Friday, January 27, 2012

Menstrual Migraines

Was trying to think of a catchy title to this blog posts, but who am I kidding, migraines suck, and migraines + periods suck worse. So no catchy title ladies, just the facts.

The majority of migraine sufferers are female - around 70% according to some estimates. And the majority of those females report that their migraines are related to their menstrual cycle. You can blame the wonderful hormones estrogen and progesterone - they are the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle and as they fluctuate they also can trigger migraines.

Now what exactly are migraines? Are they just headaches? I kind of like to explain them as "I know it when I feel it." But they are pretty much a headache on 'roids. According to the Mayo clinic, "A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound." Migraines can also come with a weird precursor, like visual disturbances and tingling sensations. For me, I get blurred vision out of one eye, or part of one eye.

What many people don't know though is there is no reason to suffer! The most important thing about migraines is that you need to start treating them right away. Don't wait for them to get bad, because trust me, these headaches don't get magically better. Start out with some over the counter pain killers (Advil, Motrin, Exedrine, or Tyelnol). See if that helps. Ask someone to give you a neck and shoulder massage (my husband is now an expert masseuse). Dark rooms, cold compresses, and quiet are very helpful.

But if you have these migraines on a monthly basis, talk to your lady parts doctor or make an appointment with a neurologist. There are SO many great migraine medications out there that really are amazing. And there are a bunch of options to PREVENT the migraines in the first place. These include blood pressure medication and what I call PMS Prozac(aka, Prozac you take before your period). Also, if you are on birth control, talk to your doctor about whether your specific hormone combo could be contributing to the migraines, since you may want to try something else and see if that helps.

Happy heads equals happy ladies.

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