What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Menstrual Migraines
- Am I experiencing a menstrual migraine or another type of migraine?
- Should I change any of the medications Im taking?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- What medications should I take?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A migraine is more than a bad headache. Not only can menstrual migraines get severe, but women have reported that they can be even worse than a migraine that occurs when theyre not on their period. Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. There are preventative measures and treatment options. A menstrual migraine might not be something you just have to live with every month.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.
What To Lookout For What Do Doctors Prescribe For Migraines Reddit
A headache can be one of the nastiest and most frequent kinds of aches. To treat your headache, it is first important to understand what causes it. There are generally two kinds of headaches. A primary headache occurs on its own without any other associated medical condition.
The second kind of headache is called a secondary headache, which is caused by some other underlying condition or ailment. In this case the main problem that is causing the discomfort is not really the headache itself. It is usually caused by something that is being neglected or taken care of improperly. This can include taking certain medications, eating the wrong foods, not getting enough sleep, or not doing the recommended exercises.
When it comes to dealing with the symptoms of headache, there are a couple of things that you can do. One of those things is to see a doctor. Tension headaches are a very common kind of headache and can sometimes be relieved by the use of over the counter medicines such as Advil or Tylenol. If the headache comes on suddenly and stays for more than 30 minutes, then seeing a doctor is advised. Doctors can examine the severity and see if the headache is actually a tension headache or not. Doctors will then be able to prescribe stronger medications.
Your Insurance May Or May Not Cover It
Because it’s an FDA-approved treatment, your health insurance may cover all or most of the cost of Botox, though this depends on your specific plan. The drug manufacturer also offers a savings program that can help offset some of the expense.
To get approval, your insurance company may want to see that you’ve “failed” on two or three oral preventatives first. You may also need to keep a headache diary that shows you’re having 15 or more headache days per month.
Once you’ve started the shots, your insurance will probably require documentation of improvement to continue paying for the treatment. Depending on your plan, you may also need to come for a follow-up visit between shots.
Note, however, that if Botox is used as an off-label treatment , insurance companies may not cover it, per the AMF.
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Use Meds In Moderation
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with pain relievers for all kinds of headaches. To get the most benefit with the least risk, follow the directions on the label and these guidelines:
- Choose liquid over pills. Your body absorbs it faster.
- Avoid ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you have heart failure or kidney failure.
- Do not give aspirin to a child under age 18.
- Take painkillers as soon as you start to hurt. Youâll probably beat it with a smaller dose than if you wait.
- If you get sick to your stomach when you get a headache, ask your doctor what might help.
- Ask your doctor what to take to avoid a rebound headache, which is pain that sets in after a few days of pain relievers.
And be sure to talk to your doctor about what headache symptoms you should not treat at home.
Whats A Migraine Journal
- Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
- The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
- What are your symptoms? Be specific.
- Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
- Note the weather.
- Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
- Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
- Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
- List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
- How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
- Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?
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What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine
Some people notice a migraine aura before the headache starts, and this can alert them that a migraine attack is coming. The symptoms of an aura may be different for everyone. Examples include:
- feeling tired, fatigue
- sensitivity to light or sound
- problems with vision
- tingling or numbing feelings in your body.
When the headache starts, it is a strong pain, usually on one side of your head. You may feel sick or vomit , get tingling around your mouth, have trouble talking or feel dizzy or weak.
When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches
Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:
- You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
- Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
- You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
- You have pain around the eye or ear
- You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
- You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
- You have a headache with convulsions
- You have a headache after a blow to the head
- You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot
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What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
What Are The Treatments For Migraine
There is no absolute cure for migraine. However, lots of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of a migraine attack.
When a migraine attack occurs, most people find that lying down in a quiet, dark room is helpful. Sleeping can also help. Some people find that their symptoms die down after they have vomited .
Most people affected by migraine will already have tried paracetamol, aspirin and perhaps anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen before they seek advice from their doctor. If ordinary painkillers alone are not relieving your symptoms, your GP might prescribe you a triptan to be taken in addition to over-the-counter painkillers . Triptans are available in different forms to suit individuals , although it is important to note that some people develop short-term side effects when taking triptans. Your doctor may also prescribe you anti-sickness medication. If your situation does not improve after treatment, you might be referred to a specialist migraine clinic.
It is important to avoid taking painkillers on more than two days per week or more than 10 days per month as this can in fact make things worse by triggering medication overuse headaches.
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You Have To Prove Your Pain And That You’re Not A Drug Addict
The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that’s escalating annually. ERs are trained to screen us all the same: hmmm, could you be one of the 36 million opioid abusers worldwide?
That complicates the problem of Migraine as an invisible illness for which there’s no scan or blood test to easily prove your diagnosis. The stigma continues.
“They think you are there because you are a “druggie”, ask you a million and one questions that you can’t answer because of the migraine fog.” Jaselle H.
“They assumed I was a drug addict because I was in my mid-twenties and writhing in pain with “no discernible reason”. Then I got an IV and froze for a few hours before going home.” Lorenzo T.
“I’m allergic to normal migraine meds and when I told them that, the doctor stormed out, came back with a syringe, gave it to the nurse and told me that he’d give me Demerol this time to help get rid of the headache but that I’d better never come back again because he was never giving me that med again. He said if I wanted it, I’d have to get it from someone else. It was the first and only time I’d gone to the ER for a migraine. I was so insulted and demeaned, I would never go back again. I couldn’t believe it.” Andi S.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Migraine
A migraine attack happens in stages and lasts from a few hours to several days. The symptoms vary depending on the stage:Prodrome: This early stage can include a host of symptoms: fatigue, uncontrollable yawning, insomnia, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, neck stiffness, food cravings, tinnitus, and sensitivity to light and sound. Anxiety and depression are also common. The prodrome is the best time to treat a migraine attack, but it can be hard to pinpoint since many of the symptoms can be caused by other issues.
Aura: Roughly a quarter of migraineurs experience aura. It can start with spots in the visual field, which gradually spreadusually on one side. People describe seeing shimmering lights, geometric patterns, and zigzag lines. Aura can be particularly alarmingespecially if youre in publicbecause it blocks your vision. Some people also experience sensory phenomena like a tingling hand or arm. This phase lasts from five minutes to an hour and usually precedes the headache, but the two can happen simultaneously.Headache: A migraine headache is typically a throbbing pain on one side of the head, which sometimes spreads to other areas. The headache can also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. This phase lasts from four to 72 hours. While this is the most well-known symptom, some people dont experience the headache phase at all, or not with every attack.
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Trigger: Lack Of Food Or Sleep
It’s important for people prone to migraine headaches to have a regular pattern of meals and sleep. Low blood sugar from skipping meals can trigger a migraine. Eating too much sugar also can cause a spike, then a “crash” in blood sugar. Drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and sleep at least six to eight hours a night.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Menstrual Migraine
The symptoms of a menstrual migraine are the same as the symptoms for other types of migraines:
- Headache pain that ranges from dull to a severe throb.
- Feeling very warm or cold .
- Sensitivity to light, noise and smells.
- Tender scalp.
- Nausea and vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea or fever .
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Living With Constant Headaches
For most of us, an occasional headache is nothing more than a temporary speed bump in the course of a busy day. Even so, most men can ease the problem with simple lifestyle measures and nonprescription medications. Relaxation techniques, biofeedback, yoga, and acupuncture may also help. But for some of us, headaches are a big problem. Learn to recognize warning signs that call for prompt medical care. Work with your doctor to develop a program to prevent and treat migraines and other serious headaches. And don’t fall into the trap of overusing medications for some gents, rebound headaches are the biggest pain of all.
What Are Hormones What Is Estrogen
Hormones are often called your bodys chemical messengers. Theyre in your organs, tissues and bloodstream and theyre made by the endocrine glands. Examples of endocrine glands include your thyroid gland, adrenal glands and pituitary gland. If you have too little of a certain hormone, or too much, that can throw your entire system off balance.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main sex hormones in women. Estrogen causes female physical features, sets off puberty and aids with reproduction. It also affects your cholesterol, controls your menstrual cycle, protects bone health and affects your heart, skin, bones, brain and other tissues. Its mostly produced by your ovaries.
Your levels of estrogen change. Theyre at the highest amount in the middle of your cycle and the lowest amount when youre on your period. When youre in menopause, they drop very low.
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How Can I Prevent Migraine Attacks
Not all migraine attacks have an obvious trigger, but sudden changes in daily routine can be a trigger. This includes a missed meal, a late night or doing more strenuous exercise than you normally do. To reduce your chance of having a migraine attack you may find it helpful to make the following lifestyle changes:
- Have regular meals.
- Drink enough water/fluid to stay hydrated.
- Do relaxation and exercises for stress .
- Aim for a regular sleep pattern and make sure you have enough sleep .
- Don’t do sudden strenuous exercise.
- Limit caffeine intake to no more than 2 cups of coffee a day.
Addressing other conditions that may be causing your migraine attacks is also important. These include stress, anxiety, depression, hormonal changes and head or neck trauma. If these are problems, talk to your doctor. They may be able to help you work out how to manage these things.Cognitive behavioural therapy , coping strategies and relaxation training are helpful for many people with migraine, especially if attacks are associated with anxiety or stress.
You Sit And Sit And It’s Not A Migraine
We all know that triage rules apply, and Migraine isn’t a life-threatening condition like a gunshot wound. That doesn’t make the long wait any easier.
“I get ushered from one waiting room to the next with more people in each one. The final one is set up as a cubicle style and they talk to you like you’re an addict.” Jeannette G.
“Last time I went to the ER, I was charged $500 to sit on a bed in a hallway.” Anna K.
“I HATE BEING IN THE ER with a migraine especially. No one ever seemed to observe the no perfume/scents rule. The fluorescent lights are horrible. The noise is extra, extra noisy.” -Laura M.
“I’m sensitive to light, sound, smell and none of the injections I get ever help so why in the world would I go to the loudest, brightest, smelliest place there is just to sit and be ignored for hours to maybe get meds that don’t even help?” -Barbara D.
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What You Need To Know About Migraines
Many times, migraines will simply run their course without causing any serious complications. However, in rare cases, these symptoms can lead to vision loss or even loss of life. People with migraines should stay clear of caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda. Caffeine is a stimulant and can temporarily reduce the pain of migraines, but it can also interfere with other migraine symptoms.
In addition to avoiding caffeine and going with a natural, holistic approach to relieving your migraines, you should also stay away from aspirin and other stomach pain relievers. These pain relievers will only make your nausea symptoms worse, so in the long run, they are counterproductive. If your migraines do not go away with home remedies, then you should consult a doctor to determine if you are suffering from a more serious condition, such as a brain tumor. Stomach pain can be a sign of something much more serious, so you should always seek medical attention when experiencing nausea or headaches.