Menstrual migraines affect half of all women who suffer from migraines. Hormonal migraines are linked to falling levels of oestrogen and the normal release of prostaglandin during the first 48 hours of menstruation. Research shows that migraines are most likely to occur in the two days leading up to a period, and the first three days of a period.
There are two patterns:
There are no tests available to confirm the diagnosis. The only accurate way to tell if you have menstrual migraine is to keep a diary for at least three months, timing your migraine attacks and the days you have your period. This will also help you to identify non-hormonal migraine triggers. It is also important to address your diet and exercise regularly.
If you have migraines and heavy periods, the following can help:
Oestrogen levels require stricter regulation in comparison to other hormones in your body to ensure the natural rhythm runs smoothly. The liver metabolises oestrogen, if it is overloaded with medications or artificial substances, this can affect the metabolisation of oestrogen. Research shows that diet can attribute up to 90 percent of all factors affecting hormones.
Certain food ingredients act like toxins which can contribute to your migraines. These include:
In the run up to menopause, oestrogen levels go on a crazy ride and many women see their headaches worsen during this period. The menopause can be a difficult time for women with migraines. The irregularity of periods can make it difficult to cope with migraines as they become harder to predict. The problems that can be experienced at the menopause – hot flushes and night sweats – result in disturbed sleep and add to stress levels, boosting the likelihood of experiencing a migraine. However, when periods stop, migraines will likely stop too.