Doctors believe that 70% of migraine sufferers are women, and many of these women experience debilitating migraines as their hormones fluctuate each month. These menstrual migraines are caused by the sharp decrease of estrogen levels during a woman’s cycle, and each woman has unique triggers that determine the migraine frequency, severity and medical conditions related to hormonal headaches. This means that you will have to find the right techniques and medications that will alleviate your menstrual migraines.
If you are stressed out at work or at home, then it could be one of your migraine triggers. In order to keep your stress levels from prompting a severe headache, you need to adopt a lifestyle that minimizes stress and reduces migraines. In addition to deep breathing exercises and yoga, you can:
- stop drinking and smoking
- exercise regularly to reduce migraines
- eat a healthy diet
- get plenty of sleep
By making a few small changes to the way you live, you may find that you are better able to cope with the stress in your life. These changes can also reduce the frequency and severity of your menstrual migraines.
Pain Relief Medication
If you track your cycle, then you may be able to predict the onset of your menstrual migraine each month. By taking pain relief medication a few days before your headaches usually start, you may be able to prevent the onset of headaches. Since many pain relievers can cause health problems when they are taken over a long period of time, you should be careful about how often you take your medicine. You should also avoid taking pain relievers for more than a few days a week to prevent rebound headaches.
Magnesium plays a role in pain relief by relaxing blood vessels during a migraine, but many women suffer from a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supplements may give you the extra help you need to overcome or prevent your menstrual migraines. To increase your magnesium levels, take a 400 mg magnesium supplement each day. You can also add green leafy vegetables, seafood, bananas and beans to your diet.
Birth Control Pills
Since menstrual migraines are caused by lower estrogen levels, many women have found relief by taking birth control pills. These help balance levels of estrogen throughout the month so that women no longer suffer the effects of fluctuating hormones. However, some women find that birth control pills make their migraines worse. You will need to speak with your doctor to see if birth control pills could help you prevent your menstrual migraines.
If you suffer from menstrual migraines, then you are not alone. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can try to manage your monthly headaches or keep them at bay completely.
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