Menstrual migraines affect only women and are quite debilitating. The migraines are affected by hormones fluctuating through the menstrual cycle. Women suffer from migraines 3 times more frequently then men and those which are controlled by hormones are classified as menstrual headaches and PMS headaches. Menstrual migraines and PMS headaches occur in 60% of all women who suffer from migraines.
Menstrual migraines are a complex problem that requires a significant amount of skill to diagnose and treat successfully. Women shouldn’t be satisfied with the first answer or even the second one but should seek out care for menstrual migraines until they are satisfied that their particular menstrual migraines are adequately treated.
Serotinin is involved in the trigger of many menstrual migraines. Some researchers believe there is also a genetic link in the way that people metabolize serotonin and then the way in which the hormone interacts with the female hormones.
The symptoms of menstrual migraines are similar to those of migraines. The headaches usually start on one side, are throbbing and accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to bright lights.
PMS headaches happen before a woman’s period, not during it, and have symptoms which are different. Symptoms for PMS headaches include acne, fatigue, joint pain, increased urine output, constipation and possible lack of coordination. Women also feel a craving for chocolate, salt or alcohol.
Menstrual migraines are usually managed with the same treatments plans as those migraines that aren’t triggered by the cyclical hormonal changes in a woman’s body. Most sufferers will be treated with acute medications - those medications that treat the headache after the onset of symptoms. If the woman continues to have difficulties each month or the acute medications aren’t sufficient to manage the pain and disability of her menstrual migraines, the doctor may add preventative medications to the treatment plan.
Medications that have been proven to make a difference in the acute treatment of menstrual migraines include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), dihydroergotamine (DHE), and a combination of aspirin, caffeine and acetaminphen (AAC).
If the doctor adds preventative medications to the treatment plan for menstrual migraines, he may include naproxen, sumatriptan, triptan and DHE that is either nasal spray or injection. Sometimes these medications are given all month long and the dosage increased right before a woman’s period.
At other times the medication is given for only 2 weeks out of the month. The plan is dependent upon achieving the goals of treatment to decrease the pain and disability that results from the PMS headaches or mensttrual migrains with the least amount of medical intervention necessary.
If standard preventative methods don’t work then hormonal therapies might be attempted. Approaches include using estrogen during menstruation or adding extra estrogen to a birth control pill pack.
Some researchers have found triggers of menstrual migraines to be foods high in tyramine, an amino acid found in cheeses; alcohol; and foods high in phenylethylamine which is found in chocolates. Researchers have also found that missed meals, late nights and sudden weather changes also contribute to menstrual migraines and PMS headaches.
Without being able to control the amount of hormones raging through a woman’s body she is able to control the external triggers of her PMS headaches and menstrual migraines. By keeping a menstrual calendar a woman can identify triggers for her headaches as well as treatments that appear to work better than others. Using a menstrual calendar will help both the woman and her doctor.
Editor’s note: Our editors have found and tested two very effective remedies in the treatment of menstrual migraines and PMS headaches – FemaLite and MiGone Plus. MiGone Plus is a concentrated medicinal extract of three herbs especially chosen to quickly and effectively address the principle underlying causes of chronic headaches, and migraines. MiGone Plus works effectively to prevent migraines and chronic headaches, including cluster headaches and menstrual migraines; reduce muscle tension and spasms; stop tension headaches before they start; relieve the symptoms of arthritis; improve liver functioning and the elimination of toxins; relax and reduce anxiety and tension and prevent menstrual cramps.
Femalite is a natural, safe and effective liquid herbal formula especially for women and the effective treatment of the symptoms of Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS). It contains three powerful ingredients – Fennel, Pulsatilla and Melissa – to treat the most troublesome symptoms of PMS. Use Femalite for a few days before your period and say goodbye to bloating, sore breasts, menstrual cramps and mean mood swings!
As a single mother of six and 20+ year sufferer of menstrual migraines, I can tell you that being abed with a raging migraine is not conducive to parenting six active children! MiGone Plus and FemaLite have been lifesavers for me on more than one occasion and I cannot recommend them highly enough! ~Dee
These natural remedies are manufactured by Native Remedies. We thoroughly researched the company that makes these natural formulas and have found that all of their herbal products are created using their Full Spectrum Approach™ (FSA), a set of standards and processes that combines the best quality, laboratory-tested, raw ingredients, good manufacturing practices and a Full Spectrum manufacturing method to guarantee you products of the highest quality, safety and effectiveness.
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