Migraines can attack anyone, but women are more prone to them than men. There are several factors that determine whether a person suffers from migraines, including the person’s age and family history. However, hormones also play a large part in the severe headaches that women experience during their menstrual cycles. If you have migraines before or during your period, here are some techniques that may alleviate your symptoms.
What are Menstrual Migraines?
Your body produces less estrogen right before your period, which may trigger the onset of a migraine. These headaches can often last for hours or even a few days while your body adjusts to the fluctuating hormone levels. Many women also experience hormone headaches during menopause, and some even suffer during pregnancy.
Treating Menstrual Migraines
If you suffer from migraines due to changing hormone levels, you don’t have to lock yourself away once a month as you cope with them. There are several treatments that women have used to alleviate some of their pain, including:
- over-the-counter pain relievers
- ice packs on the head or neck
- Triptan medications
Birth Control Pills
Some doctors recommend birth control pills to migraine sufferers to help regulate their hormone levels all month long. However, some women find that birth control pills actually make their migraines worse. In order to benefit from hormonal birth control, you should ask for pills that have low doses of estrogen that will help you stay balanced during your menstrual cycles. You may also find relief if you use a low-dose estrogen pack on the days when you take the placebo pills.
Menstrual Migraine Prevention
If you suffer from menstrual migraines, then you need to work with your doctor to find the best treatment. He may prescribe prescription pain relievers that you take before your period starts in order to keep migraines at bay. He may also recommend daily medications that will prevent severe headaches, such as magnesium, beta blockers or antidepressants. You can also make some lifestyle changes that will help prevent migraine headaches and limit their intensity. By reducing your stress levels and engaging in regular physical activity, you may be able to minimize the effects that migraines have on your daily life. You can also avoid other triggers that may make your menstrual migraines more severe.
Millions of women suffer from migraines that are triggered by fluctuating hormones. If you have menstrual migraines, then visit with your doctor to find a treatment plan that will allow you to live normally every day of the month.
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