Migraine HeadachesFebruary 22, 2008
Do You Suffer With Menstrual Migraines?
By Frank J Nuber, Pharmacist
Migraines are serious headaches, most often occurring only on one side of the head, and often preceded by a vague sense (AURA) that the sufferer learns to recognize as an impending headache.
Migraines afflict approximately 21 million women in the United States-three times more than men. So it makes sense that women’s migraines may be related to hormonal levels, which normally occur right before your period starts. This hormone-related migraine is often referred to as a Menstrual Migraine. Menstrual migraines have been reported to be more severe than regular migraines, may persist longer and may occur more frequently.
Migraines vary in severity and sometimes becoming almost unendurable without medication, and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Routine conventional medical treatment involves prescription medications that have serious side effects of muscle pains, numbness, and tingling in the fingers and toes, rapid or slowed heart rate, and nausea and vomiting. Not medications to take lightly. Migraine victims live in fear of their next headache. And it is possible that the treatment is worse than the headache. Medical science has not been very helpful, centering treatment on the symptoms rather than the root cause.
It makes sense to me that if it is a menstrual headache we might want to look at the hormonal cyclic rhythm for the cause and treatment and fix the problem instead of covering it up. When migraine headaches occur with regularity in women only at premenstrual times, they are most likely due to estrogen dominance. These are the Fortunate Patients. I have many letters in my files from women whose premenstrual migraines have been dramatically improved or cured with the use of hormone balance with progesterone cream. This is because estrogen causes dilation of blood vessels, and thus contributes to the cause(s) of migraines. One of the many virtues of natural progesterone is it helps restore normal vascular tone, counteracting the blood vessel dilation that causes the headache.
Molly is a 30 year old and has suffered from headaches for 15 years, ever since she began menstruating. Molly reported having a headache virtually every day of her life. Associated with her daily headaches are the twice monthly migraine headaches. Molly tried numerous prescription medications without relief. Molly claimed “I don’t really know what it is like to go through a whole day without a headache,” she also complained that “I get every cold that comes around. She was constantly sick. After doing a saliva hormone test we found Molly to be estrogen dominant and we began topical progesterone therapy with the approval of her doctor. Within the first month her headaches decreased by 50% and she began to live life headache free. After six months she had an occasional headache but has had no migraines for the past 2 months after that. Molly still remembers how she felt when she had a migraine, her head felt like it was going to explode, couldn’t stand light and got very nauseous, and couldn’t function, just lie in bed until it would pass, sometimes for 2-3 days. Today she has been virtually migraine free for the past two years and without serious side effects.
Is it a miracle? No, just a common sense approach to this malady which can affect so many women. Compounding pharmacists all over this country are doing the very same thing and millions of women are being helped. Molly cries when she thinks of the years of suffering needlessly, when help was there all the time.
Do you suffer with menstrual migraines? Give me a call to discuss your options, it may benefit you greatly.