Freakin’ hormones! Right? So, periods stink, right? There’s the PMS phase (the premenstrual syndrome), the agonizing cramps, the weird food cravings, the bloating of the stomach, and, of course, there’s that bleeding that lasts a good 4-5 days or how many ever days your periods last! And just when you begin to think that it couldn’t get worse than this, guess what? It definitely can! The reason for this is the occasionally throbbing headaches that one might suffer from, either before or during their menstrual cycle every month. UGH.
Whether you suffer from those occasional popping, head-splitting headaches or have had some real migraines, almost all of us know how excruciating a headache can be. But for some women out there, their time of the month is when headaches definitely knock on their doors. And it is real, you know? Period headaches do happen. Many women do suffer from this unique problem of ‘premenstrual migraines.’ There are two variations of these headaches that the ladies tend to suffer from:
1. Hormonal Headaches
These are the headaches that occur during one’s menstrual cycle. A study says that there is a 71 percent chance of women getting a migraine attack within the second or the third day of their periods (1). So if you’re experiencing a bad headache during your periods, don’t worry, it’s nothing unusual! It’s happening because there is a sudden drop in the estrogen levels in your body. This drop usually happens just before you menstruate. If you suffer from hormonal headaches, you’re likely to become sensitive to bright light, and you might also suffer from vomiting or nausea.
- The main trigger for these headaches is, as mentioned earlier, the drop in the estrogen hormone levels.
- If you’re taking birth control pills regularly, then even this can mess the hormone balance in your body which might trigger the hormonal headaches. If you still want to continue taking the pills, then we suggest that you visit a doctor and ask them to prescribe pills that have low levels of estrogen in them or probably just progestin in them.
- Genetics also plays a part in this condition.
- The menopause and the perimenopause also lead to really bad headaches during periods. This again is mainly because of the plummeting levels of hormones in the body.
- Other causes of such headaches can also be bad lifestyle habits like skipping meals, improper sleeping habits, severe changes in the weather, consuming too much alcohol or caffeinated drinks, etc.
How To Manage Headaches During Your Periods:
There are umpteen ways through which you can find some relief from these grueling headaches. Here are some tips from us:
- Consult your doctor, they might ask you to take some over-the-counter pills for instant relief. Or they could even provide you certain prescription drugs, after thoroughly examining your condition.
- There are specific supplements and vitamins which can also give relief from headaches. They’ll mostly include magnesium, coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, etc.
- Regularly exercise is the best remedy for this. Keeping your body active will help your body’s organs work better, thereby keeping you hale and hearty.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy nutritious meals. It will keep the headaches at bay.
- Take less stress and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation.
2. Menstrual Migraines
See, it’s hard to say that all period-related headaches are migraines, but research tells us that nearly 20 percent of the women who don’t get regular migraines and nearly 60 percent of those who do, experience migraines that are often tied to their periods, which is why it is termed as “menstrual migraine” (2). In fact, the occurrence of these migraines is what helps these women realize that Aunt Flo is visiting them soon.
The migraine that comes before your period is very critically linked to the female hormone, estrogen. It’s this female hormone that has control over the brain chemicals which play around with the headache-related chemicals in your brain, geddit? So, when you’re experiencing this form of migraine, it means that the estrogen levels in your body have taken a bad hit.
How To Manage Headaches Before Your Periods:
- Download a period tracker on your phone or just mark the dates on a desk calendar. And when you know that your period is approaching, take over-the-counter meds or the pills prescribed by your doctor. This will help fight the inflammation that makes your head pound.
- Makes some really simple tweaks in your diet and supplement regimen. Include magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, avocados, and nuts. These will help reduce the frequency or severity of the menstrual migraines.
These headaches can range from feeble to mild to extremely severe. Understanding the root cause of these headaches, the working of your own body, and then finding suitable solutions for these problems will keep your period problems at bay. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.
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