Natural Treatment of Menstrual or Hormonal Migraines
Rebecca: ‘Maybe James can help you with your migraines’
Chantelle: ‘No I don’t think so. I’ve had them forever and seen every specialist under the sun’.
James: ‘Here hold my kombucha’.
Over the years I’ve seen women who come to me with severe migraines and headaches related to their menstrual cycle. Many of them have been prescribed the contraceptive pill, they’ve been prescribed blood pressure drugs, anti-epileptics, and even anti-psychotics. Or they just know they’re coming and load up on pain killers and miss days of work. Unfortunately none of these medications come without their risks or side effects. From talking to the women taking them, they often don’t work and they feel like they’re choosing between two evils.
Menstrual or hormonal migraines are often caused by the change from from high to low oestrogen. It can be due to oestrogen detoxification issues and I’ve also seen this occur with high levels of histamine (more on this later).
So where do we start?
My favourites are Magnesium and natural progesterone (or any other way we can improve progesterone naturally) are the top two natural treatment for migraine prevention. Other strategies include reducing histamine and maybe avoiding gluten.
The pill is not a good solution because it can worsen migraines (plus it may be a signed of increased risk of stroke and blood clotting), and the use of the other above medications ignore the ‘why’. Your hormonal/menstrual migraine is not a blood pressure problem or epilepsy.
How oestrogen affects migraines
Excess oestrogen can activate mast cells and therefore histamine to create or worsen migraines. So why only close to a period when oestrogen is dropping? It can be the sharp change from high to low which can trigger a migraine.
NB. Your Dr can prescribe micronized progesterone – ‘Prometrium’ is a brand commonly used. The progesterone can help by calming the brain, reducing the histamine response and buffers the change in oestrogen. None of the contraceptives contain natural progesterone. They are progestins which are different and do not have the same benefits.
So which Magnesium?
Our go-to for migraines is MagTaur Xcell – a practitioner only Magnesium. Why this one? It contains not only magnesium, but other co-nutrients that prevent migraines – Taurine and Riboflavin. The magnesium works by reducing inflammation, stabilises serotonin receptors and helps prevent the release of substance-P (a pain producing neurotransmitter involved in migraines).
Why avoid gluten?
Avoiding wheat or gluten can reduce the inflammation that drives migraines. In one study a gluten-free diet eliminated migraines in 89 percent of patients.
Feel free to share this info with someone you care about who may be suffering unnecessarily.
Need a bit of tailored help? Book in for a consult or pop in store!
Also shoutout to Dr Lara Briden who is pioneering work in this area!