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Migraines related to menstruation

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  • #16
    Sometimes it's REALLY, really hard to find the trigger because there tends to be more than one, and they're all different kinds.

    For instance, if I get one out of the blue, it could be that someone marinated a roast in wine without telling me, or maybe there's a storm coming in (drops in barometric pressure are common triggers). Or it could even be that The Boyfriend was snoring and it was loud enough to make me sleep crappy but not wake up enough to know it.

    I would definitely keep a diary, but include food, weather, sleep and general mood. I know it's a PITA, but I get migraines that last for 3 days, so for me, it was worth it in the beginning.
    Durp.

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    • #17
      If you are ok with herbal treatments, I really, soundly suggest Feverfew as a supplement.

      I had horrible, 2-4 hour, blinding migraines as a kid, which started even before I started my period. My aunt had an odd friend with purple hair (for some reason I remember that, lol), who suggested Feverfew. It comes in a very tiny pill form if I remember (like birth control pill sized). I took it every day, religiously, for over a year. When I didn't take it I would immediately get hit the next day with a migraine. After that year or so, I stopped taking it. They never came back as bad again.

      I tout Feverfew every time someone brings up "migraines", it just worked wonders for me. I still get them occasionally, but only every few years and not nearly as severe (Had one yesterday actually, s'what I get for eating a whole pint of organic ice cream after the dentist).
      Restart Date After 3 Years Gone: 6/29/16

      New Starting Weight: 210.0
      Current Weight: 206.0
      First Goal Weight: 200.0

      Total Pounds Lost: 4.0lbs

      "You must do the things you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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      • #18
        I'm a neurologist and see more folks for migraine than anything else. As most people around here know, a primal/ancestral diet works wonders for migraines - it's the most consistently effective tool for prevention there is, by far. I've been using this with my patients for a couple years now (after ironically eliminating my own migraines after switching to a primal diet...a humbling experience) with great success - I have a book on the subject that will be out in December.

        In my experience, when the occasional migraine still occurs in someone who is adhering to a primal diet, it is almost always menstrual-related (this means that almost all men, myself included, have zero migraines if they adhere to primal diet). So, for women in this particular situation, my recommendations are:

        1. Add in a daily supplement that has good experimental evidence as a migraine preventitive. This includes Magnesium, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Butterbur, and Feverfew. If you want to consolidate, you can take Migrelief, which is Mg+b2+Feverfew in one pill.

        2. Take advantage of ketones. Ketones are like migraine (and seizure) kryptonite, and are a fantastic weapon to employ whenever needed. You can generate them by fasting, going VLC (20-50g carbs daily), and with MCT/coconut oil.

        I'd start by adding in 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil about 3 days before the anticipated start of menstruation, continuing until menstruation is over. If menstrual migraines still occur, then start going VLC about 3 days before menstruation along with the coconut oil until the end.
        Last edited by jturk; 06-24-2013, 12:59 PM.
        sigpic

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        • #19
          IMO, it's pretty normal to have PMS migraines. I started getting migraines when I was a young teen, just as you described. They worsened over the years and were to the point where I was seeing a neurologist and had been on what felt like every medication and birth control known to man. I finally went off all hormonal birth control and the migraines finally stopped.....except once a month, just before my period starts (it's my PMS "warning migraine"), just like when I was a teen. It's not usually severe and doesn't last more than a day, feverfew and magnesium help. I think the shift in hormones at that time is what triggers it. My other big migraine triggers are MSG and aspartame, but since I avoid them like the plague I rarely have non-PMS migraines.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by jturk View Post
            1. Add in a daily supplement that has good experimental evidence as a migraine preventitive. This includes Magnesium, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Butterbur, and Feverfew. If you want to consolidate, you can take Migrelief, which is Mg+b2+Feverfew in one pill.
            Yah hoo Dr Turknett! I am ecstatic to see someone has tackled this from a Primal perspective...your story could be mine, verbatim. Except I'm female

            I second the feverfew/butterbur supplement, as it did seem to help me until I found Paleo and largely solved the migraines. Additional suggestions:

            Found that more protein just prior was of help (mine were "peripheral migraines" -- just at begin & end of menses)
            Being dehydrated seemed to aggravate and further migraine
            Temporary relief could be had by self-inducing a brain freeze from drinking something super cold, very fast. (If you've suffered, you know you'll do the oddest things to find relief)
            And determining if they are true migraines vs tension can help direct how you respond.

            Good luck! It sounds like you are a deeply-caring, focused momma.

            “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

            Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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            • #21
              If the migraine starts between ovulation and the start of the period its usually estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency.If recent to primal/paleo diet just give more time. Consider the herb vitex or chaste tree if diet doesn't work. I usually don't use progesterone itself in this age group unless nothing else works. If using magnesium try the glycinate its easier to absorb no diarreah.
              See if there is a correlation to blood sugar issues ie missing meals, sugary snacks etc. Food allergies are very common and structural stressors like neck or head injuries can be a cause.

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              • #22
                MIGRAINES SINCE I WAS 12!

                I too suffered with migraines the day my period started and another on the day it ended. FINALLY at 43 years old someone told me about taking black cohosh. I started that and it worked! 8 months later I had a hysterectomy, and that ended the migraines during that time of the month.....but, 2 months after my surgery, I had another migraine. I have kept track of my periods for over 20 years, and now keep track of the migraines and have noticed that I get them on the same schedule that I did when I had periods. Dr said that because I kept my overies, I am still dealing with hormone fluctuations. So, I am going to start back on the black cohosh.

                Good luck with your DD.
                44 F 5'5
                SW 205.4
                CW 180.4
                GW 150

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                • #23
                  I can add a +1 for supplementing with magnesium. I had atypical migraines for years, tried various prescription meds, no help. Years ago (15+) I read some odd article about a sheep-shearer who used a magnesium compound to treat sheep lice, and found that his migraines went away. When shearing season was over, his migraines came back, so he hypothesized that the magnesium had helped. So he took magnesium supplements and no more migraines!

                  After reading that, I started supplementing with magnesium and I seldom have any sort of headache now. I also used to have menstrual cycle related migraines, and the magnesium has reduced those to barely a twinge. I supplement with 400mg 2x a day, once in the morning, once at night.

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                  • #24
                    Jturk, do you have any female patients with exclusively weather-triggered migraines? If so, does this pattern hold true with them, too? If so, I might have to try the supplements you suggested.

                    My migraines are predominantly a difficulty thinking problem; the headache and nausea would not be too difficult to work around if they occurred in isolation. Often I am able to make the headache go away with Excedrin and a nap, but the difficulty thinking persists. Of course, when you're a scientist and basically paid to think, difficulty thinking becomes a major problem. I got a prescription for Zomig, though, in the hopes that it deals with the thinking symptoms.

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                    • #25
                      Could have her checked to make sure her vitamin levels are good. I've got very low magnesium and vitamin D and since I've started supplementing with those my migraines have gone way down. Low magnesium is an especially common trigger. If she likes to take baths, Epsom salts have a lot of magnesium which can be absorbed through the skin.

                      For me, other triggers are sudden weather changes, dehydration, lack of sleep, and gluten (I'm celiac). Nothing else food related that I've been able to identify.

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                      • #26
                        I don't get migraines but absolutely horrendous headaches lasting 3 days just before menstruation (not always but quite often), I'm so going to try magnesium supplement! Should it be taken much in advance of expected menstruation (just say a week) on or regular basis?
                        Thanks

                        Actually on the side note since I gave up grain and turned primal (it's pretty recent - about two months or so) I haven't head a single headache...

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                        • #27
                          Same exact thing with me, stupidly I went on the pill non-cycling (skip placebos) 10 years ago, went primal, dropped to a low dose pill, had the most horrible period of my life. Was in bed taking double muscle relaxers and narcotic pain relievers for THREE DAYS! Had to go back on it, I can't do that every month.
                          But I get migraines outside of my cycle too, tho much less often now on primal. I use all of the supplements this site recommends.
                          http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2...dies/index.htm
                          And because its consumer reports its not a supplement company trying to sell you stuff
                          GOOD LUCK

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by KiteKasia View Post
                            I don't get migraines but absolutely horrendous headaches lasting 3 days just before menstruation (not always but quite often), I'm so going to try magnesium supplement! Should it be taken much in advance of expected menstruation (just say a week) on or regular basis?
                            Thanks

                            Actually on the side note since I gave up grain and turned primal (it's pretty recent - about two months or so) I haven't head a single headache...
                            I take the magnesium supplements every day, but my doc has said I can take a couple extra on the 3-4 days leading up to my period to help ward off the migraine. I only started last month, and I still got a migraine, but it wasn't nearly as severe as usual. I'd probably try it for several days before hand and see how it goes. If taking magnesium keeps you from getting the migraine, I would think that's a pretty clear sign that you're low in magnesium and might need a regular supplement.

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