It has been estimated that around 70% of migraine sufferers are women. The migraine headaches can be triggered by a number of factors. However, a large majority of women complain that their migraine headaches are triggered by menstrual cycles and erratic hormonal fluctuations in the body.
Premenstrual migraines occur when there is a severe drop in the hormones progesterone and estrogen in the body. Menstrual migraine headaches can be very severe and debilitating. Taking remedial and preventive steps can curb the severity of the migraine attack.
Migraines During Menstruation
NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are used for the treatment of pain in the body. These drugs should ideally be taken 2-3 days before the onset of the menstrual cycle.
Taking drugs may actually help to ward off a migraine attack. The common drugs taken during this time are Advil, Motrin and nalfon. The medicines should be taken till the last day of the cycle. Once the periods are over, the probability of suffering from an attack is greatly reduced.
Controlling Fluid Retention
Excessive fluid retention occurring in the woman’s body can also predispose her to developing migraine headaches. Certain diuretic drugs may help as well as drinking a cup of tea and coffee. However, coffee should be avoided if it triggers a migraine attack. Limit your salt intake just before the onset of your period. This too can reduce the amount of bloating in the body.
Since the menstrual cycle is associated with low estrogen levels in the body, this can trigger the beginnings of a headache. For women who chronically suffer from migraines during their periods, the use of low dose estrogen patches may actually help to regulate the frequency and severity of their migraine headaches.
It is a good idea to speak to your gynecologist or endocrinologist to recommend low dose estrogen patches.
Get Off Your Birth Control
Oral contraceptives are known to cause a change in the levels of estrogen in the body and this can directly impact the occurrence of migraine headaches. It is a good idea to get off your birth control in such cases and adopt other forms of contraception. This should reduce the occurrence of migraine headaches especially during the menstrual cycle.
Keep a Track of Your Cycles
It makes a lot of sense to keep a track of your cycles. This will help you to determine which days of the cycle the attacks occur the most. This can help you adopt preventive and remedial strategies to reduce the severity of the attack. Maintain a diary for 2-3 months and keep a check of your menstrual and ovulatory cycles.
Switch to Organic And Natural Foods
Eating foods that are wholly organic and fresh can help to reduce the severity of the migraine attacks. A number of women are exceptionally sensitive to food triggers. By maintaining and keeping a food diary, women can rule out certain foods from their diet especially during the start of their menstrual cycles. This will prevent food from acting as a trigger for a migraine attack.