As a naturopathic doctor, I have seen many women who suffer from menstrual migraines due to hormone imbalance. Menstrual migraines, also known as premenstrual migraines, are headaches that occur in women who experience hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle. These migraines typically occur during the PMS phase and can be debilitating for some women.
Hormone imbalance, specifically estrogen dominance, is often the root cause of menstrual migraines. Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an excess of estrogen in the body relative to progesterone. This imbalance can lead to a variety of symptoms, including menstrual migraines.
Fortunately, there are natural treatments that can help alleviate menstrual migraines and restore hormonal balance. In this blog post, I will discuss the most effective natural treatments for menstrual migraines due to hormone imbalance.
Diet and Nutrition for Menstrual Migraines
Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in managing menstrual migraines. A healthy diet can help regulate hormones, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health. The following dietary changes may help alleviate menstrual migraines:
Eat a whole foods diet
A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods can help reduce inflammation and regulate hormone levels. Focus on eating various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Avoid processed foods
Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, all of which can exacerbate inflammation in the body. Avoid processed foods and instead focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol
Both caffeine and alcohol can trigger migraines in some people. If you suffer from menstrual migraines, consider reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Increase water intake
Dehydration can trigger migraines in some people. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Eat magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium is an essential mineral that can help alleviate menstrual migraines. Foods high in magnesium include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes.
Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements for Menstrual Migraines
In addition to dietary changes, certain vitamins, herbs, and supplements may help alleviate menstrual migraines.
Vitamin B6 is involved in producing neurotransmitters, which regulate mood and reduce pain. Studies have shown that taking a daily dose of vitamin B6 may help alleviate menstrual migraines.
As mentioned earlier, magnesium is a mineral that can help alleviate menstrual migraines. Taking a magnesium supplement may be helpful for some women.
Butterbur is an effective herb in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. However, it is important to note that butterbur should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, as it can have side effects.
Feverfew is another herb that effectively reduces the frequency and severity of migraines. Like butterbur, feverfew should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce inflammation in the body. Taking an omega-3 supplement may be helpful for some women who suffer from menstrual migraines.
In addition to dietary changes and supplements, certain lifestyle changes may help alleviate menstrual migraines.
Exercise is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can trigger migraines in some people. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to help prevent menstrual migraines.
Stress can trigger migraines in some people. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to help manage stress.
Avoid migraine triggers
Identify any triggers causing your menstrual migraines and avoid them as much as possible. Common triggers include certain foods, alcohol, caffeine, and stress.
Keep a migraine diary
Keeping a migraine diary can help you identify patterns and triggers for your menstrual migraines. Record when your migraines occur, how long they last, and any other symptoms you experience.
It is important to note that natural treatments may not work for everyone, and working with a naturopathic doctor to determine your best treatment plan is important. Additionally, if you experience severe or frequent menstrual migraines, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions.
In conclusion, menstrual migraines due to hormone imbalance can be debilitating for some women. Fortunately, there are natural treatments that can help alleviate menstrual migraines and restore hormonal balance. Dietary changes, supplements, and lifestyle modifications can all play a role in managing menstrual migraines. Work with a healthcare practitioner to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Natural Treatment for Menstrual Migraines References:
Women’s Health. (n.d.). Menstrual Migraine. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-migraine
American Migraine Foundation. (n.d.). Menstrual Migraine. Retrieved from https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/menstrual-migraine/
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2021, July). Butterbur. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/butterbur
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2021, July). Feverfew. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/feverfew
Schürks, M., Rist, P. M., & Kurth, T. (2010). Magnesium and Migraine. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10(3), 369–379. doi: 10.1586/ern.09.124.
Parazzini, F., Di Martino, M., Pellegrino, P., Magnani, E., & Luchini, L. (1985). Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and the premenstrual syndrome: a randomized crossover trial. Journal of International Medical Research, 13(3), 174–179. doi: 10.1177/030006058501300307