Do You Have Menstrual Migraine?

By: oneclickdoctor

Women are indeed beautiful. However, womanhood is always accompanied by the woes of menstrual troubles. Monthly visits are oftentimes accompanied by discomfort that can sometimes affect the day-to-day activities of women. Itís not only about menstrual cramps; menstrual migraine could also be a nuisance.

Migraine headaches are more commonly experienced by women. These are severe headaches that are often accompanied by auras or visual disturbances. Auras can also mean disturbances in smell or hearing. Auras precede migraine pain and is usually the tell-tale sign that a full-blown headache is about to ensue.

Women who have reported migraines usually connect the experience with their menstrual period. The headaches are usually felt before, during or after menstruation. It is confirmed to be a menstrual migraine if the pain is felt regularly each month at the same time 2 days before menstruation up to the last day of bleeding.

What could cause this menstrual migraine? It has been found that what triggers the attack is falling estrogen during the end of the menstrual cycle. This shows that the treatment can include low doses of estrogen before the expected date of arrival of the menses.

The intake of birth control pills could also be the culprit. If this is observed to be the cause, treatment of low dose estrogen can be given during the seven days of rest after 21 days of pill intake.

It has been found that menstrual migraines are only more common among women as soon as puberty sets in and peaking at menarche or during the onset of menstruation.

Menstrual migraine may accompany other symptoms that embody premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It could come with other symptoms such as fatigue, irritability or depression, lability, appetite changes, bloating and breast tenderness. The most important accompaniment is that of dysmenorrhea. It is lower abdominal cramping pain that could also be so severe that it may affect the usual daily activities of the female.

The attack comes in three phases. During the first phase, prodrome, the female may feel fatigued, euphoric, depressed, hungry, photophobic, phonphobic or hyperosmic. This occurs 12 to 24 hours prior to the headache.

The second phase is the aural phase that is felt 5-20 minutes before the actual headache. Visual disturbances can be in the form of scintillating light or negative features. Often, it is accompanied by numbness of limbs, tingling and even weakness of muscles.

The worst and last phase is the migraine attack. The headache is usually felt as moderate or severe throbbing pain accompanied by vomiting or nausea, photophobia and/or phonophobia. The pain is usually aggravated when she moves. That is why bed rest is usually recommended during this stage.
Attacks like these can be prevented in short-term measures. One way is to stabilize the estrogen level by intake of low-dose estrogen as mentioned earlier or the use of NSAIDS. Being physically active improves the circulation, thus, lessening the tendencies to develop this type of headache.

There are some factors that can trigger the attack like alcohol consumption and food intake that contains tyramine, an ingredient found in cheeses or phenylethylamine, a content of chocolates. Missed meals and late nights could also be contributory, so are sudden weather changes. Therefore, it would be good to try to adjust when menstruation is about to come. Avoiding exacerbating factors such as these could save you the pain.
Thermal biofeedback is has been found to be an effective technique providing relief to the female experiencing these attacks. Learning to do deep breathing and relaxation exercises can be very helpful.

Good lifestyle habits are important factors to prevent attacks. Physical activity that is done regularly decreases the stress and the likelihood of getting a menstrual migraine attack.

It is important to learn to recognize the pattern of your headache. If you have found that it is indeed a menstrual type of migraine, it would be good to consult an obstetrician who could give you options on how to maintain the stability of your estrogen levels.

Knowing the trigger factors can help you determine what to avoid to prevent the attacks from coming. Monitoring your symptoms and what triggers them is therefore an imperative action to prevent the discomfort. Donít forget, you are going to be menstruating every month for a good many years to come. Therefore, you should do something about it early to maintain the good quality of living.

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