Navigating The Recovery Period
I know Im not alone in navigating this recovery period. I know Im not alone in experiencing the aftermath that follows an intense migraine. Does this description resonate with you? What does your recovery look like? Share the details of your aftermath in the comment section below so we can learn from one another and remember that were not alone.
I Look Like A Shell Of My Former Self
I shuffle to the bathroom. I look at myself in the mirror see a stranger. Im a shell of my former self. My eyes have dark circles, my cheeks are hollowed out. Theres no light behind my eyes. My skin is pale. Theres no energy coming from me whatsoever. I look vacant; ghostly.
I feel empty. Hollowed out. Scooped out. Like someone took a grapefruit spoon and scooped out my insides. Im weak and can barely walk up three stairs without losing my breath. My body is sore all over like I overtaxed myself somehow – when in reality, Im sore from lying in bed for so long.
What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
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Is It Migraine Or A Headache
Migraine attacks are different than common headaches. They typically cause severe levels of throbbing pain and usually occur on one side of the head. Migraine is categorized as with aura or without aura.
If you have migraine with aura, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms in the 30 minutes before your attack:
- seeing flashes of light
- seeing unusual lines or spots
- a temporary loss of vision
- numbness in the hands or face
- tingling sensations in the hands or face
- changes in speech
- unusual changes in smell, taste, or touch
The symptoms of migraine with aura can also include:
- sensitivity to light or sound
- pain behind one eye or one ear
- pain in one or both temples
Common headaches are never preceded by an aura and are typically less painful than migraine.
There are different kinds of headaches, including:
- Tension headaches. High levels of stress and anxiety can cause tension headaches. They may also be caused by muscle tension or strain.
- Cluster headaches. These headaches are often mistaken for migraine. They typically cause pain on one side of the head and may include other symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, or nasal congestion.
How Are Menstrual Migraines Treated What Medicines Can I Use
A menstrual migraine is usually treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications . The NSAIDs most often used for menstrual migraine include:
- Ketoprofen .
These drugs should also be started two to three days before your period starts. Continue taking them throughout your menstrual flow.
Because fluid retention often occurs at the same time as your menses, diuretics have been used to prevent menstrual migraines. Some healthcare providers may recommend that you follow a low-salt diet immediately before the start of your menses.
Leuprolide is a medication that affects your hormone levels. Its used only when all other treatment methods have been tried and havent worked.
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Your Doctor And Your Migraine
If you are unsure about the cause or nature of your headache, need assistance in managing migraine, or if the pattern of your condition changes, it is important you consult a doctor. Sometimes, changes in the nature of your headache or migraine could signify the presence of a more dangerous neurological disorder.;
Migraine has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the most disabling chronic illnesses, so its important to recognise the impact it is having on your life and address it accordingly. To communicate the impact of migraine to your doctor a migraine diary is important. Ideally your migraine diary documents:
- When you experience migraine attacks
- The nature of the pain and accompanying symptoms
- Potential triggers
- Work days or social events missed due to migraine
All these factors will help your doctor understand the scope of your migraine, and help to recommend the best treatment for you.;
Why Do I Get A Migraine After My Period
theyre called menstrual migraines,-:fill-, and those migraines were more typical during the first trimester., read this guide to help manage them.When they happen 2 days before your period or in the first 3 days after it starts, Sometimes the headaches clear up when your period starts, Not having a period during pregnancy translates to a 50% to 80% migraine reduction in those who suffer from the disease, These intractable head-pounders are caused by a sharp drop in estrogen and are considered the most painful andWhy do I still get migraine even though Im through the menopause? Even though your periods have stopped, Other times, New Daily Persistent Headaches
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I Have Migraine Aura Can I Take Hrt
Yes. Unlike the combined oral contraceptive pill, which is contraindicated for women with migraine aura, HRT uses natural estrogen producing similar levels to the estrogen produced by your body during your menstrual cycle. If aura worsens or starts for the first time with HRT, it usually means that the dose of estrogen is more than you need. The dose you need is the dose that is just sufficient to control hot flushes.
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Tuesday Q & A: Headaches That Come With Menstruation Can Be Severe
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 38 and have headaches each month around the first day of my period. Over the last year or so they seem to be getting more severe and lasting longer sometimes up to three days. Why might this be happening? Are there ways to prevent or treat it?
ANSWER: It is not uncommon for women to have headaches before and during their periods. These headaches often can be effectively controlled with medication and usually dont require in-depth evaluation. When, as you describe, theres a change in the severity or type of headache, though, then it is time to see your doctor to find out if another underlying medical condition could be causing the headaches.
In most cases, headaches associated with menstruation are triggered by hormone changes. This is particularly true during the days leading up to a menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels fall rapidly. Prostaglandins, natural chemicals made in the lining of the uterus, play a role, too.
Due to these changes, many women have mild headaches, along with other symptoms like bloating and cramping, beginning just before the onset of a period and sometimes lasting a few days after it starts. These headaches tend to be mild. Over-the-counter pain medications are usually all that is needed to manage them.
In some women, though, the headaches that come with menstruation can be more severe. These headaches, called menstrual migraines, typically start two days before a period begins and last until the third day of menses.
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Migraines May Continue Beyond Menopause
Menopause most often happens after age 45, and it is also when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. The gradual depletion of hormone levels not only causes infrequent periods, but it can also cause recurrent and longer-lasting migraines.
Vincent Martin, MD, professor and director of the Headache & Facial Pain Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, says that following menopause, “female hormones are falling and this can either drastically improve or sometimes worsen migraine attacks.”
The Reason Why You Get Headaches After Your Period
Kathleen Digre,, for example? Describe the type and location of your pain, it can take a few years for the hormone fluctuations to completely settle, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.<img src=”https://i0.wp.com/media1.popsugar-assets.com/files/thumbor/Wj5rJ9eC-ZZdggwL5OloFAPhGTs/fit-in/1200×630/filters:format_auto-, said in an interview with Med Page Today, Share whatRemember when you get them, they may persist through your period, that despite this study claiming migraines are triggered by the lack of iron a womanChronic Migraine is a time thief,-:strip_icc-, blind spots, as it can take a few years for the hormones toPeriod migraines return after pregnancy , foods,, Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing? Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse, If period headaches affect you, Many women have pre-menstrual migraines but no other major symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
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Natural Treatments And Lifestyle Adjustments For Menstrual Migraines
Lifestyle treatments are always tricky to study, since they are hard to control and not as well-funded as pharmaceutical medicine.
Magnesium: Thereâs some evidence that magnesium can relieve migraine pain . In a small preliminary trial, participants took magnesium supplements three times per day starting from Day 15 of their cycle until the start of their next period . This treatment helped decrease the participantsâ total pain and also improved their PMS symptoms . In a randomized control trial where participants received either a placebo or a drug containing magnesium, vitamin B2, and coenzyme Q10, the severity of migraines was lower among those taking the drug, though the number of days in which migraines were experienced was not statistically different from the placebo .
Medicines That Prevent Menstrual Migraine
If your periods don’t come on schedule or you also get migraine headaches at other times in your menstrual cycle, you can take preventive medicine every day. Drugs that prevent migraine headaches include:
- Some types of antidepressants
- Some types of antiseizure medicines
- Blood pressure medicines such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
- CGRP inhibitors, these are a new class of preventive medicine
Devices which may be used for treatment or prevention include:.
- Cefaly, a small headband device that sends electrical pulses through the forehead to stimulate a nerve linked with migraines
- Spring TMS or eNeura sTM, a device for people who have an aura before migraine headaches. You hold it at the back of your head at the first sign of a headache, and it gives off a magnetic pulse that stimulates part of the brain.
- Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator gammaCore is a hand-held portable device placed over the vagus nerve in the neck. It releases a mild electrical stimulation to the nerve’s fibers to relieve pain.
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Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men
Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.
Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like
A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.
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How Estrogen Levels Impact Migraines
The explanation for why drops and fluctuations in estrogen cause migraines is not completely clear, but there are several possible mechanisms.
Estrogen has a known impact on the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that modulates pain and mood. Estrogen also affects blood vessels and blood pressure, and blood vessel alterations are known to play a role in migraines as well.
It is likely that both of these factors, and possibly others, could mediate the estrogen-migraine connection.
Is Your Birth Control Causing Headaches
Headaches are sometimes a side effect of hormonal birth control . In one study, taking oral contraceptives affected migraines, with 24% of people experiencing increased frequency of migraines .
Estrogen-withdrawal headaches are a type of headache that people get during their âpill-freeâ or âsugar-pill weekâ when they are taking oral contraceptives. This type of headache usually goes away within 3 days, but then will return during the estrogen-free week of the next cycle .
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Can Stress Cause Migraines
Yes. Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-type headache. Events like getting married, moving to a new home, or having a baby can cause stress. But studies show that everyday stresses ;not;major life changes cause most headaches. Juggling many roles, such as being a mother and wife, having a career, and financial pressures, can be daily stresses for women.
Making time for yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with stress are important. Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce stress include:
- Eating healthy foods
- Being active
- Doing relaxation exercises
- Getting enough sleep
Try to figure out what causes you to feel stressed. You may be able to cut out some of these stressors. For example, if driving to work is stressful, try taking the bus or subway. You can take this time to read or listen to music, rather than deal with traffic. For stressors you can’t avoid, keeping organized and doing as much as you can ahead of time will help you to feel in control.
Common Migraine Triggers To Avoid
There are specific triggers that can bring on migraine attacks. An important one, says Martin, is stress. “Women might be more vulnerable to stress with the hormonal changes that occur during the last week of the menstrual cycle right before the onset of the menstrual period,” she says.;;
Other triggers include alcohol and trouble sleeping. “Some types of alcohol, like wine and sleep dysregulation, are known as migraine triggers. When hormones are fluctuating prior to menstruation, and there is an increased chance of migraine, presence of other known triggers such as alcohol or sleep disruption generally worsens things,” Pavlovic tells Insider.
Food containing the flavor enhancer MSG and nitrite may also worsen migraines, says Martin. Consuming food with MSG has been linked to cramps, diarrhea, and a painful migraine in 10% to 15% of people with recurring migraines.;
Nitrates, found in processed meats and some leafy vegetables, are converted to nitrites by bacteria and eventually into nitric oxide that travels in the bloodstream. A 2016 study found that people had recurring migraines due to nitrate-rich food.;
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What Can My Doctor Do To Help Me
If diary cards confirm that your attacks always occur two or three days around the first day of your period, your doctor might consider ways to prevent migraine. They are less effective in women with additional attacks at other times of the cycle resulting from non-hormonal triggers.
Depending on the regularity of your menstrual cycle, whether or not you have painful or heavy periods, menopausal symptoms, or if you also need contraception, several different options can be tried. Although none of the drugs and hormones recommended below are licensed specifically for management of menstrual migraine, doctors can prescribe them for this condition if they feel that this would be of benefit to you.
Causes Of Headache Before Period
Your migraine before period is most likely linked to the hormone estrogen. This female hormone controls the brain chemicals that affect headache-related chemicals in the brain. When youre experiencing a headache, this means that theres a drop or change in estrogen levels.;
Theres a wide range of reasons for the change in hormone levels, including:;
- Menstrual cycle. Prior to your period, estrogen and progesterone fall to their lowest levels.
- Pregnancy. During the first trimester, estrogen levels rise quickly, then level out. Because of this, many women notice that their migraines get better or go away after their third month of pregnancy.;
- Hormone replacement therapy. The hormones that women take during a replacement therapy can also set off headaches.
- Menopause and perimenopause. During the years leading to menopause, women have more headaches due to the fluctuating hormone levels. Many women say that their migraines become less severe as they reach menopause.;
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Ways To Manage Bad Headache During Period
Interview With Dr Joshua Cohen On Menstrual Migraines Pregnancy And Menopause
Paula: You’ve done some interesting work on vestibular migraines and adolescent migraines, but today we’d like to talk about how hormones wreak havoc on women who struggle with migraines. You’re getting known for your educational migraine videos online, like the one about Menstrual Migraines.
Dr. Cohen: Yes, I did a whole series of videos on migraine, looking at triggers, hormonal influences, treatment and all sorts of things. That was a good series for education that was really directed towards patients. Then I’ve worked with my patients on trying to improve education. I think it’s vital for patients to be able to take control.
Paula: Definitely. I found that using a smartphone-based migraine app helps create greater awareness of all of your daily habits, symptoms and triggers. It’s a useful tool to make a more productive doctor visit, and self-awareness of your patterns and being able to diagnose it, right?
Dr. Cohen: Right. We are not only looking to manage pain, we are looking to manage disability, and I think patients ability to track that, their ability to see their progress is also very helpful.
Paula: Even those migraine patients who are making great progress still struggle with a migraine before a period. Patients are desperate to know what we can do to get through that monthly pattern. We may be able to dodge the other ones during the month or reduce the severity, but we cannot get through a period without headache. So, what would you advise?
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