Have you been suffering from migraines for years? Are you bedridden and not able to function for hours or days on end because you keep getting migraines consistently and the medication just isn’t cutting it?
You may want to take a closer look at your hormones. As women, our hormones go through major fluctuations at different times in our lives. Puberty is the onset of a huge surge and considerable change in hormones. If you think back to when you first started getting migraines, was it around age 9-20, because this is the time frame when our hormones are fluctuating drastically as the body tries to balance out everything that is changing.
Another time to think about is when you were first pregnant, or even after the birth of a child. These major changes from pregnancy and breastfeeding can also be a point where causing the onset of migraines.
Lastly is in your perimenopausal to menopausal time. Again this major fluctuation as the estrogen levels start to decrease can be another trigger for migraines.
This is why it is so important that your healthcare practitioner takes a very thorough case because it can be very difficult to figure out why and when the onset of migraines began.
You may also want to track changes to your period. If you have found that there are changes such as cramping, PMS symptoms like mood changes and breast tenderness, fatigue, diarrhea or constipation, shortened periods or heavier flow with your period, these changes in your period can mean changes in your hormone levels that can also mean an increased frequency of migraines.
So what can you do about all of this:
1. make sure you are giving your health care professional a thorough picture – was the onset of your migraines at the same time as one of these common hormones fluctuation stages
2. tell your health care practitioner if your periods have changed at all including length of cycle
3. track your period (there are so many great apps out there) – are you getting a migraine at the same time every month – i often see them associated with the time before your period (PMS time) or during ovulation
4. find a health care practitioner that can THOROUGHLY test your hormones – i prefer to use saliva hormone testing or the DUTCH test of hormone metabolites
If your migraines are associated with hormone fluctuations don’t worry, there are a lot of great therapies that can help support hormone levels and give you a break from migraines. These will differ depending on what hormones need support (estrogen or progesterone). I often use chaste tree, evening primrose oil, I3C, Tribulus, Black Cohosh, homeopathics, B vitamins, and borage oil as a few options.
With migraines it’s obvious that you want the ‘bandaid – pain medication” to make the pain stop, but if we can figure out the root cause then you can see extended relief while balancing your hormones for ongoing health.
For more information about hormone testing or booking an appointment with Dr. Danielle ND, call the Natural Care Clinic at 905-631-0880.