Do you suffer with migraines that happen just before or during your period?
Then you are one of the women who have to endure debilitating migraines in addition to “normal” period crappiness every month. I feel you, it’s not fun. In addition, these menstrual migraines are also more resistant to conventional treatment than non-hormonal migraines and they usually last longer too.
Painkillers not killing the pain? Synthetic hormones not helping? If you are looking for a solution that might actually do the trick, read on.
This is how hormones can cause migraines
Before you start your period, levels of both oestrogen and progesterone drop dramatically and this triggers the start of the monthly bleed. For some women, this sudden change in hormones also triggers a headache or a migraine.
Especially declining levels of oestrogen have been contributed to these migraines. This usually happens when there has been a period of time of higher oestrogen levels (like during the 2nd half of menstrual cycle) which then suddenly drops. It seems these women have an increased sensitivity to oestrogen fluctuations. Also, interestingly, women who suffer with menstrual migraines are 2 to 3 times more likely to have depression, panic disorders or phobias.
Case study: 3 days of migraine misery every month
I treated a lady who had exactly that – menstrual migraines and some mental health symptoms (depression, anxiety, stress). She also had other signs of hormonal imbalance; PMS irritability and heavy, clotted periods.
Her migraines always happened before her period was due or on the first day of the flow. She would have pain that would start on the temples and then wander around her head and extend to teeth and jaw. It would last for 3 days.
Often she spent those days in bed in a dark, cool room unable to go to work or to participate in everyday life. And this happened to her every single month.
I prescribed her a homeopathic remedy called Pulsatilla based on the combination of all her symptoms and her unique circumstances.
Pulsatilla is a great remedy for women who get affected by any hormonal influence, such as periods, childbirth and puberty. Those needing Pulsatilla usually experience changing or wandering symptoms, they want fresh air in the room and need sympathy and attention from others to make them feel better. They can be emotional and weepy.
So what was the result of the treatment?
A few weeks after starting the treatment she had her period. The day before she was due she felt like a migraine was going to come on but then it didn’t. Result! This shows that the body was now able to correct the imbalance and be less reactive to the oestrogen drop that normally triggered her migraines.
In the next couple of months I helped her with cystitis, anxiety and stress. We went through a few different remedies but in her case the migraines were sorted with the first remedy which was a great result.
Four months after starting treatment, the patient is still enjoying migraine-free life and even if she would develop one in the future, we now know that she responds well to homeopathy and a dose or two of indicated remedy would fix it.
Often in migraine cases I might give an additional therapeutic remedy to replace painkillers with. Every case is unique and everyone responds differently but changes are usually seen quite quickly after starting treatment.
6 self-help first aid remedies for migraines
You can purchase homeopathic remedies from natural health stores or homeopathic pharmacies, such as Helios. For acute headaches I would recommend 200c potency. The remedy might need to be repeated often during the attack until feeling better. Take less when symptoms ease.
Violent throbbing or pulsating pain. Head feels full, face might be flushed red and feel hot. Pain starts suddenly out of the blue, often exposure to cold air triggers this type of headache. Cannot lie down, sensitive to light, touch, noise or sudden movements. Hard pressure on the head can bring relief.
Congested headaches where the head feels like it will burst. Head will feel very heavy and often the sufferer will hold the head in their hands. Heat and redness in the head. Often triggered by too much sun exposure. Cannot tolerate any heat around head.
Hormonal trigger, especially for women in menopause. Headache feels worse indoors and better in fresh air. Lying on the painful side of the head can bring relief. Often comes with nausea and vomiting. Or hot flushes and sweating.
Migraines that are triggered by the menstrual cycle. Also known for migraines that start at sunrise and disappear at sunset. Pain will feel like little hammers beating on the head. The migraine attack might start with numbness or tingling in lips, nose or tongue.
Migraine with pain that starts from the back of the head and settles then over the right eye. Going without meals can trigger the migraine. Usually accompanied with nausea and vomiting which bring relief. Will feel better by lying down and sleeping.
Migraines with intense nausea or vomiting. Burning feeling in throat, chest or stomach. Bitter taste or vomit. Migraines that often start with aura or blur before the eyes.