migraines.
- Melatonin is as effective as amitriptyline for migraine prevention.
Gluten-sensitivity could be a factor
Avoiding wheat or gluten can reduce the inflammation that drives migraines. One study found that avoiding wheat eliminated migraines in 89 percent of patients.
Iron deficiency is the cause of post-menstrual migraines
Post-menstrual migraines or end-menstrual migraines are very different from pre-menstrual migraines. They’re not related to hormones. Instead, they’re triggered by the brief iron-deficiency anemia due to menstrual blood loss. The best treatment is to take iron.
For quality, practitioner-only supplements contact us at True Medicine to ensure you get what your body needs.