Menstrual Migraines: One Common Type of Migraines in Women

By: EileenDavies

Migraine headaches are not uncommon. In fact, many people suffer from migraine headaches on a regular basis and do not know that it is in fact a migraine that they are suffering from. It is these headaches that cause so much debilitating pain for so many people. There are different causes for migraine headaches from your diet to blood pressure problems. Did you know that your menstrual cycle can be a cause of your migraines? There are only 20% of women who do not suffer from migraines that are caused by the menstrual cycle.

Doctors and scientists believe that the changes a woman's body goes through during menstruation can increase the occurrence of migraine headaches. The fluctuations in hormones, combined with the changes in blood pressure, have been shown to lead to migraines. Women can experience migraines just before menstruation begins, during menstruation as the cycle regulates, and after menstruation ends when the body is replenishing hormone and blood levels.

The menstrual cycle causes the ovaries to release two specific hormones: estrogen and progesterone. As a natural process, these hormones are released and travel through the blood stream where they reach different areas of the body, the head included. The brain has certain receptors that hormones and other chemicals can attach to, and the menstrual hormones attach to these receptors in the central nervous system and other immediate areas. It is usually the estrogen that creates the migraine response.

Treating menstrual migraines is a lot easier than many other types of migraines. There are prescription medications that can be used to alter how the receptors in the brain respond to the hormones. There are also some more alternative treatments, like herbal remedies and acupuncture. Some women have learned that a simple increase in caffeine and chocolate during menstruation can help immensely.

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