It’s such a headache to have hormonal migraines, isn’t it?! Searching for hormonal migraine relief can be hard, but not impossible! I used to struggle a lot with migraines and headaches when I first got my cycle. Like clockwork, they would come in the middle of my cycle and right before my period started. I didn’t know there was a reason for this at the time, but now that I do, I no longer have excruciating migraines that prevent me from doing the things I love.
If you relate to that at all, you need to read this whole article because It is going to be super beneficial to you and bring awareness to the WHY. As an added bonus ill share my secrets on how to get some hormonal migraine relief.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
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Hormonal fluctuations: particularly estrogen
Hormonal fluctuations, particularly those related to the menstrual cycle, can play a significant role in triggering migraines in some women. This type of migraine is often referred to as “menstrual migraines” or “hormonal migraines.”
Estrogen is thought to have a modulating effect on pain pathways and blood vessels in the brain. Fluctuations in estrogen levels, particularly a decrease in estrogen just before menstruation, can trigger changes in the brain’s pain-processing centers and affect blood vessel function. This can contribute to the onset of migraines.
These can occur in one or both of these times: when estrogen peaks (ovulation/mid-cycle) or the day before or on your period (when estrogen drops)
The drop in estrogen levels that occurs in the days leading up to menstruation can be a trigger for migraines. This drop is particularly significant in women who are more sensitive to hormonal changes.
In a study giving women 1.5mg of synthetic estrogen 48 hours prior to the expected migraine, 31% experienced relief, and 96% of the women in the placebo group did not. What does this tell us? Estrogen balance has a HUGE effect on migraine intensity.
I’m not at all saying go get synthetic hormones to fix your issues because if you read on, birth control pill is also a cause for hormonal migraines and it’s just a band-aid to the underlying issue. However, I am saying that balancing your hormones (yes you can do that naturally) will lessen the likelihood of experiencing migraines in and around your period. This is because the hormonal fluctuations are not as drastic IF your hormones are in a healthy spot.
Sensitivity to changes
Some women seem to be more sensitive to hormonal changes and fluctuations, making them more prone to experiencing migraines triggered by these changes. Genetics can play a small role in the amount/intensity of hormonal migraines you experience. However, don’t use that as an excuse. We aren’t about that, I believe you can and will get your hormones in a better spot and return, reap the benefits of feeling good at all points of your cycle!
Hormonal birth control methods that affect estrogen and progesterone levels can also impact migraine frequency. Some women experience migraines as a side effect of birth control, while others find that certain formulations of birth control can actually help manage their migraines.
Migraines are a side effect not everyone will experience; it depends on how your body responds to the pills.
The transition to menopause, marked by fluctuating hormone levels, can also lead to changes in migraine patterns. Some women experience relief from migraines after menopause, while others may see an increase in frequency
Ways to get hormonal migraine relief
While the cause of your hormonal migraines may differ from woman to woman, there are a few key things to remember when you want to cure yourself of them.
Hormonal imbalances will make your life worse
So focusing on proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and improving sleep quality does wonders for hormonal balance.
- Take magnesium DAILY. Magnesium is one of the most common minerals for people to be lacking in. This is because it’s used in over 300 chemical reactions that take place in the body. In fact, some studies have concluded that higher doses of magnesium citrate “can be a safe and cost-efficient strategy”.
- Eat balanced meals REGULARLY. Balance meals a protein, carb (with fiber), and fat sources to maintain blood sugar balance and not go too long without food in your system.
- Regular exercise. A review published in 2020 identified studies showing that regular exercise could reduce migraine pain, intensity, and duration! Go figure hey?! For myself and my clients, I like to suggest syncing your cycle up with your workout routine to account for the hormonal fluctuations that happen with your cycle! More on that here.
- Sleep. Getting some restful sleep is one, if not the most underrated way to improve migraine intensity and ultimately your hormonal balance as well. To improve your night and morning routines so you can actually sleep through the night, check out this post!
In conclusion, hormonal migraines are a b*tch to deal with every month. You shouldn’t have to endure them either! When you think about it, a few days EVERY MONTH is a lot to be in unnecessary pain. However, If you take the necessary steps to eat right, exercise, mind your stress levels, and supplement strategically. You can achieve freedom from hormonal issues like migraines.