Menstrual migraines: tips to deal with them naturally

Dealing with the ebb and flow of your menstrual cycle is exhausting enough, and the issues that come with it aren’t much of a mood booster. No, we are not talking about cramps, mood swings, bloating and diarrhea, we are referring to the lesser known symptom: the headache! If you’ve been trying to solve the mystery of why you experience severe headaches during your period, this information might be useful to you! Experts say that period migraines can actually get worse. So menstrual migraines do exist, and here’s everything you need to know to deal with them.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, women who suffer from migraine attacks may experience more of them during their period. Menstrual migraines usually begin between the two days before your period and the third day after your cycle begins. Although it affects many women, it is not something that all women will experience. So why do we get migraines and what causes them? Let’s find out.

What triggers menstrual migraines?

Menstrual migraine is mainly due to the sudden drop in estrogen levels that occurs before your period. Although not all women experience them, some women who are sensitive to these changes are more likely to experience these triggers. Fluctuations in your hormones can make triggers even worse, says nutritionist Nmami Agarwal in her latest Instagram post.

Another cause of menstrual migraine is changes in the hormone serotonin, which is necessary for the functioning of nerve cells and the brain. You may experience changes in serotonin levels during your menstrual cycle, which can trigger migraines due to its role in regulating pain.

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While these hormonal changes aren’t bad for your health, they can cause issues like migraines that can make you feel uncomfortable.

How to manage menstrual migraine?

Here are some of the natural ways to treat menstrual migraine, suggested by the nutritionist:

1. Drink plenty of water

Did you know that not drinking enough water can trigger migraines? Studies have shown that staying hydrated and drinking at least 10 to 12 glasses of water every day can help reduce the risk of migraines.

2. Avoid certain foods

What you eat can affect how your body reacts to certain triggers like hormonal changes. A study published in Iran’s Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research found that certain diets may increase migraine risk. Agarwal writes that caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, aged cheese and foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG – which is a flavor enhancer) should be avoided.

3. Eat foods rich in vitamin B2

A study published in the Current Journal of Neurology found that eating foods rich in vitamin B can help women cope with episodic migraines. She recommends including vitamin B2 supplementation in your diet to reduce migraines. Foods rich in vitamin B2 that you can include in your diet are eggs, dairy products, lean meats and leafy greens.

Eat foods rich in vitamin B to avoid menstrual migraines. Image provided by: Freepik

4. Include Magnesium-Rich Foods in Your Diet

Magnesium is an essential mineral that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines, writes the expert. Studies have also shown a positive link between magnesium-rich foods and migraine management. Incorporate magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens into your diet. You can also try magnesium supplements as recommended by your doctor.

5. You need more antioxidants

The dietitian writes that women should include the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in their diet because it will help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. This antioxidant is commonly found in beef, fish, chicken, and some vegetables.

If you suffer from menstrual migraine, you can try these expert-recommended changes in your life. However, you should also consult your nutritionist or doctor to find out what is best for you.

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