Migraine is a mysterious condition that occurs for unknown reasons. But it’s known that some migraines are linked to hormonal changes and can occur during perimenopause, when you start or stop birth control, or during your period.
More than 60 percent of women with migraines experience menstrual migraines. These can be accompanied by an aura. Menstrual-related migraines can happen right before, during, or after menstruation and even during ovulation.
According to multiple studies, menstrual-related migraines tend to be more severe, last longer, and cause more significant nausea than other types of migraines. Interestingly, women with menstrual migraines might benefit from medications that affect serotonin levels as well as hormonal treatments.
There are lots of factors that can lead to this type of migraine, including emotional, dietary, physical, environmental, and hormonal factors. Unlike other headaches, migraines can give warning signs. The good news is that you can take steps to minimize the impact of migraines or even prevent them.
Here are some things you can do to prevent migraines:
1. Reduce your inflammation
Menstrual-related migraines stem from hormonal shifts, but inflammation plays a role as well. Try managing your inflammation levels with wild-caught fish and non starchy veggies like dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes. You can also try turmeric, which can turn down the NFkB pathway responsible for migraine-related inflammation.
2. Try essential oils
Topical lavender or peppermint essential oils can help relieve menstrual migraines. Though they don’t always eliminate headaches, they can help improve your well-being while you find the root cause of migraines. Dilute a couple of drops of either essential oil into a carrier oil like coconut or avocado oil, and massage it onto your temples and forehead.
3. Have an orgasm
Regular orgasms can help lower migraine pain and even prevent chronic headaches. According to multiple studies, regular orgasms can provide complete relief in about 47% of people with migraines. Need more motivation to hit the sheets? Regular orgasms can boost your sleep, improve skin health, lower anxiety, boost your immune system, among other things.
4. Try some supplements
Certain supplements can actually help you avoid headaches or at least lower their intensity. These include:
- Magnesium. 50 percent of people lack magnesium. Try taking 600 mg of magnesium as soon as you feel a migraine coming on in order to stop it from progressing. You can also add some magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are full of this mineral. Plus, magnesium can also help lower period pain.
- Feverfew. Feverfew has been proven to help prevent migraines. Aim for at least 25 mg daily to get the most benefit from this anti-inflammatory herb.
- Vitamin B2. Taking 400 mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) daily will help you reduce the number of migraine attacks. It’s important to take riboflavin for at least one month to notice any effect.
5. Identify your food triggers
Many foods can actually contribute to migraines. The biggest culprits are aged cheeses like Parmesan, gluten, and wine. They can activate your immune response, raise inflammation, and lead to issues like leaky gut. Avoid these foods just before and during your period. Instead, increase your consumption of anti-inflammatory foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado, turmeric, and fatty fish.
6. Exercise regularly
Doing exercise may seem a bad idea during your period, especially when the period is accompanied by migraines. Many migraine sufferers report that yoga is helpful. Yoga is a great workout during this time to boost blood circulation, maintain a healthy nervous system, and reduce stress levels. Therefore adding a regular yoga practice can help prevent headaches.
7. Keep a journal
Migraines are often linked to hormonal fluctuations. Therefore, starting a headache journal and tracking your cycle can be helpful. You’ll be able to identify hormone imbalances and other lifestyle factors or foods that might be causing your headaches.