There is always an underlying element that plays a significant role in causing menstrual headaches. Apart from the environmental factors, there can be various body mechanisms that result in an increase or decrease of such chemicals that might trigger headaches.
According to a study(1), women are more susceptible to headaches than men. The reason behind this is because women go through various phases that men do not experience their entire life. Women undergo menopause, ovulation periods, menstruation and various other processes that cause the female sex hormones to significantly increase or decrease the blood levels thus causing these painful and severe headaches.
Up to 14% of the females suffer menstrual headaches or migraines during, before or after their menstruation cycle. Generally speaking, there isn’t a definite cause that links the onset of headaches during the menses period to the hormonal changes in the body. But because the menstruation cycle causes the female sex hormone to behave abnormally, it becomes a pretty definite cause of headaches in women.
What Causes Them?
Menstrual headaches, as the name says, are caused by the onset of menstruation cycle. It can be caused by the environmental factors, but the major reason behind the occurrence of such headaches is caused by the high levels of estrogen in the blood level. The high amount of estrogen is the result of the decrease in progesterone levels in the blood vessels.
Additionally, the abnormal levels of estrogen and progesterone aren’t the only thing that causes these headaches as the malfunctioning platelets are to be blamed as well. Furthermore, the lower levels of Magnesium in the blood and the reduction of endorphin in the brain also contribute to headaches in a lot of women.
The unusual reaction of the body’s nervous system to these adverse changes, along with the production of arachidonic acid and prostaglandins adds more to the uncomfortable feelings in the form of additional headaches, back pain or abdominal pain.
How Can They Treated?
The markets are filled with books and other instructional pamphlets that can provide the women with guidance. Furthermore, there are certain OTC medicines that can be used to treat menstrual headaches effectively. But if the headaches persist or are worsening gradually, then it is advised to consult with a doctor specialized in this field.
Moving on, if your headache does not act as an obstacle during your daily activities, give the mentioned ways and remedies a try to lessen the symptoms and cures.
Treatment through OTCs
OTC medicines that are effective in treating them usually include analgesic drugs or painkillers. The most commonly prescribed medicine for treating the menstrual headaches include Naprosyn, Nalfon, Advil, Orudis, Motrin, and Relafen. They can also be used in combination with Migranal, Verapamil, and Depakote.
If your headaches are accompanied by fever, bloating and severe back or abdominal pain then consumes Pamprin and Midol as well.
These types of headaches can also be treated with the help of a few essential oils and herbs. Butterbur, flax seed oil, ginger, feverfew, evening primrose oil, and willow bark are all gifted with healing and curing properties that, when properly consumed, can prove as an effective natural remedy.
Before starting treating your headaches with the mentioned remedies, it is advised to consult your doctor so that they may inform you about the right way of consuming them.
If your headache does not seem to lessen even after taking OTC medicines and trying out the natural remedies, it is advised to move on to your diet and reduce or eliminate the consumption of the following:
- Simple carbohydrates
- Trigger foods
- Processed/junk food
- Refined sugar
Along with the OTC medicines and natural remedies, incorporate yoga and exercise into your life. Eat diets that are high in fiber and starch such as fruits and vegetables and try some relaxation therapies along with taking extra rest.
Take Magnesium supplements so that your body does not fall short of Magnesium and cause discomfort. Also, you can consult with your doctor and start taking birth-control medications that are less in estrogen levels to treat your headaches.
One other thing that you may want to try is to remove other trigger headache foods such as caffeine. We know that this ingredient can cause a severe caffeine headache which we don’t want, so make sure to limit the amount of this product from your diet. This might help to reduce the severity of your menstrual headache.