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Thread: Migraines related to menstruation page 2

  1. #11
    LBee's Avatar
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    Ditto what others have already said but is there any chance she keeps a food journal? Mine were definitely related to my cycle but I also had trigger foods, oddly enough, one of my triggers was red meat, the others were blue cheese, red wine, and chocolate. Any combination of those foods would send a migraine into epic territory. I can't remember why the red meat was a trigger but my neurologist at the time said it was a pretty common one...

  2. #12
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    Sandra, that's what I found from the (few) migraines I used to have. If I got the ibuprofen in soon enough I was ok (still had the migraine, but it wasn't bad). But a few times I woke up with one already started which is just not fair And once it was really going it didn't matter how many pills I took, they did jack squat.

    She eats almost the same thing for breakfast every day - eggs and onions cooked in olive oil and either dark chocolate or cocoa nibs plus some kind of fruit ( that changes). I do know that chocolate (especially dark) is a trigger for many so that could be a possibility in combination with PMS maybe? But it's her first migraine so we don't have a history to go with yet.

    I don't want her to keep a food journal though because she's at that age where food issues can crop up. She's very strict about the paleo (other than the chocolate) and while she eats lots of good fats and plenty of calories and healthy carbs (ie - produce), she refuses to eat non paleo ever, even with friends so I just want to keep an eye on it and make sure she doesn't tip over from healthy to food disorder, you know? But I will try and keep one for her, which is easy enough because all her meals are homemade.

    For now I'm going to keep a food log myself, remember to give her the magnesium/calcium supplement every day and just see what happens. I only had a handful ever so hopefully she takes after me and not her grandmother who suffered from them for decades.

  3. #13
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    Oh, and thanks again everyone for the input

  4. #14
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    Hi ShannonCC,

    My 15 y/o daughter has had hormonal migraines for at least the past year. For the past 6 months, she has been having extremely irregular cycles and the migraines have become more frequent (like 3-4 per week).

    I've stressed the need for her to eat more paleo and she has finally agreed. Sounds like your DD does an awesome job in that department.

    When I took my DD to the doctor, his recommendation was to try birth control meds. NOT!!!

    I did my own research and looked for herbal remedies to regulate her cycle and help the migraines. It's only been 3 weeks since she started taking the herbs but she has had only 2 migraines in that time and she actually got a 3 wk break from having a period.

  5. #15
    Sandra in BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShannonCC View Post
    Sandra, that's what I found from the (few) migraines I used to have. If I got the ibuprofen in soon enough I was ok (still had the migraine, but it wasn't bad). But a few times I woke up with one already started which is just not fair And once it was really going it didn't matter how many pills I took, they did jack squat.
    Yup, those are the worst. A double dose of ibuprofen, and a steady drip of caffeine are all that work (ice cold diet coke works best.). Also with those kinds of migraines, I get a sort of IBS...my body just wants to rid itself of everything. I'm told that migraines shut down your bowels too, so there's no nutrient absorption, which is why if you wait too long to take drugs, they don't work. They just go right through you.

    She eats almost the same thing for breakfast every day - eggs and onions cooked in olive oil and either dark chocolate or cocoa nibs plus some kind of fruit ( that changes). I do know that chocolate (especially dark) is a trigger for many so that could be a possibility in combination with PMS maybe? But it's her first migraine so we don't have a history to go with yet.
    Interesting. I'm very intolerant of raw onions and garlic. Cooked can be ok in moderation. I avoid them, so I don't know if they're a trigger or not. The chocolate/cocoa would be easy to eliminate as a trial.

    I don't want her to keep a food journal though because she's at that age where food issues can crop up. She's very strict about the paleo (other than the chocolate) and while she eats lots of good fats and plenty of calories and healthy carbs (ie - produce), she refuses to eat non paleo ever, even with friends so I just want to keep an eye on it and make sure she doesn't tip over from healthy to food disorder, you know? But I will try and keep one for her, which is easy enough because all her meals are homemade.
    I really appreciate your efforts to make food and eating a positive experience for your daughter. So many poor body and eating issues are passed down from generations before and I've worked hard to keep that out of our house. Mine just turned 13, and I know my food choices have influenced her somewhat in a positive way (she's not primal/paleo but she does shun unnecessary junk food and fake food, and prefers real food for her snacks and desserts). Some real foods are better for you than others, but when you eat real food, there really are no "bad foods". In our house food is to be enjoyed, respected, indulged....not vilified.
    Sandra
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  6. #16
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    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.
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  7. #17
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    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).

  8. #18
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    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 at 12:59 PM.

  9. #19
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    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.

  10. #20
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    Quote 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.

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